Penn Cove Water Festival
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 Penn Cove Water Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native arts and crafts, demonstrations, storytelling, dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, children's activities, and exhibits and displays. 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 Windjammer at the head of the Coupeville Wharf.
For a look at the meaning and purpose of the Penn Cove Water Festival, please see HonorWorks Presents: Penn Cove Water Festival
Photos courtesy of the Island County Historical Society
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
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
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 penncovewaterfestival.com.
Pollution from run-off can harm and devastate marine life, even in Penn Cove, but it can be reduced significantly by residents everywhere. It starts where Puget Sound starts: here. Here are a few basic guidelines.
If you use chemicals like pesticides or fertilizer on your yard please be very cautious and if possible eliminate them entirely. When phosphorus in fertilizer washes off of our lawns into lakes, rivers, and eventually into Puget Sound, it causes rapid growth of weeds and smelly algae blooms that can harm fish, wildlife and public health.
Check under your car for oil spots, and if you see them, you're not only wasting oil, you are also polluting the land, which runs off into the rivers and streams, or directly into Puget Sound. If you wash your car, soap and oily residues can run into the Sound as well. Please use commercial car washes with controlled drains whenever possible.
Bacteria from pet waste can raise fecal coliform in Puget Sound to unhealthy levels, so please bag up and dispose of pet waste. If your septic system is in disrepair it may be leaching coliform into the soil and the Sound. Make sure your septic system is functioning well.
Wherever we live – in cities, suburbs or rural areas, from the South Sound to the North Sound and throughout the Salish Sea, our daily actions can contaminate stormwater runoff with pollution. Untreated stormwater flows down gutters and ditches, over roads and yards and into storm drains, or directly into streams, rivers and lakes and into Puget Sound – where it impairs reproduction and lowers immunity of the full range of marine organisms, from microscopic plankton to the Southern Resident orcas.
To learn more about how pollutants run off the land into Puget Sound and how to reduce them, see: