Events Manager Vicki Graham holds an oversized pair of Dutch wooden shoes. In the background are Holland Happening- related items lent for display by the community.
                                (Photo by Maria Matson)

Events Manager Vicki Graham holds an oversized pair of Dutch wooden shoes. In the background are Holland Happening- related items lent for display by the community. (Photo by Maria Matson)

Holland Happening 50th celebration starts Thursday

Parade, carnival and food will fill the weekend

Fifty years will be celebrated over four days during Holland Happening .

The annual event celebrates Oak Harbor’s Dutch roots this weekend with festivities including a grand parade, carnival, street fair, food and music, Klompen canal races and more.

“Fifty years only comes around once,” said Events Manager Vicki Graham.

Graham said she knew that, this year, they had to “go big.”

Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce is marking the anniversary with commemorative coins, T-shirts and candy bars with this year’s Holland Happening logo. They’ve also added more Klompen shoe races this year due to the popularity of the tradition in which wooden clogs float over a waterfall.

Winners include the ones first and last over the waterfall, Graham said.

Don’t forget to acquire wooden shoes at the Chamber beforehand.

This year, more than 100 entries are already enrolled in the parade, and more are expected Graham said.

There are 78 vendors providing a “smorgasbord” of items such as international food, ice cream, jewelry, crafts and more. The parade will have a float contest as well as a “best in show” winner.

Tickets for the carnival are on sale at the Oak Harbor Chamber.

The busy tradition takes over 200 volunteers along with the staff of four at the chamber to pull off, Graham said, and they’re thankful for their sponsors who make the event financially feasible.

The community has taken note of the significance of this year’s Holland Happening and has sent in a variety of items, according to Graham and Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Director Christine Cribb.

“The community has sent us old photos, posters, memorabilia and newspaper clippings of past years, and we have all enjoyed listening to the stories. We have a beautiful historic display in the chamber lobby created by Debbie Skinner,” Christine Cribb said in an email.

The display is open for public viewing during the chamber’s operating hours.

One community member who will be missed this year in particular, is Jan Ellis, who helped launch Holland Happening and died last year.

“I wish our dear friend Jan Ellis lived long enough to see all this excitement of celebrating 50 years,” Cribb said. “She was there year one.”

“It’s a labor of love. It’s a way of giving back to the community,” Graham said.

“Just come out and have a ball. We just greatly appreciate all the support we get from the community and the business community.”

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • Thursday: Davis Amusement Carnival begins at 4 p.m., and artwork from local elementary students will be displayed in store windows 5-7 p.m.
  • Friday: student artwork will be displayed all day, and the carni- val begins at 3 p.m.
  • Saturday: student artwork will be displayed all day. International Street Fair will go 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and live music at Hal Ramaley Park also starts at 10 a.m. The Grand Parade and carnival start at 11 a.m. and the Rotary Walk of Honor Car Show is at 1 p.m. The Klompen Canal Races are 2, 4 and 6 p.m.
  • Sunday: student artwork displayed all day. International Street Fair is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The carnival starts at noon. The three Klompen Canal Races are 12, 2 and 4 p.m.
Events Manager Vicki Graham shows off this year’s t-shirt designs.
                                (Photo by Maria Matson)

Events Manager Vicki Graham shows off this year’s t-shirt designs. (Photo by Maria Matson)

Commemorative coins will be sold, marking the festival’s 50th year. They are available for purchase at the Chamber for $10 while supplies last.
                                Photo provided.

Commemorative coins will be sold, marking the festival’s 50th year. They are available for purchase at the Chamber for $10 while supplies last. Photo provided.

More in News

3 transported in head-on accident

Three people were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Wednesday after… Continue reading

Eagle shot | Island Scanner

The following items were chosen from reports made to the Island County… Continue reading

Field carrier landing practices May 27- June 2

Aircraft carrier-based flight training operations are scheduled to occur at the Naval… Continue reading

Man on the run enters Oak Harbor house without permission

A 22-year-old man on the run from the law went into a… Continue reading

Navy officer pleads guilty to lesser charge of assault

A Navy flight officer who was assigned to a squadron at Naval… Continue reading

Splash park name decided in contest

Children will be splashing and having fun at Shipwreck Shores this summer.… Continue reading

Road repair tax headed to the ballot

This November, Oak Harbor residents will likely get the chance to vote… Continue reading

Fire destroys fifth wheeler

Firefighters with North Whidbey Fire and Rescue extinguish a fire that destroyed… Continue reading

Plan for more cops on street gets nod

Changes are coming to the Oak Harbor Police Department. Tuesday, Oak Harbor… Continue reading

Most Read