Roger Purdue signs Fine Art Prints and accepts award from the Penn Cove Water Festival Association May 2005

See more about Roger's life, with beautiful photos of his work, in Whidbey Life Magazine.

2015 Festival Sponsors:
Watch this space for new sponsors

The Penn Cove Water Festival is grateful for all the sponsors, shown above, as well as the many donors and volunteers, listed below, who have made the 2015 Festival a success:

Anchorage Inn
Harold Anderson & Terry Bible
A Touch of Dutch
John & Marjorie Bachert
Dave Bieniek & Ervin Knezek
Central Whidbey Lions
Marilyn and Bob Clay
Compass Rose Bed & Breakfast
Coupeville Lions Club
Elkhorn Trading Company/Salmagundi Farms
Emily's Sweets and Treats
Far From Normal
Michael Ferri & Jim Sherman
Fine Line Painting
Front Street Grill
Onee Hedeen
Jenne Farm
Kapaw's Iskreme
Knead and Feed
Lavender Wind
Karen & Claude Merrill
Vern & Martha Olsen
Sara Purdue
Sherman Farm/Don and Debra Sherman
Roger & Darlene Sherman
Sherman's Pioneer Farm/Dale & Elizabeth Sherman
Ricardo & Vicky Reyes
Sue & Pat Waters
Benye & John Weber

Without These Volunteers The Festival Would Not Continue!


Vicky Reyes - President & Publicity
Karen Fletcher - Treasurer
Julie Dougherty Winger - Registered Agent/Secretary & Educational Exhibitors
Teresa Ellis - Operations
Anne Colligan - Communications
Lou Labombard - Native Advisor
Michael Ferri - Fundraising & Hospitality
Benye Weber - Public Awareness
Jackie Feusier - Graphics & Printing


Arts & Crafts Vendors - Cindy Van Dyk and Karen Merrill
Bread Ceremony - Ramona Laster & Ginny Vracin
Canoe Race Coordinator - Susan Berta
Educational Program - Vern Olsen
Entertainment - Wylie Vracin
Graphics & Print Materials - Jackie Feusier
Hospitality - Michael Ferri and Jim Sherman
Information Booth & Merchandise - Joyce & Keith Fruik
Native Spirit Art Show - Gerry Roberts
Publicity - Cheryl & John Waide
Race Safety Coordiator - Gary Piazzon
Radio Communications - John Acton
Salmon Tacos - Tom Ellis & Rob Johnson
Signage - Paul Bigelow
Town Dinner - Molly Hughes
Volunteer Coordinators - Ricardo Reyes
Youth Activities - Clara Beier
Web Administrator - Howard Garrett


Coupeville High School National Honor Society Members (NHS) and Coupeville Leo's Club (LEO):

Aaron Wright - NHS
Cassidy Rydell - NHS
Christine Fields - NHS
Cole Payne - NHS
Dani Johnson - NHS
Erin Rosenkranz - NHS
Gabe Wynn - NHS
Geoff McClarin - NHS
Grey Rische - LEO
Jacki Ginnings - NHS
Jared Helmstadter - NHS
Jimmy Myers - NHS
Joshua Bayne - NHS
Kaela Hollrigel - NHS
Lyndsi Applegarth - NHS
Maddie Paige - NHS
Maddie Strasburg - NHS
Mattea Miller - NHS & LEOS
Maureen Rice - NHS
McKenzie Bailey - NHS
Miranda Engle - NHS
Samantha Martin - NHS
Sarah Bishop - NHS
Sebastian Davis - NHS
Sebastian Wurzrainer - NHS
Taryn Ludwig - NHS
Valen Trujillo - NHS & LEOS
Wynter Thorne - NHS
Zane Bundy - NHS
LEO Mentors: Pat and John Kohlman and Bruce McNair
NHS Mentor: Colleen Fox

Boys & Girls Club - Face Painters
Addie Peabody
Austin Johnson
Brittani Reeves
Jen Marzocca
Jillian Taylor
Logan Weiler
Zach Ginnings
Brian Sharich
Jamie Sharich, B&G Club Director
Robin Wilson, Team Coordinator


