Arts and Entertainment

Critter parade celebrates whales

Gary the 20-foot gray whale puppet joins in the critter parade during last year’s Welcome the Whales Day celebration. - photo by Merry Loew
Gary the 20-foot gray whale puppet joins in the critter parade during last year’s Welcome the Whales Day celebration.
— image credit: photo by Merry Loew

Orca Network and the Langley Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the eighth annual Welcome the Whales Day in Langley on Saturday, April 23.

This event honors and celebrates the spring arrival of resident gray whales to Whidbey Island with fun and educational activities, music, presentations and a parade of species featuring the 20-foot gray whale, Gary. Start designing a costume for the parade or come to the event early and make one.

The day begins with hands-on educational displays, costume-making and kids’ activities at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (Third and Anthes St.), beginning at 10 a.m. Staging for the critter parade begins at 1 p.m. in the parking lot at Cascade and Sixth Street. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m., down the hill on Cascade and First Streets, ending at the Langley Waterfront Park for music, a blessing by Windwalker Taibi and, possibly, a viewing of gray whales swimming nearby.

After the parade, people can learn more about the local gray whales during presentations at the Methodist Church from 3 to 5 p.m. Orca Network will give an update on how the gray whales are doing and will share photos and stories from their recent trips to San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, where the gray whales mate and have their calves.

Michael Bennett, Small Planet Adventures owner, will do an afternoon presentation, book reading and book signing throughout the day. During the past 20 years, Bennett has piloted boats for many National Geographic magazine and film expeditions. An ardent diver and skilled captain, Bennett teamed with world-renowned photographer Flip Nicklin in Patagonia, Panama, Brazil, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Canada and Costa Rica to document whales, dolphins and other exotics.

For further details, visit and or contact Orca Network at 678-3451 or; or the Langley Chamber of Commerce at 360 -221-6765.


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