How do you celebrate the 100th birthday of anything, let alone one of Washington most visited state park? That was the monumental challenge the Deception Pass Park Foundation undertook over a year ago. Its solution – spread the celebration throughout the year culminating in the revival of a tradition older than the park itself.
Through months of collaboration between Deception Pass supporters new and old, these celebrations became a reality.
Swing the Gates
Photo credits Michael Shroyer
Swing the Gates has been in the works since early 2020 and was unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic. However, it became the perfect way to symbolically “swing the gates” open for the park’s 100th birthday celebration. Three hundred runners, walkers, and K-9 companions set off on either a 5K race through the Cranberry Lake campground, or a unique 10K team scavenger hunt along the trails of the park. If you missed your chance, keep an eye out, we hope to release the 2023 Swing the Gates race date soon!
Past Park Manager Commemoration
No celebration of the past 100 years could be complete without celebrating the people who made it possible. In April, the foundation unveiled a new permanent installation to honor those park managers who have been responsible for shaping Deception Pass State Park for the past 100 years. The event was attended by past park managers and their friends and surviving family with addresses by Jon Crimmins, the Northwest Region Manager of Washington State Parks, and Rick Mossman, President Elect of the National Association of National Park Rangers.
Earth Day Restoration and Trail Maintenance Day
April 24 and June 4
When thinking about celebrating the past 100 years, the foundation also thought a lot about projects to make a positive impact on the next 100 years. Atop Goose Rock, they found the perfect project to tackle for this momentous year. Goose Rock is a spot known for its panoramic views as the highest point on Whidbey Island. It is also home to a delicate ecosystem of wildflowers formed over thousands of years being inadequately protected from trampling. That changed thanks to the patronage of Byron Skubi, M.D and Jane Mays, M.D. as well as our amazing community of volunteers. Over 100 intrepid volunteers across two events joined park staff to hand carry over 400 fence rails to the top of Goose Rock and then construct the fencing. We hope their efforts will keep these wildflower fields flourishing for future generations to enjoy.
The American Roots Concert Series
Every Saturday, July 2 to August 27
Photos from left to right: Miho and Diego, Briar, and audience of Anjali Silva and Sabor
Park staff always tell newcomers to arrive at least 30 minutes early if they want a seat to the beloved American Roots Concert series. Each week, over 350 visitors, new and old, attend these free concerts celebrating America’s wide variety of musical traditions. As an important part of the community, the foundation wanted to incorporate it into the celebrations. So, with sponsorship from Coldwell Banker 360 Team, the 2022 concert series is extended through the month of August for this centennial year!
The Community Picnic in the Park and Vintage RV Rally and Classic Car Show
In 1919, the Island County Farm Bureau created a space for people of different communities to come together for a day of fun and camaraderie. This picnic became an annual tradition and when the surrounding land was dedicated as a state park, it became the place where the park was dedicated in 1922.
Photo credits left to right: Michael Shroyer, Michael Shroyer, and Corinne Boroff
With live music, entertainment, food, and local vendors, the picnic was in much the same spirit as the original picnics. Families spread out in chairs and on picnic blankets in the grass of East Cranberry watching as musicians, a juggler, and even Washington State Park’s mascot – Bagley Beaver – entertained throughout the afternoon and evening.
Photo credit Michael Shroyer
As a nod to the camping and road trips of the past century, approximately 150 vintage RVs and classic cars lined the Cranberry Lake Campground’s Forest loop. The RV rally was an entire weekend affair and on Saturday, classic cars joined the party. Walking through the forest loop felt like a time machine through the past century. You could easily envision a time when these vehicles and campers were not considered vintage and could be found cruising throughout the park.
Photo Credits from left to right: Michael Shroyer, Michael Shroyer, and Corinne Boroff
To bring the picnic tradition into the 21st century, an amazing cohort of 11 local Washington breweries joined forces to create a beer garden fit for an entire beer festival. Each brewery donated custom brews styled in the theme of Deception Pass. Throughout the event, the beer garden was always a party.
We hope you were able to join us for some of these celebrations throughout the year! If you haven’t yet, we still have a month left of our free American Roots Concert series (but remember to show up by 6:30 PM if you want a bench seat). And if you missed the Centennial Beer Garden, Two Beers Brewing Co.’s Deception Pass Summer Ale is sold in six packs in stores across the state with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the foundation to support the park.
Thank You to Our Business Sponsors and Community Supporters
It is a massive undertaking to create a celebration fit for a centurion, but with a fearless foundation board, enthusiastic park staff, over 200 volunteers, and an amazing cohort of sponsors this celebration was possible.
Just a few of these people include, Jason Armstrong (Area Manager), Terica Ginther (Board President), Carol Bromel (Vice President and Lake Store Manager), Alicia Vertefeuille (Board Secretary), Cathy Rockwell (Board Treasurer), Dave Myers (RV Rally and Car Show Director), Mary Jane Feller (Beer Garden Director), Abdiel Ramirez, Dawn Glavick (Volunteer Coordinator), Emily Gilbert (creator of the 100 Year Magazine), Joy Kacoroski, Corinne Boroff, Jeffrey Blanchard, Elizabeth Bentz, Arnie Deckwa, Dean Maxell, Eric Schorr, Kembra Landry, Kristy Southard, Stephanie Hamilton, Rick Starr, Mandy Koelbl, Justina Burns, Austin Taylor, Mark Lunz, and Marvin Wold.
We especially want to thank Dwayne Lane’s Skagit Subaru for being our grand sponsor of all events, as well as our other sponsors: the Shrimp Shack Anacortes (our 2022 Park Patron), Frontier Building Supply, Two Beers Brewing Co., Anacortes Brewery, Coldwell Banker 360 Team, Deception Pass Tours, Whidbey Weekly, Anacortes Kayak Tours, Janicki Industries, Fairhaven Runners & Walkers, Baird Financial Mount Vernon, Flooring Connections Inc., Island Adventures Whale Watching, John L. Scott Anacortes Real Estate, Craft Stove, Skagit Tradition Realty, Skagit Valley Food Co-op, and Tradewinds Insurance.
Thank you also to the following people for underwriting our events: Byron Skubi, M.D. and Jane Mays, M.D.
Centennial Beer Garden Breweries (sponsored by Two Beers Brewing Co.):
192 Brewing Co., Anacortes Brewery, Chuckanut Brewery, District Brewing Co., Farmstrong Brewing Co., Flyers Restaurant and Brewery, La Conner Brewing Co., North Sound Brewing Co., Penn Cove Brewing Co., Two Beers Brewing Co., and Wicked Teuton Brewing Co.
Picnic in the Park Live Music and Entertainment (sponsored by Anacortes Brewery):
Cory Vincent, The Enthusiasts, Cascadia Groove, Wren Schultz, Miller Campbell, and The Chris Eger Band
Picnic in the Park Vendors:
Alchemist Creamery, Basketworks Northwest, C’N Sunshine, Cay Sal Pies, Kua Kua Corner, Mount Vernon Woodwork, My Brown Wren Jewelry, Sage Against the Machine, Sweet and Salty Silver, Twist of Light, Uluava-Gould, and Zig Zag Mountain Art.
Finally thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who came out during the year to make of these events possible.