Penn Cove fest features NW tribe canoe races

Canoe races have always been the centerpiece of the Penn Cove Water Festival and Saturday’s event is no exception.

Starting at noon, participants from various Pacific Northwest tribes will compete. The event can be seen at Captain Coupe Park in Coupeville or families can pay to watch from the water aboard the Samish family canoe.

In addition to the races, American Indian traditions and culture are a highlight of the festivities, along with a diverse selection of musical styles.

Swil Kanim is a classically trained violinist who plays and incorporates native storytelling in his performances.

Native flautist Peter Ali will also perform as will Lou LaBombard, who will present native drumming.

Rosie James will share life histories and traditional dances will be presented by Tsimishian Haayuk.

New this year will be vendors offering salmon tacos served in fry bread. Visitors will get the tasty treat served with a lesson on how salmon was traditionally cooked.

To blend the American Indian culture with the seafaring culture, Coupeville’s Shifty Sailors will sing songs of the sea.

Specific fun for the children is provided under a tent where a variety of hands-on activities will be offered with prizes awarded.

The Penn Cove Water Festival runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in Coupeville. For more information and this year’s schedule of events call 360-682-5825 or go to

Herald staff

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