2021 Olympia Harbor Days Lite with South Sound Maritime Association

Olympia Harbor Days 2021 Lite with South Sound Maritime Association

I have photographed this event three times now, well Olympia Harbor Days twice and Olympia Harbor Days Lite once. This is always such a well put on event with something interesting to see every time.

With covid last year (2020) the event was moved to online only. This year, 2021, was a hybrid. It was so spacious with plenty of room to roam around and view the mini tugs, RC tugs, live music performances and participate in the Lego Harbor Build as well as the Hands on Children’s Museum STEM activity: Racing Rumble Tugs.

I had a lot of wonderful interactions with people at the event. With any event I like to attempt to make friends with anyone I photograph. I do my best to ask people’s permission before I photograph their kids enjoying their time at Olympia Harbor Days. I also approach adults having a great or relaxing time if I can photograph them. This makes for really interesting conversation.

What I found out the day after the event was the following: 99% attendants wore masks and 1,992 people attended Olympia Harbor Days Lite.

Below are images from the event, I am also going to share a little more about my interactions I had with people who attended Olympia Harbor Days Lite 2021.

Who teamed up with Olympia Harbor Days this year?

This year the Olympia Harbor Days Lite event was made possible by the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association and other sponsors. This isn’t the first time that the South Sound Maritime Heritage Association has helped make Olympia Harbor Days possible. They were involved between 1974-2011. Its so wonderful that they are back! The South Sound Maritime Heritage Association has a wonderful website with a lot of interesting information and of course photographs or Olympia Harbor Days past. Check out this great page they have that shares information about their involvement with Olympia Harbor Days:

The dogs of Olympia Harbor Days Lite 2021

Have you seen these?

Although there were no vendors to buy from this year at Olympia Harbor Days Lite, there were a couple creators that love the event and visited anyway. If they were carrying something interesting I stopped them and asked about it. Like this wonderful gentleman. He was carrying around a beautiful hardwood boat that seemed awfully familiar. He was also wearing a Olympia Harbor Days shirt which of course lets me know this person is a huge fan of the event. I stopped him for a photograph and asked about the boat. His name is Curits and he shared with me that he has been doing this for some time and that these are replicas of real tugboats. The one I recognized was the TEAL. If you go his website you will learn a little about each tugboat he has made. But I feel like the photos just don’t do it justice. They were so beautiful. Go check it out over here: you can also checkout his Facebook page here

Go checkout PNW Tugboats out

The debut of a new mini tug:

The mini tugs were very popular in attracting people to the event space this year. They were spread out around the Port Plaza. There was a debut of a new mini tug…drumroll please…the Chauny C. Built by Bob Peck for his wife Chauny. It took 3 years to make, and is larger than the first one made by the Jane B because the first one was made in an apartment. I got to speak to Bob and Chauny at the event and loved how she beamed with pride and love at the work her husband had done on this magnificent piece.

The debut of the Chauny C

The RC Tugs:

The RC tugs is one of my favorite booths to visit each year. The Lanza family that runs this are so warm and welcoming.  This year Olympia Harbor Days wanted photographs of each RC Tug and I think it was a good time to do it because Bryce is heading to college this year. Good luck with college Bryce and thank you so much for helping me photograph each and every RC tug you all have made! The detail of each of these boats is awesome. Every year I see something new that I didn’t the previous year. For those of you who don’t know some of these tugs can squirt water at spectators. Which is a lot of fun for the little ones and adults who are working in the hot sun like me. I believe it was around 74 that day.

The Lanza family with some of their favorite RC tugs.

A lovely couple:

There was a lovely couple I met at Olympia Harbor Days who looked like they were having a fabulous time. They shared with me they had been married for nearly 62 years. Of course me coming out of wedding season I had to ask if they had any wisdom to share. The husband very amusingly said if who I was married to was not a nice person I should tell him to go… it was great. Then after joking around they got serious for a moment. “Work it out, whatever it is just work it out, talk about it.” This is such valuable advice. I hope it helps someone out there. I know with me and my husband we can sometimes go on for hours trying to work something out but then its done we are happier for it.

The Lego Harbor Build:

This was where things were really happening! Everyone had an opportunity to build something at this table. The kids and adults too. I saw a lot of parental figures getting involved with what their kids were doing at this table. There was a Duplo section and a Lego section. My favorite interaction her was with Captain Dan as he explained how he goes about building the tugboat out of Lego and Duplo. He combines different pieces to incorporate with the Duplo which helps the structure as well as the size of the tugboat. You can learn to make your own lego tugboat here: OHD 2020 Lego Video – YouTube

The Lego Harbor Build at Olympia Harbor Days

Need more?

Checkout my images on The Sandman Tug that won the last tug race in 2019 here:

Olympia Harbor Days – The Sandman in Olympia, WA

Checkout all the info at the Olympia Harbor Days website here:


All the performers while I was there

The Hands on Children’s Museum rumble tugboat racing and creating.



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    Shanna Paxton Photography

    Event photographer serving WA, we will travel