Al Williams
Alex Martin
Andy Walker
Angela Contreas
Anika Rasmussen
Anne Colligan
Barry Ricks
Bill Johnson
Bill Richards
Bill Roberts
Blake Hert - USN
Bonnie Abney
Brian Pulk
Brian Woloshin
Carol Parbs
Cathy Clark
Charlie A Bond
Charlie Smith
Cheryl Waide
Christine Fields
Chuck Kelso
Connor Lawson
Cyndy Van Dyke
Clara Beier
Dale Folkestad
Dale Riddle
Daseray Dang
Dave Grason
Dave Vaughn
Dave Williamson
David Barville
David Fish
David Ifft
Deanna Rodgers
Deb Falk
Debby Nagel
Debi Richards
Dewey Moon
Don Richardson
Doug Bishop
Doris Williamson
Dylan Murphy - USN
Ed Edwards
Ed Walker
Ed Walters
Elijah Loomis
Eric Brooks
Eve Parrish
Garcia ABE1 - USN
Gary Parker
Gary Piazzon
Ginny Vracin
Holly Grason
Irene Gusafson
James Rarick - USN
Jamie Scharich
Jan Graham
Jason Taylor -USN
Jim Cline
Jim Freeman
Jim Hillaire Jr.
Jim Shank
Johanna Seiffert
John Purcel
John Roomes
John Waide
Joshua Bayne - USN
Joshua A. Sawyer - USN
Joy McClain
Joyce Frulk
Judy Cline
Karen Merrill
Kate Griffin
Kathy Pigott
Kathy Rix
Keith Fruik
Kristen Griffin
Linda Osborn
Linda Stafford
Maddie Paige
Madeline Rose
Margaret Elphick
Marilyn Pulk
Marsha Phay
Matt Schwartz
Matthew Drew
Michael Monson
Michael Sousa
Michelle Landen
Michael Champion
Mitch Incarnato
Molly Hughes
Myron Brundage - VFW
Nik Harkins
Noel Hanson
Norad Durrand
Paddy Roberts
Pat Cozine
Pat Waters
Penny Barville
Phyllis Drummond
Ralph Young
Randy Chambers
Reuben Greene
Rich Gibson
Richard Malaas
Ricardo Reyes
Rick Walti
Rob Johnson
Roger Orr
Ron Boyer
Rubi Hicks
Sammy Konek
Sandra Johnson
Shane Gonzalez
Shellie Johnson
Sho Sho Ma
Sue Hartin
Sue Waters
Susan Berta
Teresa Ellis
Terri Purcel
Tiffany Eriscoe
Tim Jones
Tom Ellis
Tony Hernandez
Vicky Chambers
Vicky Reyes
Wylie Vracin
Zachary Johnson

Photos courtesy of the Island County Historical Society

Penn Cove Water Festival

Coupeville, WA

The Mission of the Penn Cove Water Festival Association is to continue an annual revival of the historic Coupeville Water Festival by bringing families together to enjoy Native American canoe racing, entertainment, crafts and culture, and by giving them a chance to learn about, appreciate, and protect the environment in which we all live.

The Penn Cove Water Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native arts and crafts, demonstrations, storytelling, dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, children's activities, and exhibits and displays. Come visit this year or get involved today!

T-Shirts from this year’s Penn Cove Water Festival (as well as some from past years) are available year round in Harbor Gift N' Kayak Rental on the Coupeville Wharf. The Festival posters and Roger Purdue’s Fine Art Prints and Portfolios are available year round at the Island County Museum, at the corner of Alexander and Front Streets in Coupeville.

For a look at the meaning and purpose of the Penn Cove Water Festival, please see HonorWorks Presents: Penn Cove Water Festival

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The 2014 Festival is dedicated in Memory of

Roger Purdue 1938 - 2014

All pictures of Roger on this web site are used by permission of his Famiy.

Roger peeking over his newly installed Salmon Wheel, May 1996.

Roger Purdue wearing the blanket and cedar hat presented to him by the Penn Cove Water Festival Association and the Samish Tribe, with his daughter Gracie, February 2013.

