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Originally published Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM

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Cheap Fun: Go north or south for fun with boats big and small

This Labor Day weekend: Harbor Days Maritime Festival & Tugboat Races, in Olympia, and Discover Sail Cam Isle at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island.

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Messing about with boats, or just giving them a good look-see, can be a good way to spend Labor Day weekend without making it feel like work.

Head north or head south (or step next door, if you're close enough) for a couple of free boat-y events:

At the southern end of Puget Sound, Olympia hosts the annual Harbor Days Maritime Festival & Tugboat Races. All types and vintages of tugs, those tough boats that earn their keep, will be on display at Percival Landing Park this Friday through Sunday (as pictured here during a past festival). Tugboat races (more power than speed, you might expect) are noon Sunday. See

Or on the north side of the Sound, on Saratoga Passage, Discover Sail Cam Isle celebrates small boats, with an emphasis on dinghy sailing. It's Saturday and Sunday at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island. Bring your own small boat or rent one at the festival. Admission is free, though you need a Discover Pass for on-site parking. See

Both events promise music, food and other fun.

Brian J. Cantwell, Seattle Times Travel staff

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