Port of Edmonds hosting National Marina Day event

NMD-at-Port-of-Edmonds

Photo Credit: Tom Ringold, Google+

By Christopher Gerber
April 26, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day is hitting docks on Saturday, June 8, and industry leaders are looking to step up participation in the event’s 12th year.

The Association of Marina Industries is hoping to broaden it’s reach even further this June and bring the whole industry together for a nationwide event, and has pulled together industry organizations to provide tyros and pros with hands-on boating experience and spread the word about marine grassroots efforts.

“Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day is truly a celebration of the boating community from coast to coast,” said Wendy Larimer, AMI’s legislative coordinator, in a release. “Momentum is building and to make these local events a success, support, enthusiasm and grassroots efforts by the recreational boating industry are needed to bring each event to life around the country.”

For the first time in the event’s 12 years, National Marina Day is partnering Discover Boating’s Welcome to the Water campaign and other trade groups including the NMMA, MRAA, National Safe Boating Council, RBFF, BoatUS and the American Sailing Association.

“Our goal is to bring together marine-related businesses to achieve a shared goal—to grow participation in boating—and, at the same time, provide the opportunity for each business to achieve its own objectives,” said Carl Blackwell, Discover Boating president, said in a release. “Whether you’re a dealer, marina, manufacturer, distributor or service provider, we need your help to welcome more people to boating through this nationwide boating event.”

Fun, food and Sea Jazz

For marinas that already host events, Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day provides an additional opportunity to connect with current boaters and give interested boaters experience and knowledge to join the boating lifestyle.

Pacific Northwest marina Port of Edmonds, located north of Seattle in Edmonds, Wash., had participated in National Marina Day years before, but executive director Marla Kempf admitted that the last few years have made it tough to pull an event together.

This year, with incentives from the Northwest Marine Trade Association and the Grow Boating committee, Port of Edmonds is putting together an event filled with education, music and, of course, food.

Without the budget for a blowout event, Kempf began contacting those she knew around the industry to see if they were interested in setting up a booth and providing a little education or information for attendees.

“I decided that it wouldn’t take me too much to pull together people that I know that are key players in the industry and just put an email out to them and see if they’re interested in participating,” Kempf said.

As responses came in, Kempf received more suggestions of who to invite, resulting in an event with reps from yacht clubs, non-copper paint companies, Washington State Fish and Wildlife and local hatcheries, and performances by local award-winning high school jazz musicians.

Getting food was the toughest part, but with reimbursement from the NWMTA and the Grow Boating committee, Kempf was able to invite a couple of local restaurants to come serve food.

Attendees will receive a punch card that they can present to each of the exhibitors present, and after learning a little bit from those stations, turn it in to a food vendor for free food.

“I think it’s great that NWMTA and the Grow Boating committee have decided to help with funding because just a little bit of funding can go a long way on an event like this,” Kempf said.

“The biggest deal is getting someone to come in to do food, and so it helps to get people to get involved in it. Really want to thank NWMTA and the Grow Boating committee for offering that. And sort of connecting us with this National Marina Day event so that we can participate in this event with other marinas across the nation.”

To market the event, Port of Edmonds is getting creative, reaching out to local media outlets for coverage and to local boating blogs. Kempf said the marina will also be placing an ad in the newspaper.

For tenants and the community

Port of Edmonds also hosts other events, including an annual waterfront festival, where the marina brings in classic yachts, arts, crafts and food vendors, with proceeds to benefit the local rotary. But Kempf said that this event can be a bit of an interruption for the tenants, and the National Marina Day event is the marina’s way of thanking them for it.

“This is a great thing to do as a community event that will be for tenants and new boaters, as well as friends of tenants,” said Kempf. “We use it as a thank you to the tenants for other big events.”

Port of Edmond’s National Marina Day event is scheduled for 10 am – 2 pm on June 8th in Edmonds, Wash.

To sign up to host an event or to find scheduled events in your area, visit NationalMarinaDay.org.

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