Whaling Days bringing the fun 35 years later

Large crowds attended last weekend’s festival, enjoying the rides and vendor booths.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Large crowds attended last weekend’s festival, enjoying the rides and vendor booths.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The smell of elephant ears, barbecue and cotton candy wafted through the air this weekend for the 35th year in a row.

Thousands flocked to Old Town Silverdale for Whaling Days to watch fireworks, listen to good music and buy their sunglass-clad rubber duckies at the last minute before Sunday’s Great Kitsap Duck Race.

Brandon Kluk, of Bremerton, and his family attended Whaling Days for the first time this year. Kluk, his wife, Beth, 3-year-old Madalyn and 5-month-old Michaela ventured to Old Town Silverdale for Saturday’s festivities.

“We missed it last summer and didn’t have anything to do today so we came out for a good time,” Kluk said.

Kluk and his family enjoyed food, music and the carnival rides along the waterfront throughout the day. “This is awesome,” he said. “There’s great music, lots of people, good rides.”

Three-year-old Madalyn enjoyed the carnival rides, especially the Ferris wheel. She also devoured a tasty funnel cake with her family. Even 5-month-old Michaela enjoyed herself as she bounced along to the live music blaring from the Coors Main Stage.

“They’re having a blast,” Kluk said. “We already blew our money on the rides so everybody had fun.”

Kluk said he plans to bring his wife and two daughters to Whaling Days again in the future.

“No doubt about it as long as we’re in town,” Kluk said with a smile.

Colorful tents lined the streets of Old Town Silverdale. Vendors sold goods ranging from sunglasses and jewelry to Pez dispensers and Uncle Stinky’s Magic and Novelties. People enjoyed barbecue, tacos, snow cones and smoothies as well.

Mark Ward, of Silverdale, and his family just returned from a week-long camping trip to Wenatchee Friday, but hit the streets of Old Town Silverdale Saturday afternoon. Ward and his family have attended Whaling Days for about 10 years and didn’t want to miss this year’s festival.

“It’s a local happening,” Ward said.

Ward, his wife, Janet, 8-year-old Anna and 5-month-old Michael enjoyed dinner at Whaling Days Saturday. Anna, a rising third-grader at Silverdale Elementary School, was looking forward to gobbling up an elephant ear for dessert.

“We came down for dinner and thought we’d wander around for a little bit,” Ward said.

At past Whaling Days festivals, Anna participated in the Kids’ Dash, but after a week of camping, she was “a little too tuckered out for running,” according to her mom, Janet.

Ward enjoys listening to the live music at Whaling Days and checking out the sights throughout the weekend festivities.

“The bands on the main stage of course and people watching,” he said with a smile.

Check out more Whaling Days fun

To view, as well as purchase, photos of all the Whaling Days activities, visit

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