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.

2020 Festival Sponsors:
Watch this space for new sponsors

The Penn Cove Water Festival is thankful for all our Sponsors (shown above) as well as the many Donors and Volunteers (listed below) who have made the 2019 (28th Anniversary) Festival a success:

Harold Anderson & Terry Bible
Anchorage Inn - Diane & Dave Binder
Marjorie & John Bachert
Bob & Marilyn Clay
Susan Berta & Howie Garrett
Blue Fox Prints
Branch Business Services
Callen’s Restaurant
Captain Whidbey Inn
Central Whidbey Lions Club
Christopher's on Whidbey
Compass Rose Inn – Jan & Marshall Bronson
Coupe’s Last Stand
Coupeville Chamber of Commerce
Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association
Coupeville Lions Club
Coupeville Maritime Heritage Foundation
Coupeville Sno-Isle Library
Dave Bieniek & Ervin Knezek
Don & Deb Sherman
Michael Ferri & Jim Sherman
Roger & Darlene Sherman
Fine Line Painting
Friends of Coupeville Library
Front Street Grill
Front Street Realty
The Gewald Family
Harbor Gifts & Rentals
Humanities WA
Island County
Island County Historical Society/Museum
Jan Picard & Anne Harvey
Jenne Farm
Judy Lynn
Karen & Claude Merrell
Knead & Feed
Langley Whale Center
Lummi Indian Nation
Nahma Investments
Nancy Conard & Gordon McMillan
Nisqually Indian Tribe
Oakland County Sherriff’s Department
Vern & Martha Olsen
Once Hedeen
Orca Network
Oystercatcher Restaurant
Pacific Rim Institute
Puget Sound Energy
Gary & Diana Paizzon
Penn Cove Shellfish
Peoples Bank
Port of Coupeville
Puget Sound Energy
Sara Purdue
Ricardo & Vicky Reyes
Samish Indian Nation
Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians
Swinomish Indian Tribal Communite
Toby's Tavern
Town of Coupeville
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island
Sue & Pat Waters
Whidbey Island Bank
Whidbey News Times
Whidbey Weekly
Windjammer Custom Framing

For allowing us to post our Highway Banners, we thank:
Concrete NW, Oak Haebor
Carl Freund, Oak Harbor
Keystone Café at Coupeville Ferry Terminal
Les Schwab, Clinton
Ryan’s House, Coupeville

Thanks to the Coupeville Farmers Market for sharing their parking space with Festival guests! Thanks to Penn Cove Shellfish crew for setting the bouys for the races!


Penn Cove Water Festival Board:
Nina Goddeau - President
Vicky Reyes - Secretary
Michael Ferri - Treasurer
Anne Colligan
Benye Weber
Michael Champion
Gary Piazzon
Tish Finnigan
Lou Labombard -
Native American Cultural Advisor

Committee Leads:
Arts & Crafts Vendors - Nina Goddeau
Canoe Race Coordinator - Susan Berta
Committee Boat Captain - Brian Vick
Communications & Facebook - Dave Fish
Educational Exhibitors - Julie Winger
Entertainment – Lou Labombard
Face Painting - Angie Contreras
Food Vendors – Anne Colligan
Graphic Arts – Kay Parsons
Hospitality – Kellie Black
Information Booth – Ginger Perez
Information Guide – Jan Graham
Operations/Facilities - Benye Weber
Operations/Logistics – Rodney Grigsby
Operations/Logistics – Jeff Knodel
Operations/Logistics – Richard Knodel
Parking - Mike Champion
Publicity – Judy Lynn
Public Awareness - Benye Weber
Race Announcers - Jim Freeman and Jim Hillaire
Race Safety Coordinator - Gary Piazzon
Race Starter - Pat Waters
Radio Communications - John Acton
Signage – Jay McCallaster
T-Shirt Manager – Tish Finnigan
Volunteer Coordinator – Jessica Grigsby
Youth Activities - Maria Vick
Web Administrator - Howard Garrett

Boys & Girls Club Face Painters
Crystal Aguilar -
Unit Director
Josie Prescott - Program Director
Chelsea Prescott
Christina Jump
Lupita Eagleton
Shameka Allen

Coupeville LEOS
Lion Chris Renfro -
Lions Pat & John Kohlman - Mentors
Lion Bruce MacNair - Mentor
Lion Deanna Rogers - Mentor
Lion Marsha Phay - Mentor
LEOS Club Members
Christian King
Nanci Melendrez
Rubi Melendrez
LEOS Club Face Painters
Angella Contreras & Maria Vick -
Anna Dixon
Heather Nastali
Sofia Hassapis
Raven Vick
Taichen Rose
Valen Trujillo
Willow Vick

