Ocean Shores Convention Center General Manager Diane Solem has confirmed that the local venue has booked a new Seahawks fan event for the weekend of August 14-16.
The booking comes from a group of Sequim and Port Orchard area Seahawks fans who had attended and participated in the previous Hawks Fan Fest and Beach Party events, which began in Ocean Shores in 2015 but moved to Birch Bay last year. Last week, Solem told a gathering of local business representatives, city officials and others that she had met with the event operators and received the final paperwork to book the summer weekend.
Leading the effort is Greg Roberts, who is president of the Dungeness Bay Sea Hawkers, a chapter of the official Sea Hawkers Booster Club, which boasts 16 Washington chapters and affiliates in 14 other states and seven other countries. Roberts explained that he and some others have launched a new nonprofit organization called Hawk Daze, to develop and operate the event that will also be called Hawk Daze.
He emphasized that the new fan weekend is not affiliated with the former Fan Fest, whose organizers decided after the 2018 event here to move elsewhere. “We’re not Fan Fest, but we loved coming to Ocean Shores,” Roberts said.
He said the revived preseason Hawks party at the beach will include alumni players, a parade, a football challenge area for kids, mini golf, bowling, a beer garden, vendors and, if scheduling allows, a viewing party for an away preseason game.
Roberts stressed that the event will be truly nonprofit and that any revenue left after expenses have been paid will be donated to established local charities such as the Ocean Shores Food Bank and to local schools’ athletics programs.
Vendors are being recruited, and Roberts said his group would also like to offer space to local nonprofits and groups trying to do charitable events or otherwise raise funds for good causes.
Roberts said he and his group are among thousands of Hawks fans who enjoyed coming to Ocean Shores for the Fan Fest events, and were disappointed when the event moved away. He said his group approached Fan Fest organizers about coming back to the Shores, but were turned down. Eventually, they decided to hold their own Hawks fan event at the beach.
“We felt Ocean Shores is the only place that has it all together. Everything is in walking distance … the people of Ocean Shores have been so nice and so generous … we’re proud and happy,” he said, to be bringing a Hawks fan event back here.
He added that the support of local fans is critical to the event’s success, and urged anyone who may consider getting involved in any way to contact him directly by email at email@example.com or by calling him at 360-797-4211. He also said more information will be available soon on a new website, www.hawkdaze.org.