Amelia MacLean and twin brother Wallace make a mad dash to scoop up candy tossed out at the Holland Happening parade.
                                (Photos by Maria Matson/Whidbey News-Times)

Amelia MacLean and twin brother Wallace make a mad dash to scoop up candy tossed out at the Holland Happening parade. (Photos by Maria Matson/Whidbey News-Times)

Oak Harbor’s Dutch treat

Holland Happening celebrates 50 years

Oak Harbor’s 50th annual Holland Happening festival went off without a hitch for another year.

The four day, traditional celebration is centered around Dutch heritage but is branded an international festival that brings together vendors, parade participants and artisans of all nations, reflecting the multiculturalism of Oak Harbor.

The sun shined on the bustling parade, in which Chris Skinner of Oak Harbor was honored as this year’s parade grand marshal. The festival, which regularly draws thousands from on and off Whidbey Island, featured wooden shoe float racing, tulips aplenty and over 100 parade entries.

Leroy Riepma and his granddaughter Sadie usher in the Holland Happening as part of the traditional street sweeping that opens the parade.

Leroy Riepma and his granddaughter Sadie usher in the Holland Happening as part of the traditional street sweeping that opens the parade.

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington wave to the crowd at the Holland Happening parade, now in its 50th year.

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington wave to the crowd at the Holland Happening parade, now in its 50th year.

Amelia MacLean, 2, dances with excitement as the Holland Happening parade proceeds.

Amelia MacLean, 2, dances with excitement as the Holland Happening parade proceeds.

Oak Harbor Fire Department firefighter Dallas Brodt casually hoses down the street at the beginning of Saturday’s Holland Happening parade, which was swept immediately after by the traditional street sweepers.

Oak Harbor Fire Department firefighter Dallas Brodt casually hoses down the street at the beginning of Saturday’s Holland Happening parade, which was swept immediately after by the traditional street sweepers.

A high five from the dark side: Darth Vader, also known as Christian Vasileff of Oak Harbor, high fives six-year-old Dylan Sculley as four-year-old Blake Boyer smiles after a high-five of his own.

A high five from the dark side: Darth Vader, also known as Christian Vasileff of Oak Harbor, high fives six-year-old Dylan Sculley as four-year-old Blake Boyer smiles after a high-five of his own.

A student of Woodward’s Tae Kwon Do Academy demonstrates his kick.

A student of Woodward’s Tae Kwon Do Academy demonstrates his kick.

The downtown Oak Harbor mermaid was dressed up Dutch-style for the Holland Happening street fair, which included more than 70 vendors.

The downtown Oak Harbor mermaid was dressed up Dutch-style for the Holland Happening street fair, which included more than 70 vendors.