Fort Casey State Park is hosting three new events in 2017, including a movie night outdoors, an Easter scavenger hunt and live music. Most of the events take place near the Admiralty Head Lighthouse. Photo by Michael Watkins/Whidbey News-Times

Fort Casey State Park adds three new events in 2017

Though it’s tough to quibble with any view from Fort Casey State Park, the one afforded from Battery Turman near Admiralty Head Lighthouse is breathtaking.

Once an emplacement for guns designed to protect the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Admiralty Inlet as part of the World War I-era army fort, the battery is now essentially a platform for park visitors to soak in the sights.

This year, the battery named after 2nd Lt. Reuben S. Turman will serve more modern purposes in two new events scheduled at the state park in 2017.

The concrete structure will support a stage for musicians during a “Music in the Park” day on June 10 and then will be home to a giant inflatable screen for a “Movie in the Park” night on Aug. 25.

There will be three new family-friendly events in all at the state park this year, starting with an “Easter Scavenger Hunt” April 15.

All three will take place on “free dates” when a Discover Pass is not required for entry into state parks.

“I did that on purpose because I wanted to invite people who might otherwise not come because it takes that deterrent away,” said Sharon Sharpe, program specialist for Central Whidbey state parks.

Donations will be suggested to help cover costs.

In total, Fort Casey State Park will be hosting six events this year. That includes the return of the wildly popular Haunted Fort, set for Oct. 20-21.

Last year, the two-day event drew more than 2,000 visitors with about 40 percent coming from off-island.

“It showed you it’s really not a Whidbey Island event,” Sharpe said.

“It’s a Northwest event.”

More than 100 volunteers assisted in helping convert Battery Kingsbury into a freak show with clowns, gouls, spiders and snakes popping out of dark corners and rooms.

“We’re going to add more rooms and more children’s games,” Sharpe said.

Also planned this year is an event on Aug. 5 to celebrate “National Lighthouse Day” and a “Light up your Holiday” event complete with Santa Claus, music, crafts and a campfire on Dec. 9.

The lighthouse will take center stage for those two events.

Fort Casey State Park is on the lookout for more lighthouse docent volunteers. Training starts in March.

School groups begin showing in April.

“We’re short on tour guides,” Sharpe said. “And we’re gearing up for a very busy season.”

n Those interested in volunteering as a lighthouse docent may reach Sharpe by email at Sharon.Sharpe@parks.wa.gov or by phone at 360-678-1186.

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