Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market is Open for the Season!

The Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday through September

The Oak Harbor Public Market (most people call it the “Farmer’s Market”) has opened for the season, with the first market held last Thursday the 19th of May.  It runs from 4-7 PM each Thursday through September, and maybe longer if the weather permits.

The video below shows the first market of this year. Since it opened early this season, the turnout was a bit sparser than typical, but it is also a little early in the year for the farmers to have much produce to bring to market!

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The market is located on  Hwy 20 in Oak Harbor, between the North Whidbey Middle School and the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce.  The map below is interactive, you can zoom or pan for better detail:

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Whidbey Island Wins Best of the Northwest Escapes!

Whidbey Island – The Best Island Getaway – in Evening Magazine’s Best of the Northwest Escapes!

Two weeks ago I told you about some of the exciting things that had just happened on Whidbey Island, and that I was excited to hear what the next 7 days would bring.  Well the news was great  again last week:  King-5 TV’s Evening Magazine has released the results of their Best of the Northwest Escapes for 2011 Awards, and Whidbey Island fared really well.  In addition to receiving the award for Best Island Getaway, we also scored in many other areas.  I’ve tried to provide web links to every winner, so bookmark this page and come back to it often:

1st Place – Best Island Getaway Whidbey Island!

1st Place – Best State Park, Best CampgroundDeception Pass State Park, North Whidbey Island

1st Place – Best Lighthouse – Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Fort Casey State Park, Coupeville

2nd Place – Best Roadside AttractionDeception Pass

2nd Place – Best Boating AdventureDeception Pass Tours – Cornet Bay, North Whidbey Island

2nd Place – Best Eco AdventureAnacortes Kayak Tours, Anacortes (so technically not on Whidbey Island, but they do tours out of Deception Pass State Park that are great fun)

3rd Place – Best Bed & BreakfastBlue Goose Inn, Coupeville

3rd Place – Best Surfing DestinationFort Ebey State Park, Coupeville, WA

3rd Place – Best Place to Watch a Sunset – Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Park, (again, technically not on Whidbey Island, but in Deception Pass State Park…and you can get the same sunset at West Beach in Deception Pass State Park on the Whidbey Island side of the bridge!)

4th Place – Best Hiking TrailEbey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, Coupeville

4th Place – Best Whale Watching AdventureWhidbey Island Kayaking Company, Langley, WA

Getting to Whidbey Island4th Place – Best Storm WatchingDeception Pass State Park, North Whidbey Island

 4th Place – Best Picnic Spot  – Deception Pass State Park, North Whidbey Island

4th Place – Best Scenic DriveWhidbey Island Scenic Isle Way

5th Place – Best Windsurfing Destination – Windjammer Park (also/formerly known as City Beach Park), downtown Oak Harbor

5th Place – Best Bird WatchingEagles on Whidbey Island

Congratulations to all the award winners, and congratulations to all the residents of Whidbey Island who work so hard to make such this a wonderful place to live!

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Oak Harbor Community-wide Open House May 14-15

Come Visit Our Open Houses on May 14 & 15, 2011, in Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, WA

This weekend there will be more than 60 Oak Harbor homes and condos for sale that are being held open for viewing as part of our Community-wide Open House.  All the major real estate companies are participating, so this will be a good opportunity to see a lot of interesting homes without having to go to the trouble of scheduling appointments to view them.   For the link to all the homes being held open this weekend, see the bottom of this post.

I will be holding two homes open this weekend:

430 Elderberry Street – Open Saturday May 14th, 1-4 PM

1499 SE 9th Avenue #301– Open Sunday May 15th, 1-4 PM 

430 Elderberry Street, Open House on Saturday, May 14th, from 1-4 PM

1499 SE 9th Avenue #301, Open House on Sunday May 15th, from 1-4 PM


 

To see the full list of homes being held open click here for the Oak Harbor Community-wide Open House  list.

