Throughout my 12-year journalism career, I’ve attended all kinds of different festivals and weekend celebrations — all in the name of writing a good story and painting a picture of the atmosphere and what it was like to experience it.
When I was a young television reporter at a small town in western Nebraska, my first real taste of the Midwest was filing one story a day for a week (and what seemed like millions of preview stories) during North Platte’s annual Nebraskaland Days festival. I even had to get dressed up in “Western wear” on the first few Fridays of leading up to the big event.
Needless to say, as a young reporter from California with minimal exposure to Midwest culture, I wasn’t exactly over the moon excited as the event approached.
But after experiencing Nebraskaland Days (and its city-wide parade) for the following few years, it kind of grew on me. I know look back rather fondly on the time.
My first experience this past weekend at the Maritime Gig Festival wasn’t nearly as eye-opening as Nebraskaland Days, but it served a similar purpose: to get a feel for the community by immersing oneself. My family and I walked the vendor booths, listened to the music on stage, got an up-close view of the Coast Guard harbor rescue demonstration and spent a lot of time around the kids’ booths (my 7-year-old couldn’t get enough).
Although I didn’t get a chance to see the parade (I have to save something for next year!), Saturday was a great opportunity to soak up the Gig Harbor vibes and get acclimated. I loved the fact the Maritime Gig isn’t overcrowded like the Freedom Fair in Tacoma, and you still get that great vibe of being close to the water. There were plenty of activities for children — and parents didn’t have to endure the soul-crushing long lines.
It’s great that there is also that connection with businesses on the waterfront, opening up opportunities for visitors stop in and look around while still feeling like part of the festival.
During my tenure as editor of The Gateway, I want to make sure I take the opportunity to experience as many community events as I can in order to get a complete feel for the communities that we cover and write about every week. If there is something you feel I need to experience, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop into our office.