Long Beach Peninsula Events // © 2011 funbeach.com
More than 60 festivals and celebrations are taking place on the Long Beach Peninsula in 2011, playing to a broad audience.
“It’s really remarkable how many different kinds of events have sprung up on this small spit of sand,” said Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau executive director Una Boyle. “What’s best is that they reflect our community’s passions: eating great food, listening to good music, creating beautiful art, playing on the beach and more.”
A number of musical events are produced on the peninsula each year, including Ilwaco’s Blues and Seafood (Aug. 12-13), Oysterville’s Jazz and Oysters (Aug. 14), Cape Disappointment State Park’s Waikiki Beach Concert Series and the Water Music Festival, a peninsula-wide series of concerts that brings chamber music to the lower Columbia River region.
Many peninsula events take place outdoors, mostly on the beach. These include, among others, the kids-only Black Lake Fishing Derby (April 30), Beach Clean Up Days (April 23 and July 5), Beach to Chowder Run/Walk, Surf Perch Derby (May 14), Doggie Olympic Games (June 24-25) and the Washington State International Kite Festival (Aug. 15-21), which attracts professional and amateur kite makers and fliers from around the globe as well as an enthusiastic group of spectators.
Other events point to the Peninsula’s importance in U.S. history, namely as the Western terminus of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805, as well as a military outpost and guardian of the mouth of the Columbia River. The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum presents special exhibits throughout the year and spearheads Ocian in View, a cultural event focusing on local history (Nov. 11-12) .
Fun and educational interpretive activities at Cape Disappointment State Park are highlighted by Graveyard of the Pacific events (Oct. 22-23) while Clamshell Railroad Days (July 16-17) celebrates the era when travel on the peninsula was ruled by the tides. Other events tied to history include Blessing of the Fleet (April 30) and Loyalty Days (April 30-May1).
While food is part of many of the events, the peninsula’s cultivated and wild harvests are showcased during the Cranberrian Fair (Oct. 8-9) and Wild Mushroom Celebration (Oct. 1-Nov. 15).
Fine art events include the Peninsula Arts Association Spring Show (April 1-3) and Fall Show (Oct. 7-10), the Chinook Art Festival (Sept. 3-5) and Ilwaco’s Art Walks (June 18, July 16, Aug. 20, Sept. 17). Works by artists and artisans are also shown at Ilwaco’s Saturday Market at the Port (May through Sept.).
Independence Day celebrations are big on the peninsula with Ilwaco’s Fireworks at the Port (July 2), Ocean Park’s Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade (July 4) and Long Beach’s Fireworks on the Beach (July 4).
Building anticipation for the winter holidays are Holidays at the Beach (Nov. 25-27), the Lighted Boat Parade and Crab Pot Christmas Tree Lighting (Dec. 3), Tuba Christmas (Dec. 11) and, on New Year’s Eve, fireworks at midnight over the ocean.