By Cynthia Germain
Door County’s Washington Island is a unique place to visit and the numbers show that many people agree. Preliminary room tax revenue shows an 11% increase over last year and the Washington Island Ferry has reported record numbers over the summer. Washington Island boasted numerous well-attended events this year including The Lavender Festival, Death’s Door Barbeque, and Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil. John Rader, Town Chairman, contributes the increased tourism to these successful offerings.
The Lavender Festival is hosted annually by a local lavender farm and draws mostly day visitors to see the lavender fields and learn about the distilling process. The Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil, an annual event held in July, saw 175 planes come into the island. This year’s Death’s Door Barbeque was in its fifth year and had a remarkable success with 42 BBQ vendors judged by sanctioned officials of the Kansas City Barbeque Association. This event was fortunate to have a pleasant day in August and was estimated to have up to 4,000 visitors. The 2018 calendar of events will be available at the Washington Island Chamber of Commerce website early next year.