Annual Events on Beautiful Orcas Island

There’s so much to see and do on Orcas Island that one visit might not seem like enough.  Don’t worry; there’s a plethora of annual events taking place all over Orcas Island each year that locals and visitors alike are sure to enjoy. Below are some of the most popular annual summer events that islanders look forward to every year.

 

August
Orcas Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from May through September, 10am -3pm. Fresh locally grown produce and plants; meet the farmers, local artisans & craftspeople. Handmade soaps, textiles, baskets, jewelry, candles, pottery & much more! Come visit us on Saturday.
— 360-317-8342.

Brown Bag Concert Series
Held at the Eastsound Emmanuel Episcopal Church every Wednesday in August the local Brown Bag Concerts feature local musicians and music groups performing a wide range of songs and styles.  No admission necessary but donations are welcome.

Orcas Fly-In
An annual gathering of pilots and aircraft from all over the Pacific coast held at the Eastsound Airport on beautiful Orcas Island.  Local and visiting aircraft include experimental models, military airplanes, and dazzling exhibition aircraft.  Fabulous artwork and souvenirs are available for sale around the airport terminal; the event is also benefited by the Volunteer Firefighters Association who host a pancake breakfast across the street at the Firehall.  Visitors can also enjoy the Orcas Road Classics annual Car Show on the lawn adjacent to the airfield where the locals display their meticulously restored and maintained vehicles.  The events are free to all; explore and enjoy this Orcas Island tradition!

Doe Bay Music Festival
An annual celebration of music, camping, and fun at the Doe Bay Resort and Retreat where local and visiting musicians and artisans come to display and discuss their crafts.  Enjoy food, music, art, and community in the relaxing, contemplative atmosphere that Doe Bay on Orcas Island provides to all.

Orcas Island Library Fair
An annual event since 1954 that includes a silent auction, art auction, quilt raffle, and of course lots and lots of books available for purchase.  The Orcas Island Library receives hundreds of donations in books, art, and local items including gift certificates and pottery; all available for perusing and purchase.  The event is a favorite of Orcas islanders and visitors alike be they collectors or casual shoppers looking for a good deal.  Food and local artist booths will also be present along with kids booths and youth activities put on by the Library.  The Fair is held each August at the Orcas Island Library in Eastsound on Orcas Island.

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival
Featuring two weeks of classical music presented by numerous local and visiting individual and group artists.  A wide range of performance styles and instruments are involved performing works by many great composers.  Takes place on Orcas Island during August at the Orcas Center in Eastsound.

Orcas Island Artists’ Studio Tour
This free 3-day annual event takes place in mid-August and features over thirty artists and their studios on display for public viewing.  Meet the artistic community of Orcas Island including sculptors, painters, woodworkers, blacksmiths and more; art can be purchased at any time during the events.

September
Orcas Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from May through September, 10am -3pm. Fresh locally grown produce and plants; meet the farmers, local artisans & craftspeople. Handmade soaps, textiles, baskets, jewelry, candles, pottery & much more! Come visit us on Saturday.
— 360-317-8342.

Steve Braun Memorial Triathlon
An annual event in early September hosted by the Friends of Moran at Moran State Park.  The event involves swimming, biking, and running in and around Cascade Lake and Orcas Island’s east side.  Prizes are presented at the start of the race by random drawing and proceeds go to benefiting Moran State Park projects.

Whale of a Show
An annual talent show put on by the community where kids from pre-school to high school can come and share their talents.  Profits go to benefit the Orcas Center’s youth program.  It is held annually at the Orcas Theatre and Community Center on the last Saturday of September.  Visit Orcas Island and enjoy this annual event celebrating and encouraging Orcas Island’s youth!

December
Friends of the Library Annual Silver Tea
An Orcas Island tradition for over fifty years the Annual Silver Tea is hosted by the Friends of the Library at the Orcas Public Library the first weekend in December.  Tea and refreshments are available throughout the event, which features a book sale, crafts for children, live musical entertainment, and a chance for kids to see Santa.

Winterfest
An annual celebration of Christmas in the traditional Celtic style.  Visiting artists from the United Kingdom come to the Orcas Island Community Church for a performance of Christmas carols and seasonal folk music using a wide variety of instruments.  Held the first weekend of December.

January
Polar Bear Plunge at Cascade Lake
Feeling tough enough to brave the frosty waters of Cascade Lake?  Join the annual Polar Bear Plunge on January 1st.  Sponsored by Orcas Island Rowing.

Orcas Island 25k and 50k Races
Sister events held at the end of January and beginning of February respectively.  The course is made up of hiking trails in Moran State Park and includes aid stations and drop bag resources.  Community space is rented out for the event and is available for celebrations before and after the races.

February
Orcas Has Talent
“Orcas Has Talent” is a fundraiser and fantastic show that showcases local talent.  Anyone high school age and above is welcome to audition; a separate contest is held for middle school kids with the winner receiving the opportunity to compete in the main event.  A panel of three judges selects contestants for the finale event after a live, open audition and audience members vote the best acts through three rounds in the main event, which takes place the second weekend in February.

March
Annual Music Advocacy Group Concert
The annual benefit concert for the Orcas Island School music program features several local musical groups with jazz, classical, and many other specialties.  Each year one of the school musical groups is selected to perform alongside the other musicians.  Admission is by donation; this event takes place the first weekend in March.

