Summer is winding down, but Whidbey residents still have ample opportunity to end the season on a high note as organizations all across the island host the final events of the summer.
The fun starts Labor Day weekend with the return of the Oak Harbor Music Festival for its ninth year. Thirty local bands and musicians will play at the festival, with performances taking place throughout the day on two stages in downtown Oak Harbor.
“We are ready to rock this rock,” said festival president Cynthia Mason, calling this year’s line-up of performers “stacked.”
The festival runs Sept. 3-5. There will also be 25 arts and crafts vendors and 10 food vendors for festival goers to enjoy.
The festival board is encouraging attendees to mask up in compliance with current state mandates. Mason said masks, face shields and hand sanitizer will be publicly available. The Island County mobile vaccine clinic will also be on the premises from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“The board is committed to make all guests comfortable with coming to celebrate summer’s end with great music and sharing time with family, friends and all our visitors,” Mason said.
On the South End that same weekend, Meander Dance Collective, a new adult dance company founded by Beck Diamond, opens their first show at 6 p.m. Sept. 3-5 at the South Whidbey State Park Amphitheater.
On Sept. 18, the last weekend before autumn officially begins the following Wednesday, local nonprofit Friends of the Langley Library is celebrating its 100th year with an outdoor street fair on Second Avenue in Langley. The event will take place from 1-4 p.m.
“The Friends of the Langley Library was incorporated in Washington 100 years ago with the goal of improving our Langley community and, in particular, to create and fund a new library,” said Centennial Co-Chair Kathleen Petrich in an email. “One hundred years later we have a fabulous Langley Library (part of the Sno-Isle Library System) that provides wonderful books, media, technical resources, reference research assistance and events to the Langley community and beyond.”
Fair attractions include a book sale, raffle prizes, historical tours, cupcakes, live music, a children’s area and remarks from Friends of the Langley Library President Jill Edwards, Langley Library Branch Manager Vicky Welfare, Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Lois Langer Thompson, Langley Mayor Scott Chaplin and other event sponsors.
That same weekend, the Whidbey Island Kite Festival is returning after a 2020 hiatus. The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 18 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Camp Casey in Coupeville.
Events at the festival include mass ascensions of certain types of kites, challenges for fliers, competitions and choreographed demonstrations from sport kite fliers, kite flying lessons and a raffle.
There will also be children’s events, including a teddy bear drop, kite-making stations and a “running of the bols,” in which kids will race into the wind with kites tied around their waists.