Oak Harbor holds eighth Driftwood Day

Members of Team A led by James Burkes and Michelle Maxwell play on their rendition of “Deception Pass Bridge,” which won the Flotsam and Jetsam award.  - Janis Reid/Whidbey News-Times
Members of Team A led by James Burkes and Michelle Maxwell play on their rendition of “Deception Pass Bridge,” which won the Flotsam and Jetsam award.
— image credit: Janis Reid/Whidbey News-Times

Though the day started gray and chilly, by noon the sunlight was beaming through the clouds for the eighth annual Driftwood Day Saturday at Oak Harbor’s Windjammer Park.

Organizer K.C. Potilla said that, while the weather may have affected this year’s attendance, the event still had a great turnout with 31 registered teams, 130 participants and more than 200 spectators.

Participants and spectators traveled from around the country, including Seattle, Ohio, Canada, Hawaii, Anacortes, Coupeville, Oak Harbor, and one gentleman flew in from New York for the event, Pohtilla said.

Judging the event were Capt. Mike Nortier, commanding officer of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station,  Oak Harbor City Councilman Joel Servatius and Mike Rattray.

Driftwood Day is put on by the Arts Commission.

The event began in 2006 as a way to gain attention for the newly-formed group and downtown area. No one expected it to be such a hit with the public.

More than 17 teams turned out that first year, with people spending hours scouring the beach for the perfect piece of driftwood for their sculptures.

While the event has had good turnouts each year, ranging from roughly 30-45 teams after the first year, people also seem to be getting increasingly creative.

This year’s participants created pirate ships, sea monsters, thrones and spiders.

Anything can be used in sculptures but building materials have to have been washed up on the beach. Also, participants cannot start early and are discouraged from planning ahead.



Contest winners

High Tide Award, to The Beach Girls led by Guin Lupien for their “Turtle Town”; Neptune’s Delight Award, to Ariel’s Grotto led by Erika Wolfe for their “It’s a Small World”; Windjammer Wonder Award, to Team MeMe’s led by Jaxton Little for their “Horse Ranch”; Flotsam & Jetsam Award, to Team A led by James Burks and Michelle Maxwell for their “Deception Pass”; Poseidon’s Prize Award, to Mermaid Princesses led by Paige & Nina for their “Sea Dragon”; Castaway Award, to Starfishies led by Alicia, Breilynn and Abby for their “Survivor Camp”; Seafarer Sailor Award, to Amick led by Josh Amick for their “Sleeping Man”; Beachcomber Award, to Returning Champs led by Warren Rogers for their “Soap Box Cars”; Mermaid’s Masterpiece Award, to Drifters led by Erica Fisher for their “Ariel”; Pirate’s Pride Award, to Crazy Duo led by Emma Little for their “Pirate Ship”; The Crows Nest Award, to This Guy led by Darium Rolfe for his “Impact”;  People’s Choice Award, to Buckeye Builders led by Nate Dawson for their “Pirate Ship with Sea Monster.”


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