Annual Funhouse Commons Science Fair
All school age youth are invited to participate in this four hour event, held on the last weekend in March, where innovators show off their science projects.  Visitors can also enjoy exhibitions by local inventors as well as food and music.  Scholarships are awarded to high school participants for exceptional work.

April
Orcas Island Shakespeare Festival
Taking place in early April, the Annual Shakespeare Festival features a production by the Seattle Shakespeare Company, parades, and impromptu acting by Orcas musicians and performers both young and old as well as a variety of offerings from island restaurants, hotels and shops for visitors and locals alike. Restaurants and shops will feature Shakespearean Specials during the weekend transforming Orcas Island into a Salish Sea version of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Bill Yarlott Fishing Derby
Sponsored by the Friends of Moran this annual Orcas Island tradition takes place on the last Saturday in April.  Kids are encouraged to attend the event and prizes are donated by local businesses.

Annual Orcas Island Birdfest
The Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce hosts BirdFest, a celebration of birds!  Nature tours, workshops, fine art exhibition and scientific symposium; all focusing on the health and wonder of birds and grassroots solutions.  The event runs from late April into early May and features an art sale, science symposium, and birdhouse contest.

May
Orcas Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from May through September, 10am -3pm. Fresh locally grown produce and plants; meet the farmers, local artisans & craftspeople. Handmade soaps, textiles, baskets, jewelry, candles, pottery & much more! Come visit us on Saturday.
— 360-317-8342.

Kaleidoscope’s Annual Pet Parade
Taking place in the last week of May in Eastsound.  Residents of the community are invited bring their pets and participate in a parade through the town followed by show were pets of unusual size, shape, and quality can be displayed.  Sponsored by local businesses as a fundraiser for Kaleidoscope Preschool and Childcare Center.

Wolf Hollow’s Annual Bite of Orcas
Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center hosts an annual event featuring food and refreshments provided by local cafes and restaurants as a fundraiser for the Center; the event is held in late May.

June
Orcas Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from May through September, 10am -3pm. Fresh locally grown produce and plants; meet the farmers, local artisans & craftspeople. Handmade soaps, textiles, baskets, jewelry, candles, pottery & much more! Come visit us on Saturday.
— 360-317-8342.

Martin Lund’s One World Music Festival
Hosted by professional Jazz musician and Orcas Island resident Martin Lund this event features local and visiting musicians performing a dazzling array of Jazz vocal and instrumental music and is a favorite among islanders and visitors.  The festival is held in June around the time of the summer solstice.

Summer Solstice Parade through Eastsound
Orcas Islanders go all out for this annual parade with wacky colorful costumes, marching bands, a huge Earth ball, music and more. One of the best parades in the islands, this whimsical and always delightful foot parade begins at 12:00 noon and winds its way up North Beach Road ending at the Village Green where the Orcas Island Farmers’ Market will be in full swing. The parade is immediately followed by live music and dance performances at the Stage on the Green.

Orcas Island Garden Tour
An annual event held in late June featuring a self-guided tour of several local gardens grown and maintained by local green thumb enthusiasts.  A beautiful sight not to be missed!

Orcas Island Cider and & Mead Festival
Held at the Village Green in Eastsound during the last week of June the Cider Festival features live music, food, and of course a wide variety of cider and mead.  Individual producers and business from across the Pacific coast bring cider and mead for tasting and purchase as well as offering information and education about their produce.  Proceeds from the event benefit the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program.

Education Foundation’s ‘Food for Thought’ benefit dinner
Taking place in late June; this year’s dinner will be a “School’s Out for Summer” Barbecue and auction. The action starts at 5 pm at the Orcas Center. Tickets will be $95 each and will be on sale online and at the Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds go to support programs at our Orcas Island Public Schools.

July
Orcas Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from May through September, 10am -3pm. Fresh locally grown produce and plants; meet the farmers, local artisans & craftspeople. Handmade soaps, textiles, baskets, jewelry, candles, pottery & much more! Come visit us on Saturday.
— 360-317-8342.

Deer Harbor Fireworks Display
Waterfront fireworks in Deer Harbor at 10:30 pm on July 3rd.  Can be observed from boat or the shore.

Orcas Island 4th of July Celebration
A fireworks display funded by the community takes place at 10:30 pm on the Eastsound waterfront.  The Orcas Island Community Parade is held in Eastsound on the 4th of July weekend featuring locally made parade floats, antique cars, and public service vehicles in attendance.

Orcas Museum’s Historical Days Celebration
Takes place the first weekend in July.

Annual Salmon BBQ
Put on by the Orcas Island Lions Club on the first weekend in July.  Includes a full course meal with delicious smoked BBQ salmon alongside baked potatoes, coleslaw, and rolls.  Tickets are sold around town during the Fourth of July Parade as well as at the serving area at the American Legion Post 93 just outside of Eastsound.  Proceeds go to the Lions Club.

Olga Daze
A local community tradition.  Stop by Olga on the third Saturday in July to enjoy many events including a silent auction, local Olga Daze Parade, and kids activities.  The highlight is a raffle for a homemade quilt; an annual island tradition.  Visit Olga on Orcas Island and experience a piece of this community’s vibrant culture!

KindlingsFest
Hosted each summer at OICC on Orcas Island; KindlingsFest is an annual event celebrating art and culture and how it intersects with spiritual and intellectual growth.  It draws artists, writers, theologians, and professors from across the nation and the world and features discussions, lectures, art exhibition, and free time each evening where locals and visitors can share their creative talents for enjoyment and contemplation.