Coupeville NHS
Colleen Fox
- Advisor
Ashley Menges
Claire Mietus
Dane Lucero
Dylan Hummel
Emma Smith
Gabe Wynn
Harris Sinclair
Hunter Smith
Jakobi Baumann
Jaschon Baumann
Jonah Johnson
Kaela Hollrigel
Lainey Dickson
Lindsey Roberts
Luke Carlson
Maddy Hilkey
Matthew Hilborn
Nick Etzel
Nikolai Lyngra
Teo Keilwitz
Uriah Kastner
Will Nelson

AC1 Challenger
AC1 Julius Challenger
AC1 Tamela Lee
IS2(AW) McBee
AD1 Nathan Franklin
AME Nicholas Guedea
SN Loel G Perez

Rosie Cayou James
, Cultural Advisor of Samish Tribe
Kelly Hall, Samish Language Specialist

Alberto Esquivel
Alice Smith
Barry & Cathy Ricks
Bill & Sandy Johnson
Bill & Paddy Roberts
Bob & Pam Thompson
Bonnie Abbey
Brian Pulk
Brian Vick
Carol Decker
Carol Parbs
Cheri Wilson
Chester Pilan
Chris Bradley
Chuck Poust
Dave Grason
David & Penny Barville
David Smith
Dewey Moon
Diane Howard
Don Richardson
Donna & Ron Winters
Ed & Sue Hartin
Eric Brooks
Frances Worth
Fred Bronson
Fred Salmon
Gary Leake
Gary Parker
Gary Young
Greg Meredeth
Heather Badger
Jay McCallaster
Jeff Knodel
Jim Phay
Joe Hillers
Jon Vermillion
Kara Sadler-Smith
Kate Rose
Kathy Pigott
Ken Mielke
Lyla & Phil Snover
Mark Snyder
Mike Deater
Nora Durand
Pat Waters
Paul Louder
Richard Knodel
Rick Walti
Rob Matem
Sami Postma
Terry Bible
Vickie Chambers
Warren Ivy

Photos courtesy of the Island County Historical Society

Penn Cove Water Festival

Coupeville, WA


The Orca Month Coast Salish Orca/Salmon Webinar was held June 26-27, 2021. Video coming soon.

We look forward to resuming the tradition of the Penn Cove Water Festival on May 14, 2022 - Hoping to seeing you here!

Although the May 2021 in-person Penn Cove Water Festival has been cancelled, in its place we heldf a Virtual Water Festival event during Orca Month in June, partnering with Orca Network.

This two day virtual event was held June 26th - 27th, 2021, featuring elements of the traditional Penn Cove Water Festival, such as the Native Opening Ceremony, Native arts demonstrations, dance and song, storytelling, and presentations and interviews from past and new participants in the Penn Cove Water Festival. Information and videos about the importance of the annual Canoe races. Orca Network brought to this special event the importance of salmon and orcas to Native culture, and the parallels between the culture, diet and sacredness of salmon to the Coast Salish peoples; and the critical need orcas have for salmon, and how the culture of the Southern Resident orca community evolves around salmon. This includes interviews with elders, stories passed down through generations about salmon and orcas, actions being taken by Tribal communities to restore our salmon runs, and reflection of these topics in poetry, song, and art.

Hello my Penn Cove Water Festival family and friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I must relay the decision of the Penn Cove Water Festival's Board of directors to cancel another years' Water Festival because of the unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic with its many uncertainties. We feel there is no way to hold any of our Water Festival activities safely as scheduled. Thank you for your support.
Nina Marie Goddeau - President of the Penn Cove Water Festival.

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 Festival features annual tribal canoe races, Native Arts & Crafts Vendors, story telling, musical and dance performances, artist demonstrations, authentic Native foods, youth activities, exhibits and displays. Come visit this year or get involved today! Come visit this year or get involved today!

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.



On Sunday, May 6, 2018, the Penn Cove Water Festival Association installed, at the Boat Launch on 9th Street, the AED Unit they have donated to the Town of Coupeville. This unit is in Memory of Jackie Feusier, PCWF Board Member & Graphic Artist.

Pictured left to right: 1st Row: Charlie Smith of CWIFR, Jackie’s pal Izzy, Robert May & Bill McArthur of Whidbey Health EMS. 2nd Row: Jackie’s husband Joe Walck, Ginger Perez, Nina Goddeau, Vicky Reyes, Anne Colligan, Angela Contreras & Mayor Molly Hughes. 3rd Row: Michael Ferri, Michael Champion, Tish Finnigan, Marshall Chris Garden & John Acton.


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