The Festivals Begin

Let the festivals begin! The season of festivals has just begun, though from some perspectives it never really ends. And yet, spring is near and island life is getting lively.

Typically, Whidbey Island is naturally quiet during the winter. It could naturally be quiet in the spring, too; but islanders don’t want to wait for Memorial Day. One solution: plan festivals throughout most of the year – except maybe for that Quiet January mentioned earlier.

DSCN1691 - EditedThis year hasn’t been typical. Instead of a usual string of grey, drizzly days, weeks, and months broken up by occasional storms we’ve had an unusual string of wind and snow storms interrupted by short days of grey, and maybe some sun. There’s a good chance we’ll set records for cold and snow. We’re shaking it all off, which mostly means waiting for the precipitation to turn to rain that washes away the evidence of winter. It’s messy, but it works.

Schedules adapt. The few January and early February events have slipped into the regularly scheduled events like Musselfest (a Coupeville celebration of local shellfish and art) and Mystery Weekend (a weekend that turns Langley into a puzzle for people who don’t mind standing in a drizzle to solve it.) Let’s hope their calendars don’t get adjusted yet again.

The tourists started returning for short visits around Valentine’s Day. That’s sweet. After  Musselfest and Mystery Weekend flowers will start blooming encouraging garden tours, farm tours, tulip tours, and generally any tour that encourages people to drive around the island’s offerings. Add various art tours to the list. (Chocolate and wine tours have already gone by. They’re probably staying close to Valentine’s Day.)

The year’s lists of events is a long read, and won’t be posted here. There are so many options that the information is scattered across several sites. Here are a few to pick from. These are just the municipal ones.

The dozens of event centers, art groups, and non-profit organizations host lists as well. Selecting can be daunting. Riches can be like that. As quiet as Whidbey seems, there’s so much going on that many people move here. It’s a fun and pragmatic way to do more than simply sample one or two during a long weekend.

DSCN1191Pardon the hesitation in the typing that you can’t see. But it happened because so many things to mention demanded to be remembered: whale parades, kite festivals, lots of music, race week, air shows, fishing contests, flower festivals, and the list goes on. The Fair! Don’t forget the Fair! Interested in something but can’t find it? Check the links above, or ask in the Comment section below.

December, January, and February teased with the possibility of quiet time, but every time that was mentioned, the weather interceded. That may be a great reason to celebrate. Hey, look! A festival. Just in time.

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