Come join us in celebrating the La Conner Rotary Club’s 50th annual (almost) Smelt Derby Festival with a full day of activities for the whole family Feb. 28. For kids, we’re offering a family day of fun with activities all day long. For adults, we’ll have an evening of subs, sliders, spirits and dancing.
We say “almost” 50th consecutive festival, because sometime in the 1950’s, a large group of rowdy attendees took over the town and drank too much five-cent beer. The police chief resigned in the midst of it all, town mayor Fred Martin closed down the event, and it was not held the following year. It was back the year after that – without five-cent beer!
For most years, the smelt were plentiful because of the fish processing plant on the channel. Over the last three years, they have been scarce, and only a very small amount were caught and entered in the fishing contest. Two years ago, we fed the smelt two times a week for about a month before the festival. The result was still few but noticeably larger smelt.
- Pancake Breakfast benefiting the La Conner High School Senior Class, Maple Hall, 8-10 a.m
- Skagit Symphony 5K & 10K Smelt Run and 2K walk, 10 a.m. plus Small Fry Kids Dash at 9:30 a.m. Information and registration at skagitsymphony.com.
- Fishing Derby, Public Docks, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- Fish printing and more for kids, Maple Hall, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
- An array of kids activities arranged by the Boys and Girls Club
- A new event for adults – Sliders, Suds & Spirits, Maple Hall, 5-7 p.m.
- Dancing to the sounds of The Esquires, Maple Hall, 7-10 p.m.
Rotarians are also selling raffle tickets for great prizes. Watch for them around town throughout the event (and in advance). The drawing will be held at 8 p.m. at Maple Hall (need not be present to win).
For more information, visit www.laconnerrotary.org. or call 466-4778 .Call or stop by the La Conner Visitor’s Center where you’ll find lots of information – including brochures and maps. 511-C Morris St. in La Conner; 360/466-4778. E-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are visiting for the weekend, use our online reservations for quick & easy booking.