Roger Purdue signs Fine Art Prints and accepts award from the Penn Cove Water Festival Association May 2005

See more about Roger's life, with beautiful photos of his work, in Whidbey Life Magazine.

2017 Festival Sponsors:
Watch this space for new sponsors

Stillaguamish Indian Nation

The Penn Cove Water Festival is thankful for all our Sponsors (shown above) as well as the many Donors and Volunteers (listed below) who have made the 2017 (26th Anniversary) Festival a success:

Harold Anderson & Terry Bible
Anchorage Inn
Bay Printing
Marjorie Bachert
Susan Berta & Howie Garrett
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
Dave Bieniek & Ervin Knezek
Blue Fox Prints
Branch Business Services
Chehalis Tribe
Central Whidbey Fire & Rescue
Christopher's on Whidbey
Coupeville Arts & Crafts Festival
Coupeville Chamber of Commerce
Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association
Coupeville Lions Club
Coupeville Inn
Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation
Coupeville Sno-Isle Library
Coup's Last Stand
Michael Ferri & Jim Sherman
Friends of Coupeville Library
Front Street Realty
The Gewald Family
Harbor Gifts & Rentals
Dennis Hill
Humanities WA
Island County
Island County Historical Society/Museum
Jenne Farm
Jackie Feusier & Joe Walck
Langley Whale Center
Lavender Wind
Molly McPherson
Claude & Karen Merrill
Nahma Investments
Oakland County Sherriff’s Department
Vern & Martha Olsen
Orca Network
Pacific Rim Institute
Gary & Diana Paizzon
Penn Cove Shellfish
Peoples Bank
Jan Picard
Port of Coupeville
Puget Sound Energy
Sara Purdue
Ricardo & Vicky Reyes
Samish Tribal Nation
Roger &Darlene Sherman
Jim Short (Paddle Trophy Carver)
Lyla Snover
Stillaguamish Indian Nation
Swinomish Indian Tribe
The Crow's Roost
Toby's Tavern
Town of Coupeville
Tulalip Tribe
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island
Sue & Pat Waters
Whidbey Island Bank
Whidbey Weekly
Windermere Realty
Windjammer Custom Framing

For allowing us to post our Highway Banners, we thank:
Concrete NW, Oak Haebor
Carl Freund, Oak Harbor
Keystone Café at Coupeville Ferry Terminal
Les Schwab, Clinton
Ryan’s House, Coupeville

Without These Volunteers The Festival Would Not Continue!


Vicky Reyes - President
Julie Dougherty Winger - Secretary
Michael Ferrir - Treasurer
Anne Colligan
Benye Weber
Jackie Feusier
Mike Champion
Nina Goddeau
Tish Finnigan
Lou Labombard - Native Advisor


Arts & Crafts Vendors - Nina Goddeau
Art Show Coordinatiors - Jackie Feusier & Tish Finnigan
Bread Committee - Ginny Vracin & Anne Colligan
Canoe Race Coordinator - Susan Berta
Committee Boat Captain - Brian Vick
Communications & Facebook - Dave Fish
Educational Exhibitors - Julie Winger
Education Program for Schools - Vern Olsen
Entertainment - Vicky Reyes
Face Painting Lead for LEOS - Angella Contreras
Food Vendors - Anne Colligan
Graphics, Arts & Print Materials - Jackie Feusier
Hospitality for Entertainers & Pullers - Maddie Rose
Information Booth & Sales - Nina Goddeau
Operations & Facilities - Carl Klein & Tish Finnigan
Parking- Mike Champion
Publicity - Jackie Feusier
Public Awareness - Benye Weber
Race Announcers - Jim Freemen Jand Jim Hillaire
Race Photographer - Sue Waters
Race Safety Coordiator - Gary Piazzon
Race Starter - Pat Waters
Radio Communications - John Acton
Signage - Anne Klein & Diana Swisher
T-Shirt Manager - Nina Goddeau
Town Dinner - Molly Hughes
Volunteer Coordinators - Ricardo Reyes
Volunteer Dispatcher - Kay Foss
Youth Activities - Clara Beier
Web Administrator - Howard Garrett


Thanks to All our 2017 Volunteers!:

Boys & Girls Club Face Painters
Crystal Aguilar - Unit Director
Josie Prescott - Program Director
Chelsea Prescott
Christina Jump
Lupita Eagleton
Shameka Allen
Taygin Jump

Coupeville LEOS Club
Lion Chris Renfro
– Advisor
Lions Pat & John Kohlman – Mentors
Lion Bruce MacNair – Mentor
Lion Deanna Rogers – Mentor
Lion Marsha Phay – Mentor

LEOS Club Members
Anna Dion
Christian King
Jaden Marrs
Nanci Melendrez
Rubi Melendrez

LEOS Club Face Painters
Heather Nastali
Sofia Hassapis
Valen Trujillo
Willow Vick

Coupeville National Honor Society
Colleen Fox - Advisor
Claire Mietus
Dylan Hummel
Gabe Wynn
Hunter Smith
Kaela Hollrigel
Lainey Dickson
Nick Etzell
Will Nelson

Photos courtesy of the Island County Historical Society

Penn Cove Water Festival

Coupeville, WA

The Mission of the Penn Cove Water Festival Association is to continue an annual revival of the historic Coupeville Water Festival by bringing families together to enjoy Native American canoe racing, entertainment, crafts and culture, and by giving them a chance to learn about, appreciate, and protect the environment in which we all live.

The Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native Arts & Crafts Vendors, story telling, musical and dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, youth activities, exhibits and displays. Come visit this year or get involved today! Come visit this year or get involved today!

T-Shirts from this year's Penn Cove Water Festival (as well as some from past years) are available year round in Harbor Gift N' Kayak Rental on the Coupeville Wharf. The Festival posters and Roger Purdue's Fine Art Prints and Portfolios are available year round at the Island County Museum, at the corner of Alexander and Front Streets in Coupeville.

For a look at the meaning and purpose of the Penn Cove Water Festival, please see HonorWorks Presents: Penn Cove Water Festival

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The 2014 Festival is dedicated in Memory of

Roger Purdue 1938 - 2014

All pictures of Roger on this web site are used by permission of his Famiy.

Roger peeking over his newly installed Salmon Wheel, May 1996.

Roger Purdue wearing the blanket and cedar hat presented to him by the Penn Cove Water Festival Association and the Samish Tribe, with his daughter Gracie, February 2013.

We are deeply saddened to have to share the news that Coupeville artist Roger Purdue has passed away. Roger created the beautiful artwork for the Penn Cove Water Festival every year for two decades, and carved and painted the famous "Salmon Wheel" on the Coupeville Waterfront (now at the Island County Museum), and designed and oversaw the carving of the beautiful "Whale Wheel" that replaced it.

Roger is of Tsimshian heritage, and growing up on Orcas Island he developed a deep love for nature, salmon and whales. He was a teacher in Oak Harbor, and after retiring from teaching concentrated on his celebrated Northwest Native artwork and carvings, and was as prolific as he was talented. His generosity to the Penn Cove Water Festival and to the community will never be forgotten, and his beautiful, creative depictions of nature will live on forever.

There are no words to express the emptiness in our hearts on this day.

Appropriately, as I write this, a pod of Resident orcas is swimming up Admiralty Inlet, they have been traveling around the shores of Whidbey Island and Puget Sound for the past few days. We hope Roger's spirit is swimming along with them, free of the physical pain he has endured these past years. Our hearts and thoughts are with Roger's family - Sara, Wilbur and Gracie. Thank you for sharing Roger with us all these years - we know how much he loved you all.

We love you Roger ~

Susan Berta

Safe journey, Roger. We will miss you.


Support the Penn Cove Water Festival!
A 501 c 3 non-profit organization
Send your contribution to
Penn Cove Water Festival
PO Box 393
Coupeville WA 98239

For lodging and visitor information, please email Island County Tourism at

or visit:

The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce


Photo by Nathan Whalen / The Whidbey Examiner

Coupeville artist Roger Purdue shares a story with Coupeville resident Gary Piazzon during Sunday's gathering to celebrate the local artist.

Purdue honored for festival images

By Nathan Whalen, Examiner Staff Writer

A longtime Coupeville artist and educator was honored for his work helping the Penn Cove Water Festival this week.
Roger Purdue, a woodworker who has for decades designed the logo for the annual festival, was honored for the artwork he has contributed over the years.
Dozens of people, along with several representatives from the Samish Indian Nation, attended an event Sunday to unveil the latest logo for the Water Festival that takes place May 18 in Coupeville.
During the unveiling, Purdue received several gifts from the Samish Indian Nation, which is based in Anacortes.
He received a cedar hat decorated with an eagle feather and a button blanket, both of which were made by members of the Samish Nation.
"I'm at a loss for words. Thank you, thank you," Purdue said while Rosie Cayou, Samish Indian Nation cultural development coordinator, wrapped the blanket around Purdue and placed the hat on his head.
The blanket was made by Diana and Pat Dunn, also members of the Samish Tribal Nation.
Purdue has donated new designs for the Penn Cove Water Festival for more than 20 years.
Each logo, which will eventually be placed on posters and T-shirts promoting the festival, keeps within the Native American tradition highlighted by the festiveal each year.
Canoe racers from Native American tribes across the Puget Sound region and First Nations peoples in Canada descend upon Coupeville to compete in a day-long series of races in Penn Cove.
The Water Festival also features Native American dancers, singers, storytellers and foods.
Cayou sang two traditional songs during the image release event. She also touched upon the similarities between Purdue’s family history and herown. They both have roots on Orcas Island.
Purdue also ensured his legacy of Native American inspired images will continue to be featured in upcoming festivals.
He donated 15 years worth of images.
Susan Berta, longtime volunteer who helps organize the canoe races and head of the Orca Network, shared how Purdue started designing the images, the first of which was based on water drop and a canoe, and how they became more elaborate over the years.
"I'm so happy to have come to know you. Your generosity has been amazing," Berta said during the meeting.
The day also provided a chance for interested people to sign up to volunteer for the May 18 festival.
Organizers always need help to organize such an event that is held in two parts of Coupeville and takes leaders about 12 months to organize.


For information about the festival, to volunteer or to donate, visit the Penn Cove Water Festival page on Facebook or go to