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Meerkerk Gardens approaching full bloom

Today was a great day to visit Meerkerk Gardens.  It was a sunny and warm day, so we headed to Meerkerk Gardens to take in the sights and enjoy the Mother’s Day Concert on the lawn.  Meerkerk Gardens is suffering the same weather delays as the Skagit County Tulips, so while the rhododendrons normally would be at full bloom by now, it looks like it will be another week or two before they reach full bloom. 

But as you can see from the pictures here, there are still plenty of rhodies and other flowers in bloom, including the cherry trees, the daffodils, and azaleas.   

If you would like to see the rhododendrons in full bloom, plan on making one of these upcoming events:

Meerkerk Magic Festival of Flowers and Fairies
Saturday, May 14th  Noon – 4pm

An Evening of Wine and Rhodies
Saturday, May 21st 4pm

 

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Another great week on Whidbey Island

It has been a great week here on Whidbey Island.   Last Friday was the beginning of Holland Happening, and the weather was absolutely perfect for the entire celebration, which was a good thing since Pioneer Way is dirt right now as part of the massive renovation, and the Street Fair looked like it was being held in a Wild West town!
 
An A-3 Skywarrior lands at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Friday. Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

Also last Friday, we saw the arrival of the A-3 Skywarrior that will be placed on display to welcome visitors to NAS Whidbey Island at the corner of Ault Field Road and Langley Boulevard at the main entrance to the base.

Then on Monday, we got word that Whidbey Island was selected by the viewers of King-5’s Evening Magazine as the  “Best Local Island Excursion” in their “Best Northwest Escapes” poll of 2011!  (I’ll link the video as soon as it becomes available).

On Tuesday, we found out that one of our local businesses won an award from the National Association of Home Builders for “green” building.  The company, Zero-Energy Plans, LLC of Coupeville, is the design arm of local builder Clifton View Homes.  Congratulations on winning this prestigious award!

I can’t wait to see what the next 7 days bring!

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Holland Happenings

It is finally the big weekend here in Oak Harbor!  The official welcome to Spring, and the unofficial kickoff to our seasonal visitors.  There is a lot to see and do, beginning with the Family Carnival today (Friday, Apr 29th, 2011), and continuing through the weekend.  Here are a few of the events from the official Holland Happening website:

 
Friday:
29 Family Carnival on Bayshore Dr.
   
Saturday:
30 Family Carnival, Bayshore Drive
30 8:30am OHCS Eagle Run, Bayshore Drive/Hwy 20
30 10am Street Fair Open, Pioneer Way
30 11am Grand Parade, Bayshore Drive
30 Noon International Stage Open, East Pioneer Way
30 7pm Street Fair Close
   
Sunday:
01 10am Street Fair Open, Pioneer Way
01 Family Carnival, Bayshore Drive
01 2pm Klompen Canal Races, Pioneer Way
01 5pm Street Fair Close

 

Come out and have fun.  If you are driving in from Seattle, it is a great opportunity to also stop by and see the tulips which are still in bloom over near LaConner.

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Okay, so it isn’t on Whidbey Island, but the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is just a few minutes off-island, and is a must-see for anyone who is venturing this way.  It takes place during the month of April each year.  The Daffodils are in full bloom right now,  although with the wet weather this year, the tulips are blooming a little late, and I expect they will continue into early or mid-May.

The Roozengaarde Nursery has a great interactive map that will let you see the status of blooms in each of the fields, and if you click on the flower at each field you can see what variety of tulip is planted there. 

A great day trip from the Seattle area is to come north on I-5 to Conway, travel through the Tulip fields, and then head west to Whidbey Island via Deception Pass Bridge.  Take SR 20 south to HWY 525, and then home on the Mukilteo Ferry.  It makes for a fun day, with lots of great sights to see along the way.

