STURGEON BAY, WI (August 9, 2016) – The Door County Classic & Wooden Boat Festival marks its 26th year with a new look. There will still be plenty of classic vessels and the Sikaflex Challenge boat building competition, but new this year is an art exhibition, “ArtMart,” featuring some of the county’s most accomplished artists.
This year’s event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 12-13 to coincide with the West Side Business Association and Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center’s Maritime on Madison event. While Maritime on Madison is a one-day event on Saturday, the Boat Festival gets underway Friday evening at 4pm with the building portion of the Sikaflex Challenge. Live music from Dr. Bombay will fill the museum grounds Friday evening from 5-9pm. The concession tent will also be open for business selling burgers, brats, and other tasty treats. Attendees will also get a chance to see some of the classic vessels that arrive early.
As in the past, there will be an assortment of watercraft both in and out of the water, some dating as far back as the 19th Century. In-water boats will be located both in front of the museum as well as along the Harbor Club Marina dock located north of the Michigan Street Bridge. The number of in-water runabouts is expected to increase this year and will share the spotlight with sailboats, kayaks and canoes. Awards will be presented based on people’s choice voting.
The not-so-aesthetically pleasing, but still oh-so fun and colorful Sikaflex vessels always draw a crowd, especially on Saturday when the final decorating work will be completed before they hit the water for the sea trials at 3 p.m.
The Sikaflex Challenge involves two-person teams required to build a boat with limited materials and just four hours to do it Friday night in order to garner points which carry over into Saturday’s in-water race. There is voting Saturday for a People’s Choice award and a coveted spot on the Palmer Johnson Trophy.
Meanwhile, “ArtMart” artwork will be located under the big tent on the water side of the museum. Some artists will also be working on plein air pieces around the grounds. Half the proceeds from the sale of the art will benefit the Door County Maritime Museum.
The United States Coast Guard will be well represented, highlighted by tours of the 41-foot utility boat that rests in front of the museum. Adjacent to the boat, children’s activities will be offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. There will also the unusual and one of the few remaining “Amphicars” in the United States on display. Demonstrations will take place during the day Saturday.
People will have the opportunity to browse the Boathouse Sale, featuring gently used maritime gadgets, printed materials and items of all kinds. Other highlights include demonstrations of a Kahlenberg engine, made famous by its use on commercial fishing tugs. The tug John Purves, the museum’s historic floating vessels, will be open for deck tours Saturday for a nominal fee.
Special boat excursions will be offered Saturday with the Chicago Fireboat making its schedule tours of the bay as well as the arrival of Door County’s Tall Ship, the Edith M. Becker, a 60-foot sailing schooner from Sister Bay. Each will be offering three tours, capped by an evening sunset tour. Visit www.ridethefireboat.com or www.saildoorcounty.com for more information on the tours.
The concession stand will be open throughout the day Saturday with fresh whitefish sandwiches being added to the menu for one day only.
Boat registrations are taken up to Saturday morning at 9am. Call the museum at 920.743.5958 for more information or visit www.dcmm.org to register a boat.