The lauded annual Pacific Marine Expo returns this month, November 21 to 23, to CenturyLink Stadium of Seattle. Considered the largest commercial marine trade show on the West Coast, the Expo is major on both industry and cultural levels for mariners of the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to California. A trade show first and a day out for casual looky-loos last, the event is a must for those in the business and an opportunity to learn a thing or two for seafood aficionados, those who love the marine trades, oceanography junkies, or simply the curious who want a taste of a lifestyle often hidden in plain sight.
On the industry side, over 500 exhibitors gather from the top of the alphabet (ABB Inc, an engine component company) to ZF Marine (a control systems company). In between are boatbuilders, machinery manufacturers, trades education organizations, seafood titans, environmental nonprofits, and more, more, more. Beyond the many exhibitors is the event lineup in Alaska Hall that serves as a stage for seminars ranging from the economic development of the Port of Seattle to Seaweed Farming 101 (both on the docket this year).
But the Expo is more than a platform for business and industry education. It’s also host to cultural events like the always spirited Fisherman of the Year Contest. Mariners of all stripes compete in three heats of rope splicing, net mending, and blindfold knot tying competitions before the final round—a timed survival suit challenge. Sea salts and ocean scientists alike gather in the Beer Garden, often during happy hour that includes a free round. The Fisher Poets, a loosely connected network of working mariners embracing their passions for the written and spoken word, are also scheduled for an appearance.
There really is nothing quite like the Pacific Marine Expo. It will be running November 21 to 23 (Thursday through Sunday) this year at the CenturyLink Stadium in downtown Seattle. The expo is open 1000 to 1700 hours on November 21 and 22, and 1000 hours to 1400 hours on November 23. You can get more information, and a free admission ticket by registering online at pacificmarineexpo.com. Admission is $30 at the door.