2018 Grays Harbor Tourism Grant Applications Available

ELMA, WA – Sept. 20, 2017– The Grays Harbor County Department of Tourism is now accepting applications for three tourism-related grant programs.

The grant programs and their deadlines:

  • Festival and Event Grants (deadline Oct. 31, 2017)
  • Tourism Services and Projects (deadline Oct. 31, 2017)
  • Special Marketing Project Funding (for consideration at Jan. 2018 LTAC meeting: Dec. 29, 2017; for consideration at May 2018 LTAC meeting: April 27, 2018).

Under State law (RCW 67.28) Grays Harbor County receives funds from room taxes imposed on lodging facilities. These funds can be retained and utilized by the County for tourism promotional operations, or expended for projects and activities established by an eligible entity under State law.

Grays Harbor Tourism Grant Applications will be accepted from qualifying non-profit entities organizing tourism based activities within Grays Harbor County, except those municipalities that are allowed by law to collect and manage 3% lodging tax revenues generated within their corporate limits. Grant funding is provided to increase tourism activity within Grays Harbor County.

Full details regarding what is a qualifying organization, and/or expense, is available on the appropriate grant application. Applicants with additional questions can contact the Grays Harbor Tourism Office, which allocates more than $300,000 in grant funds annually.

“We are very fortunate that our County Commissioners have continued to support the funding of this grant program. They understand that tourism is vital to Grays Harbor’s economic success,” said Kelly Peterson-Lalka, GH Tourism Public Relations/Office Manager. “Tourism results in more than $260 million of revenue and over 5,000 jobs for Grays Harbor County. When we support tourism, our local communities reap the rewards in tax revenue, jobs and community infrastructure. It is a win-win.”

Applications for grant funding are available from the Grays Harbor Tourism office, or can be downloaded from the Grays Harbor Tourism website www.visitgraysharbor.com . For more information, contact Kelly Peterson-Lalka at 360-482-2651 or petersonk@co.grays-harbor.wa.us.

Seven Reasons to Visit the Loggers’ Playday September 9, 2017



Each year, as the kids go back to school and summer starts to wind down, the town of Hoquiam starts to buzz. Buzzing with excitement and the sound of chainsaws in the early morning air, the end of summer means the Loggers’ Playday is once again upon us. For one glorious Saturday, this year on September 9, this annual event celebrates our town’s logging history, raises money for great causes and brings the community together.


From 6:00 a.m. until at least 10:00 p.m., Hoquiam becomes the center of both Grays Harbor and the logging world. Since 1965, this event has been an incredible community gathering and this year will be no different. With seven unique opportunities to participate, you’ll have a full day of connecting with the history and neighborly spirit of Hoquiam.


For the past 52 years, the Loggers’ Playday has been held in one way, shape or form. While it went by other names in the early years, the constant theme of the event has centered on the industry that populated our corner of the world. Known for amazing lumber history, Hoquiam and Aberdeen were once the crown jewels of the logging world, seeing millions of board feet of timber pass through the streets.  Read more here:  http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2017/09/05/loggers-playday-2017/


Where to Mountain Bike in Grays Harbor County

Grays Harbor is becoming well-known among mountain bikers for its beautiful trails, challenging routes and the uncrowded miles of majestic riding, thanks to groups like Connect Grays Harbor and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Mountain biking is gaining popularity around the Olympic Peninsula, with Grays Harbor emerging as one of the leaders. While numerous trails are possible to ride for hours, if not days, at a time, the following five routes provide a fantastic introduction to the stellar riding available around the Southern Olympic Peninsula.  Read more here: http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2017/07/18/where-to-mountain-bike-in-grays-harbor-county/

Take a Drive on the Cranberry Coast – A Guided Tour

Bottle Beach

The Northern Pacific Railroad originally planned for the area around Bottle Beach to be their main terminus. When plans changed development in the area halted. Photo credit: Dani Dooley

Take a Drive on the Cranberry Coast – A Guided Tour

Tucked between Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay is a little-known stretch of coastal road called the Cranberry Coast Scenic Byway. The shoulders of this road are home to historical sites, breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife making for a relaxing and fun adventure.

The Cranberry Coast Scenic Byway, also known as Highway 105, is a loop off Highway 101 that, starting in Raymond, follows the Willapa River and Willapa Bay out to a hidden 20 mile stretch of Pacific coastline before looping back to 101 in Aberdeen.

