The Washington Coast Mermaid Festival makes Grays Harbor its epicenter
Posted 05/20/22 04:55 PST
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection
(Westport, Washington) — For about a week, in a town on the Washington coast, it will be all about sirens. (Photos courtesy of Capture.Share.Repeat)
Near Westport, the International Mermaid Museum has a duty to keep legends alive all year round, with exhibits dedicated to merfolk mythology while teaching the science of ocean ecology and appreciation of the world that exists from “the edge of the sea to the bottom of the sea”.
However, from March 26 to April 3, this mermaid kingdom comes to life in a distinctive new way, with the museum hosting its annual Mermaid Festival – a mix of mermaid performances, music, art and a scavenger hunt. treasure for children. During this week-long festival, there will be no admission fee to the International Mermaid Museum.
The museum has become a staple of unique finds on the Washington Coast, both educational and enchanting, with its usual exhibits offering plenty of wonder. However, now those mermaids of the deep will be out in the open here, with Grays Harbor serving as a magnet for the legendary sea fins. You’ll be sure to spot mermaids, organizers say.
Headlining, Una the Mermaid performs in her traveling tank on Saturday and Sunday. She brings a real tank and swims in and out of sight to the delight of people of all ages. For a decade now, Una has been a “mermaid artist,” bringing a kind of magic act to the stage as well as those striking mermaid impressions. She was the organizer of the annual Portlandia Mermaid Parade, which also included the founder of the International Mermaid Museum, Kim Roberts. Thanks to this organization, Roberts won Mermazing Person of the Year in 2021.
Also on the program, Olive the alchemist, founder of the Seattle Mermaid School. She will have a royal presence for the Washington Coast shindig, presiding over the mermaid throne each day of the festival. For those who want to enter the realm of mermaids themselves, Olive will teach a free one-hour lesson for budding mermaids of all ages, covering safety, physics, credibility and immersion in this wonderful fairy world. . Classes take place every day at 4 p.m. at the museum.
What would an encounter with the mythical selkies (the Celtic word for them) be without the art world genres that surrounded them? The museum will have an art tent hosting many artists and activities for each festival visitor. From nearby Moclips on the Washington Coast will be the glass works of artists Kari and Heather Wulf. From Westport come multimedia artists Michael Beck as well as rock painter Brandi Fornear. You’ll also find photographer Wendy Ryan from Grayland, multimedia artist Pamela McKinnie from Olympia, mermaid artist Ashley Morgan from Tacoma, watercolourist Aleatha Kennedy from Olympia, ceramicist Kimmi Kerns from Shelton, photographer Michelle Rayleen from Sekiu, carpenters Pete and Amy Twigg. d’Ocosta, as well as jeweler Olympia Ruth Greening and watercolourist Nancy Broach.
There will be music on April 2 at 5 p.m. Poulsbo duo Bad Little Space Mermaids perform a unique brand of Celtic rock, featuring a guitarist and a theremin mermaid.
Throughout the day, children can participate in the Pirate Scavenger Hunt in the gardens surrounding the museum, where they can raid for prizes and find treasure. Also for the little ones, there will be a free gyotaku (fish print) station every day from 3-4 p.m. For all ages, there is a free rock painting station every day. Inside the museum, a fee is charged for patrons who wish to extract fossils, shells, or gemstones from the museum’s sluice box.
Celebrities from the merfolk world will also be present. Jill Neal is famous for her Wild Women Art: she will sign and sell her works in person on April 1 and 2. Author Rebecca Corio will sign and sell her book, Storm of Passion from her Men of Danger series on April 2 from 2-4 p.m.
To deepen the experience, Traveling Fanta Sea Cove members of the Portland Mermaid Pod will be hosting a booth on April 2-3. Here you will find more information about mermaid mythology from around the world as well as mermaid and mermaid deities. They will also sell handmade seaware and crafts.
Local food vendors will also be on hand, with Westport’s Aloha Alabama bringing a food truck with their famous poke and teriyaki bowls as well as delicious shaved ice. The Lumberjack Popcorn Company’s legendary popcorn will be at the festival both weekends.
The non-profit International Mermaid Museum seeks to use mermaid mythology to help unite oceanic cultures. It is located on the grounds of the Westport Winery Garden Resort, halfway between Aberdeen and Westport on the Washington Coast. For more information, visit www.MermaidMuseum.org. (360) 648-2224.
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