Thar she blows!

Whaling Days Festival returns to Silverdale

Another Whaling Days weekend has come and gone, as the local community turned up this weekend to relax, grab a beer, eat some food and enjoy some live music along Silverdale’s Waterfront Park.

The festivities kicked off Friday evening with the opening of carnival rides, food vendors, a beer garden, and some live music. At 10 p.m., fireworks lit up the sky over Dyes Inlet to cap off the opening night of activities.

A quick turnaround on an overcast Saturday morning started with the 39th annual Whale of a Run. Races included a four-mile race, a one-mile walk/run, a kids dash, and a Special Olympic Athletes Non-Competitive Fun Dash.

Following the races, was the annual First Federal Lions/Kiwanis Grand Parade at 10 a.m. along Silverdale Way in downtown. First responders, along with local clubs and organizations flocked to the streets to pass out candy to young ones, give thanks to the community and spread some cheer at the mid-summer festival.

The rest of the day was devoted again to live music, carnival rides, food and beer along the Silverdale Waterfront. At 4:30 p.m., the Kitsap Construction Derby was held at the Kitsap Fairgrounds, an event that was part of the Whaling Days schedule.

The final day of events resulted in the best weather of the weekend, with temperatures nearly reaching 80 degrees with a slight breeze to counter the hot sun. In the morning, the Dyes Inlet Dash Canoe Races were held as teams of five raced 500 meters for a trophy. All participants were awarded with a T-shirt.

As the morning turned to afternoon, more and more people began to show up to get some sunshine, grab a beer and enjoy some time listening to live music with their families. Before Whaling Days closed up shop for 2019, the annual Silverdale Rotary Duck Race was held.

Tacy Boswell of Poulsbo was announced the grand prize winner shortly after the race and wins her choice of a 2019 Nissan Truck from Advantage Nissan or $16,000 in cash.

There were other winners in the duck race too, with 60 people in total receiving cash or prizes ranging from $100 to $3,298. Prizes may be picked up at Kitsap Bank in Silverdale Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cutoff date to claim prizes is Sept. 1.

The Rotary Club of Silverdale sells the ducks used as part of a fundraiser, with 100 percent of the proceeds gathered returning to the community throughout the year through scholarships and other Rotary outreach, said member Jason Wright.

Wright was generally happy with the way the weekend went, but would like to see some more community engagement at future Whaling Days.

“This year, Whaling Days has been a little slow; not sure if it’s due to the warm weather or people being out of town,” he said. “The last couple years, attendance has gone down a little bit. It’d be nice to get a little bit more community support. The problem is this area is transient military people, so when they move into the area, they’ve never heard of Whaling Days.”

—Tyler Shuey is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at

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