The Door County Maritime Museum is building off the “Boats, Books & Brushes” theme it introduced two years ago at this year’s Classic and Wooden Boat Festival as it continues to broaden its appeal beyond the collection of interesting and stunning vessels it attracts each summer.
There will still be plenty of boats on the museum grounds in Sturgeon Bay the weekend of Aug. 6-7 and the ever-popular Sikaflex Challenge boat This year also brings the Maritime Mart, a vendor oriented event much in the same mold as the arts and crafts fairs seen at many area festivals. This one has a twist in that all the items are nautical in nature and carry through on the show’s “Boats, Books & Brushes” theme.
This year’s Festival also joins the City of Sturgeon Bay in its week-long “Salute to the United States Coast Guard” with plenty of the local Guardians taking part in Festival event. The Coast Guard will be well represented with the return appearance of “Coastie,” the remote-controlled boat sponsored by the local Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla. Some of the Coast Guard’s most eye-catching equipment will also be on hand.
The Coast Guard will also play a prominent part in show’s most popular event, the Sikaflex Challenge boat building competition. At least three Coast Guard teams are signed up for a fun “competition within a competition” as they battle for Coast Guard bragging rights. Boat construction will again get underway Saturday morning at 10 am with up to 12 two-person teams required to build a boat with limited materials and just four hours to garner points to carry over into Sunday’s in-water race. Always a big draw, the race will begin at 12:45 pm with the colorfully decorated vessels hitting the water and racing against the clock. Points are awarded and coupled with Saturday’s construction totals to produce an overall winner.
The open-air painting event, “Paint the Bay,” will encompass the entire Sturgeon Bay waterfront. Artists will have Saturday morning to create their art before returning it for a silent auction inside the museum Saturday afternoon and Sunday. A People’s Choice vote will select the work, which will grace the 2012 festival poster. Advance registration for artists can be made online at http://www.dcmm.org or between 8 – 9 am Saturday morning on the festival grounds.
The restored 149-foot tug John Purves remains a prominent attraction with tours again part of the festival admission this year. The Festival Committee has a single ticket entry structure that permits adults to gain admission to the festival at the regular daily fee to the museum and tug. Also, children’s admission prices have been expanded to encourage more family attendance. Children ages 11 and younger as well as museum members are admitted free.
But the dozens of boats, both in-water and on land, remain the festival’s featured attraction. From a 1963 Amphicar and classic Chris-Crafts to handcrafted canoes and kayaks, the festival is a boat-lover’s must-see event. Although a judging panel determines the plaque winners, visitors will again have the opportunity to vote for their favorite.
Boat building again highlights the children’s activities along with the ever-popular toy tug races.
Of course, the concessions stand is back, featuring an expanded menu this year.
Boat registrations are taken up to Saturday morning at 9 am and a few spots remain for the Sika Challenge. Call the Museum at 920.743.5958 for more information or visit http://www.dcmm.org to register a boat or see a calendar of events.