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50th anniversary Sidney run begins Sunday; islanders and mainlanders will make voyage for 30-minute international party

March 28 — Sunday — marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary run of the Anacortes-Friday Harbor-Sidney ferry. Islanders and mainlanders will ride the ferry for the celebration in Sidney. - Journal file photo
March 28 — Sunday — marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary run of the Anacortes-Friday Harbor-Sidney ferry. Islanders and mainlanders will ride the ferry for the celebration in Sidney.
— image credit: Journal file photo

Islanders and mainlanders will crowd the ferry to Sidney, B.C., on Sunday for the kick-off to the Washington State Ferries spring schedule and the annual Sidney run.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Sidney run.

The ferry — the 124-car Chelan — will leave Anacortes at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Friday Harbor at 9:30 a.m. The ferry will arrive in Sidney at 11:05 a.m. and depart for Friday Harbor at noon. The ferry will arrive in Friday Harbor at 1:35 p.m. and Anacortes at 3 p.m.

The San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce sent out this e-mail about the celebration in Sidney:

The event will be set up outside next to the terminal building. The event is a quick one (about 30 minutes long). We will be arriving in Sidney around 11:05 a.m., disembark, go through Customs. When you come out of the Customs Office you will walk right into the event area.

The ferry will leave Sidney at noon, which means any guests that need to go back to Anacortes will need to start going through Customs around 11:45 a.m.

At the event, light refreshments will be provided, as well as the Anacortes and Sidney town criers and an RCMP mountie in red surge dress. Due to the limited time frame, we will not plan to do any speeches, but will look forward to hearing from each of the town criers.

Availability of food and gift shop items: The Chelan galley and the Duty Free Shop will be open as well as the Cheesecake Cafe located in the Anacortes terminal ... The event in Sidney will provide light refreshments and the Sidney Gift Shop will be open.

REQUIRED ID FOR TRAVEL TO CANADA: Citizens of the United States and Canada will need one of the following to enter or depart the United States by sea.

— Passports are required as of June 1, 2009. Passport cards and trusted traveler program cards – NEXUS, SENTRY, and FAST – will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel (U.S. and Canadian citizens only).

— U.S. citizens who are Washington state residents are eligible to purchase an enhanced drivers license (EDL) for $15 more than a standard drivers license. The EDL will meet the requirements for proof of citizenship to re-enter the U.S. from Canada and Mexico by land or sea. The EDL is available in the state of Washington and many other states. Check your local Department of Licensing for more information.

CHILDREN TRAVELING TO CANADA: U.S. and Canadian citizens who are 15 years old or younger will still be allowed to travel with just a copy of their birth certificate, as will teens between the ages of 16-18 if they are a part of an adult-supervised athletic, cultural, religious or school group.

If both birth parents are not traveling, you must have written authorization from the parent(s) along with a telephone number where they can be reached to verify the authorization or proof of custody. Failure to provide such evidence may make you inadmissible to enter Canada.

* * *

Features of the 2010 spring schedule include re-opening of the international route, increased service on some routes and changes to sailing times on the Point Defiance/Tahlequah route. WSF is also introducing a system to officially report line-cutters.

Following the annual winter closure of the international route, WSF resumes service with one round-trip per day between Anacortes and Sidney, B.C. on the 124-car Chelan. To make reservations for travel on this route, visit the WSF Web site or call 511.

Other service increases with the spring schedule include:

— Weekend inter-island service in the San Juan Islands resumes after the winter hiatus.

— Restores eight hours of mid-day service Monday through Thursday between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands.

— Resumes weekend three-boat service on the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth route (the third boat will operate eight hours a day on Saturday and Sunday).

— WSF has also made adjustments to afternoon and evening sailing times on the Point Defiance/Tahlequah route in efforts to improve transit connections and on-time performance. WSF worked with the Vashon Island Ferry Advisory Committee, Pierce Transit, and other groups to develop these schedule revisions.

The complete spring sailing schedule is currently available on the WSF Web site. The spring schedule will be in effect March 28 through June 19, 2010.

WSF is also joining WSDOT’s HERO program to give ferry customers a way to officially report line cutters. WSDOT’s HERO program encourages drivers to self-enforce HOV lane rules by reporting violators. Starting March 28, drivers who witness someone cutting into a ferry line can call 877-764-HERO (4376) and submit the line cutter’s license plate number and state of origin.

An education letter and brochure will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. If a second complaint is logged, the registered owner’s information will be forwarded to the Washington State Patrol. A ticket for line cutting costs $124.

— ONLINE: SPRING FERRY SCHEDULE

FOR MORE FERRY SYSTEM INFORMATION

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