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Whidbey Island – Upcoming Events for April & May, 2011

There are a lot of fun family events coming up in the next couple of months here on Whidbey Island.  The weather is great, and it is time to enjoy the outdoor activities that Whidbey Island is famous for.   (updated 4/14)

4/18-19 Meerkerk Gardens Botany Adventure Tour Guide Training

 

4/16  5th Annual Earth Day Festival at Bayview Corner, Whidbey Island

 

 

4/23 Welcome the Whales, Langley, WA – sponsored by the Orca Network and the Langley Chamber of Commerce

 


4/24 Greenbank Farm Easter Egg Hunt

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4/30 OHCS Eagle Run

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4/26-5/1 Holland Happening Carnival

4/30 Holland Happening Grand Parade

4/29-5/1 Holland Happening Festival

5/1 Holland Happening Klompen Canal Races

 

5/7 BBBS Bowl for Kids Sake

 

5/7-8 Oak Harbor Yacht Club Round Whidbey Race

 

 

 

5/8 Meerkerk Gardens Mothers Day Concert

 

5/14 Penn Cove Water Festival

 

 

 

 

5/21-22 Spring Wine Tasting at Greenbank Farm

 

 

 

 

 

Recurring Whidbey Playhouse “Murder in the Magnolias”

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/28 Coupeville Memorial Day Parade

 

 

 

If you know of additional events, or would like your event added here, just let me know in the comments.

 

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The Whales are Back!

It is one of the first signs of spring in Puget Sound…the return of the gray whales to our waterways.  Whidbey Island’s first gray whale sighting of 2011 is now on record on the 3rd of March, courtesy of the Orca Network based out of Greenbank, WA, here on Whidbey Island.  The first sighting of a gray whale, believed to be #53, was while it was feeding in Saratoga Passage between Camano Island and Whidbey Island.   Meanwhile, the Orca whales have been very active for several weeks around Whidbey Island, particularly around the south end of the island, but this was our first gray whale sighting.

"Ruffles" - Photo by John Boyd July 21, 2008

Unfortunately, we also received some bad news last week:  one of the oldest visitors to our waterways is missing this year.  Ruffles, the patriarch of the Orca “J” pod, seems to be missing this year, and is presumed to have passed away. 

 

You can follow along with the latest sightings of whales in Whidbey waters at the Orca Network sightings web page.

The Orca Network will also be hosting the annual “Welcome the Whales” celebration in Langley on April 23,2011.

 

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Whidbey Island – Upcoming Events

Whidbey Island has all sorts of fun events, year around.  We aren’t just a summer destination!  Here are some of the fun and interesting events happening on Whidbey Island for February, March, and April, 2011:

Jan 28 – Feb 13:  “The Philadelphia Story” – at the Whidbey Playhouse Theatre, Oak Harbor.  Check schedule

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   Feb 12-13:  Red Wines & Chocolate – at Greenbank Farms

  

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Feb 26-27:  Langley Mystery Weekend – Presented by the Langley Chamber of Commerce 

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March 4-6:  Penn Cove Mussel Fest in Coupeville

March 6:   Coupeville Art & Antique Walk

 

 

  

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March 12:   Oak Harbor Boys & Girls Club Auction

March 17:   St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Oak Harbor

March 24:  Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Members Expo

March 26:  Greenbank Farm Garden Faire Market

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April 1-3:  Whidbey Writer’s Conference in Coupeville

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April 1 -30:  Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in and around La Conner

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 April 9:   Whidbey Island 5K Fun Run/Walk

April 10:   Whidbey Island Marathon (Rated in the Top 10 Worldwide).

 April 18:  Meerkerk Gardens Magic Festival of Flowers

 

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  April 24:  Greenbank Farm Easter Egg Hunt

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.April 30:  OHCS Eagle Run

April 26-May 1:  Holland Happenings Carnival (links to follow as we get closer)

April 29-May 1:  Holland Happenings Festival

April 30:  Holland Happenings Grand Parade

If you know of other events, leave me the details in a comment and I’ll add them in.

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