Smith Creek Tokeland

On the far side of the Smith Creek property there is a boat ramp that is popular with kayakers. From Raymond cross the Smith Creek bridge and turn right to get to the boat ramp. Photo credit: Dani Dooley

From Raymond, follow the north bank of the Willapa River as you take highway 105 out of the city. To the left are agricultural marshlands and a network of sloughs home to many migrating birds. On the right, just past mile post 10, you will pass the Smith Creek State Wildlife Recreation Area. This too is home to many varieties of birds and a great spot for bird enthusiasts to pull out the binoculars.

Another ten minutes of driving in and out of the estuary and forested hills and you will come into the Shoalwater Reservation. Pay close attention to the speed limit signs here. The newly remodeled Shoalwater Bay Casino will be on your right and a gas station to the left. If you’re interested in a jaunt down a side road, turn left on Tokeland Road. This will turn into Kindred Avenue and within a couple blocks you’ll see Historic Tokeland Hotel to your left. The hotel was built in 1885 and is the oldest resort hotel in the United States. It is still in use as both a hotel and restaurant. Each July the hotel hosts the popular Tokeland Wood and Arts festival.  Read more here:  http://www.graysharbortalk.com/2017/08/03/take-a-drive-on-the-cranberry-coast-a-guided-tour/

Lake Sylvia Fall Festival – Sept. 16, 2017

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General Information

Join us for a pancake breakfast, trail races, old fashioned games for kids, kids crafts, Boy Scout cooking demonstrations, water sports, live music and a large gathering of arts and crafts vendors. Did we mention food?? If not, we should point out there will be food and beverages, and more. Come to the park. We will have shuttle busses running from the Simpson school. Watch Facebook for info at https://www.facebook.com/LakeSylviaStateParkFallFestival

Race Information

The races will all start at 8:30 from Lake Sylvia State Park. Your registration includes a technical t-shirt, if registered by September 1st, and pre and post race snacks. Day of event registration will start at 7:00, but please be aware that t-shirts will not be available without pre-registering before September 1st. Please note that you must have a Washington State Discover pass to park at the park. There is a shuttle option if you do not have a pass, please see the “Parking” section for more information.

Awards will be given to the top three men and women in each race. Age group awards will not be given.

All courses are mostly double or single track trail. The half marathon does have about 1.5 miles of gravel road. The half marathon has two aid stations-one at 6.5 miles and one at 11 miles. The aid stations are stocked with water and Nuun, but runners are required to carry any other nutrition they may need. The 10K and 5K do not have any aid stations.


Parking is limited at the park. Please carpool if possible. You also will need a Washington State Park Discover Pass to park at the park. They will be available to purchase at the park. The passes are $10.00 a day or $30.00 for an annual pass. If you would like to avoid this fee or the hassle of trying to find a place to park there is a free shuttle available. The shuttle will pick up and drop off at Simpson Elementary school located at 519 W. Simpson Ave, Montesano, WA 98563. The shuttle runs about every 15-20 minutes.

Some of this year’s vendors include:

McCleary artist Gloria Hale and her LEATHER AND LACE products to the Fall Festival this year! Gloria creates leather inspired jewelry, cuffs, keychains, and card cases; and she has recently added horseshoe art and dreamcatchers. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Leather-and-Lace-395063793967014/

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Copalis Beach resident Jacqueline Horton will be showing off her fabulous sea shell themed jewelry from SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS AT OCEAN SHORES. Her handmade jewelry is made from sand dollars and shells and she also has wine glass markers and beach themed ornaments.

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Quinault artist, Fran Brongil, of SPIRIT SISTERS JEWELRY will be bringing her beautiful jewelry to the Fall Festival this year! Fran created her original Spirit Sisters Jewelry Collection made from gemstones, bone, horn, ivory and other natural materials. Her Wildflower Collection consists of fun and sparkly glass and crystal, and her newest Spirit Moon Collection is made from recycled rusty metal. Her jewelry is very earthy and is influenced by the Quinault Rainforest where she has spent most of her adult life. https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpiritSistersJewelry

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Joining us for the first time is Rainier artist Richard Ness of LATEINLIFE LEATHER WORKS. Rich creates hand-crafted, hand-stitched leather goods including wallets, belts, jewelry, bags, cases and much more. He says that custom work is also available.

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We welcome newcomer Jerry Lyman of BUCKHORN CRAFTS to the Festival this year! Jerry creates amazing gifts from shed antlers. His work includes cribbage boards, candle holders, bone buttons, earrings, pen holders, and antler handles on various items. This takes re-purposing to new lengths 🙂 !

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Plus other vendors…check out our facebook page for a current listing of new vendors.