We are deeply saddened to have to share the news that Coupeville artist Roger Purdue has passed away. Roger created the beautiful artwork for the Penn Cove Water Festival every year for two decades, and carved and painted the famous "Salmon Wheel" on the Coupeville Waterfront (now at the Island County Museum), and designed and oversaw the carving of the beautiful "Whale Wheel" that replaced it.

Roger is of Tsimshian heritage, and growing up on Orcas Island he developed a deep love for nature, salmon and whales. He was a teacher in Oak Harbor, and after retiring from teaching concentrated on his celebrated Northwest Native artwork and carvings, and was as prolific as he was talented. His generosity to the Penn Cove Water Festival and to the community will never be forgotten, and his beautiful, creative depictions of nature will live on forever.

There are no words to express the emptiness in our hearts on this day.

Appropriately, as I write this, a pod of Resident orcas is swimming up Admiralty Inlet, they have been traveling around the shores of Whidbey Island and Puget Sound for the past few days. We hope Roger's spirit is swimming along with them, free of the physical pain he has endured these past years. Our hearts and thoughts are with Roger's family - Sara, Wilbur and Gracie. Thank you for sharing Roger with us all these years - we know how much he loved you all.

We love you Roger ~

Susan Berta

Safe journey, Roger. We will miss you.


Support the Penn Cove Water Festival!
A 501 c 3 non-profit organization
Send your contribution to
Penn Cove Water Festival
PO Box 393
Coupeville WA 98239

For lodging and visitor information, please email Island County Tourism at

or visit:

The Coupeville Chamber of Commerce


Photo by Nathan Whalen / The Whidbey Examiner

Coupeville artist Roger Purdue shares a story with Coupeville resident Gary Piazzon during Sunday’s gathering to celebrate the local artist.

Purdue honored for festival images

By Nathan Whalen, Examiner Staff Writer

A longtime Coupeville artist and educator was honored for his work helping the Penn Cove Water Festival this week.
Roger Purdue, a woodworker who has for decades designed the logo for the annual festival, was honored for the artwork he has contributed over the years.
Dozens of people, along with several representatives from the Samish Indian Nation, attended an event Sunday to unveil the latest logo for the Water Festival that takes place May 18 in Coupeville.
During the unveiling, Purdue received several gifts from the Samish Indian Nation, which is based in Anacortes.
He received a cedar hat decorated with an eagle feather and a button blanket, both of which were made by members of the Samish Nation.
“I’m at a loss for words. Thank you, thank you,” Purdue said while Rosie Cayou, Samish Indian Nation cultural development coordinator, wrapped the blanket around Purdue and placed the hat on his head.
The blanket was made by Diana and Pat Dunn, also members of the Samish Tribal Nation.
Purdue has donated new designs for the Penn Cove Water Festival for more than 20 years.
Each logo, which will eventually be placed on posters and T-shirts promoting the festival, keeps within the Native American tradition highlighted by the festiveal each year.
Canoe racers from Native American tribes across the Puget Sound region and First Nations peoples in Canada descend upon Coupeville to compete in a day-long series of races in Penn Cove.
The Water Festival also features Native American dancers, singers, storytellers and foods.
Cayou sang two traditional songs during the image release event. She also touched upon the similarities between Purdue’s family history and herown. They both have roots on Orcas Island.
Purdue also ensured his legacy of Native American inspired images will continue to be featured in upcoming festivals.
He donated 15 years worth of images.
Susan Berta, longtime volunteer who helps organize the canoe races and head of the Orca Network, shared how Purdue started designing the images, the first of which was based on water drop and a canoe, and how they became more elaborate over the years.
"I'm so happy to have come to know you. Your generosity has been amazing," Berta said during the meeting.
The day also provided a chance for interested people to sign up to volunteer for the May 18 festival.
Organizers always need help to organize such an event that is held in two parts of Coupeville and takes leaders about 12 months to organize.


For information about the festival, to volunteer or to donate, visit the Penn Cove Water Festival page on Facebook or go to