Submitted by Westport Winery

The International Mermaid Museum is holding its 2023 Mermaid Festival from Saturday, April 1 through Sunday, April 9. During this nine-day event it is free to visit the museum from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and to enjoy the festival from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the museum’s enchanting educational exhibits, the festival boasts a series of special attractions for visitors of all ages during this celebration of the sea. Everyone will enjoy seeing mermaids and bigfoot around the museum, gardens, and the event tent.

The Northwest’s famous Una the Mermaid will be performing underwater in her tank from noon to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. On weekdays she will be available for photos from noon to 2pm and will perform in the tank from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Olive the Alchemist, founder of the Seattle Mermaid School, will preside on the mermaid throne in the museum every day except Saturday, April 8. On that Saturday their team will host an open swim, with playful obstacle course and freediving challenges, plus bookable underwater photography sessions for merfolk of all ages at the Grays Harbor YMCA. They will host an awards ceremony based on Saturday’s water fun at the museum during the final day of the festival. Attendees are encouraged to dress in merfolk-inspired creative-black-tie for the ceremony.

Vertical Axis performers Nick Perry and Amanda Thornton will perform daily on their high wire at 1 p.m. , 3:15 p.m. , 4:30 p.m. (with the exception of April 8). Theirs is a combination of music and dance while suspended from a 20-foot tower.

All ages will want to see the Pacific Northwest Unicorns for greeting and photos from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day of the festival.

In the tent, guests can look forward to meeting the artists and crafters in person as they shop woodworking, jewelry, knotwork, acrylic and watercolor paintings, jewelry, soaps, gifts, and a host of mixed media art.

Author Brianna Tibbets will be signing and selling her young adult book, “Head Over Tails,” that on April 1 and 2.

Mermaid and author Aura Stiles will be signing and selling her book “A Dream Made Real” on April 1 and 2. Mermaid Aura, and her partner Merman Mike, will perform as the Bad Little Space Mermaids at 4pm on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2. The duo plays Celtic themed folk music, woven with poetry and mythology. Mermaid harpist Ruth Navarre will be performing with them.

Marissa Meyer will be signing books from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 8. She is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of the Renegades Trilogy, The Lunar Chronicles series, the Wires and Nerve graphic novels, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. “The Little Android,” one of the Lunar Chronicles, is a retelling of “The Little Mermaid.” Her first standalone novel, “Heartless,” was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. Marissa created and hosts a podcast called The Happy Writer. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

Mermaid Pockets, of What Dwells Beneath, will be offering original artwork as well as prints. At her side, Pirate Cliff will offer oyster shucking for pearls to be made into jewelry. Photos with both are always welcome.

In addition to the Sea Glass Grill, festival guests can enjoy tasty treats from Buckin’ Beans Coffee Company and Mellie’s Mini Donuts. Museum executive director, Bailey Cavender, is looking for two more food vendors. Those interested can contact her via email at Bailey@WestportWinery.com.

All day, every day, kids can participate in a Pirate’s Treasure Hunt in the museum with prizes for those who complete the puzzle and find the treasure, plus there is a free gyotaku (fish printing) station.

Inside the museum there is a fee for guests who want to mine fossils, shells or gems, in the museum’s sluice box or for activating the mermaid fortune teller or the penny squisher.

The International Mermaid Museum is a registered 501(C)3 nonprofit dedicated to teaching ocean ecology from seashore to sea floor immersed in mermaid mythology uniting world oceanic cultures. The International Mermaid Museum is located on the grounds of Westport Winery Garden Resort, halfway between Aberdeen and Westport on the Washington Coast. For more information go to the Mermaid Museum website. 

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