Boaters sail to Poulsbo for weekend party | Kitsap Week

The Boat Guy hosts another nautical party in Poulsbo, including a gögg fest, libation station, art walk, poker run, pickled herring expo and more.

In a historically ironic twist, people from far and wide will sail to the shores of Poulsbo — a Norwegian community — and raid the town of its glögg, herring and more.

The Winter Rendezvous — spearheaded by hydroplane racer Chip Hanauer — will take over downtown Poulsbo Feb. 6-8 for its second year in a row. The rendezvous encourages recreational boaters to sail the Puget Sound’s winter waters, when boats usually are more absent, and converge on one location for a weekend party.

“Winter Rendezvous is a party in February,” said Tammy Mattson, owner of the Hare and Hound Pub and a co-organizer of the event. “Chip Hanauer brings all of his friends to town and we throw a party for everybody.”

Last year’s rendezvous, the first, was a success. Hundreds of boaters — and non-boaters — merged in Poulsbo, toured the town and took in some art, local brews, music, and morel, and enjoyed some nautical camaraderie.

The second Winter Rendezvous in Poulsbo is a new and improved version. All the same communal boating spirit is included. And as with last year’s event, there will be a glögg fest, a poker run and a pickled herring expo. And it is all hosted by Chip Hanauer of hydroplane fame, today known as “The Boat Guy.”

The poker run works by visiting different locations throughout downtown, and picking up a playing card. Once enough cards are collected, participants can turn them into the poker station at the Sons of Norway. The best, and worst, hands will win a prize.

The glögg fest operates similarly. Different downtown locations will put forth their best glögg. Participants vote on their most favored tastes. A voter will win a prize at the end.

And what would an event in a Norwegian town be without a pickled herring expo? The Marina Market will host a herring tasting, boasting an array of pickled varieties.

This year’s event also has a few added attractions.

“There are events that are not specific to boaters, so everyone can come,” Mattson said. “There are boater specials like moorage specials, but this is for everybody.”

The rendezvous is timed to coincide with the monthly art walk downtown on Saturday; an evening when Front Street’s many galleries stay open late and offer refreshments and entertainment.

Hare and Hound is hosting a whiskey tasting for lovers of the juice of the barley. Then there is the Libation Station; a festival of beer, wine and spirits.

And if the second rendezvous is anything like the inaugural, a horde of Vikings are likely to show up, as are a bevy of shenanigans, and horned helmets will be the fashion of the day.

Moorage can be found at the Port of Poulsbo’s marina, though, slips fill up fast. The port is offering a two-for-one deal; buy one night, get the second free. That deal can be purchased on

“There’s nothing else going on in February, at least nothing else that’s so fun. So come down,” Mattson said.

Winter Rendezvous

Feb. 6-8. All events take place downtown Poulsbo

Glögg fest: At seven locations throughout downtown (different locations than the poker run) with free glögg, Feb. 7, 2-4 p.m. Vote on your favorite glögg.

Pickled herring expo: At the Marina Market, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A tour through the wide world of pickled herring.

Poker run: At seven locations throughout downtown on Feb. 7 (different locations than the poker run).

Whiskey tasting: At Hare and Hounds, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. $35. For ages 21 and older.

Libation station: At the Sons of Norway, Feb. 7, beginning at noon. $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Price includes 10 tastings and souvenir glass. A beer, wine and spirits festival with 19 local breweries, wineries, cider houses and distilleries. Including live music and re-entry privileges. For ages 21 and older. Tickets online at

Live Music: Feb. 7, 7 p.m. at the Sons of Norway. After the festival’s various awards are announced, Soul Siren will perform modern hits and blues/R&B to dance into the night.