Klompen Canal Races is a tradition here in Oak Harbor for our Holland Happening event that happens the last weekend of April every year. As a way to celebrate our Dutch heritage, we take little wooden shoes, decorate them, and sail them down a canal. This year we are doing things a little differently, but trying to keep some traditions alive.
How does the race work? Simply come by the Chamber to purchase your Klompen wooden shoes and decorate however you like (please stay appropriate in design). You can bedazzle, add decorations, paint, anything! We do give the warning though....the shoe will get wet! So please prepare for the water if you can.
If we still have shoes available at the time of the event, we will also have shoes for sale at the event with some markers to decorate.
You can bring your shoe(s) to the Chamber before the event or bring it day of before the race starts. If we have a lot of entries, we will break shoes into groups as to not overcrowd the canal. After shoes are sorted, the races are off!
Shoes will float down the canal at a slow pace that leaves you in nail-biting anticipation as you wait to see who will win first, middle, and last place. This is exciting and fun to watch and cheer for your favorite shoe(s). After the races, everyone can pick up their shoes to proudly display at home.
If you have any questions, please let us know! And we can't wait to continue this tradition.