Wooden Boat Festival

By Alice Winship

Chorus: There’ll be good times where we’re bound,
             A wooden boat reunion.
             Keep your engine turning round,
             We’re bound for Lake Union.

We’ll gather for that chanty sound
And at the stage for music.
We’ll pass the music all around.
The songs will ring; join in and sing.


You’ll see boats built in a day,
The Quick and Daring Boat Race.
And in a wink, we watch them sink.
The winning boat floats all the way. Hey!


The food is swell and one booth sells
Those tacos made of fishes.
Delicious smells and ringing bells,
Historic ships, and boat ride trips.


I thought I heard Dick Wagner say:
All ages learn together.
A boat can change your life today.
Get in a boat, away you’ll float.


You can come and disembark
From Captain Larry’s ferry.
Don’t bring your car, ‘cause you can’t park.
The fireworks start when it gets dark.



The Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival, held every Independence Day weekend since 1977, is sponsored by the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. The CWB was founded by Dick Wagner and his wife Colleen. Dick always has something inspirational to say about the positive effect that maritime heritage can have on people’s lives, especially youth at risk.

The monthly Northwest Seaport Chantey Sing is usually held on board the
visiting schooner Adventuress sometime just before or during the festival. There is more music during the festival on the music stage.

Farmboat is a farmer’s market held aboard old wooden boats at Lake Union Park.

The Seattle Ferry Service, owned by Captain Larry Kezner, operates a shuttle service across Lake Union from Fremont to Lake Union Park. He has a small passenger ferry, Fremont Ave, and a couple of launches.

If you’ve been there, you know about the parking.


  • Written by: Alice Winship
  • Arranged by : Alex Sturbaum
    • Wayne Palsson: lead vocal
    • Jean Geiger: harmony vocal
    • Chris Glanister: harmony vocal
    • Dan Roberts: harmony vocal
    • Everyone at The Virginia V Chantey Sing: “Hey!”