The irrigation festival kicks off with a dinner and an auction

Plant and Seed Exchange Organizer Ashley Kehl, left in hat, mingles with visitors including Bryan DeCaterina of Port Townsend, at right, and Daryl Dietrich of Quilcene on Sunday at Shy Acre Farm during the annual event in Port Townsend. Held on the first day of spring, there was a chilly breeze and a good turnout. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)

After two years of virtual events, Sequim’s biggest civic celebration goes live.

The 127th annual Sequim Irrigation Festival, billed as Washington state’s longest-running community festival, kicked off Saturday at 7 Cedars Resort in Blyn.

The Royal Court – Queen Isabella Williams and Princesses Katherine Gould, Ellie Turner and Lauren Willis – got their first glimpse of the ‘Our Little Slice of Heaven’-themed festival float, followed by the launch dinner and auction sale. annual festival auction.

“It’s been a weird few years,” festival director Julianne Coonts said Saturday to a packed house inside the ballroom at 7 Cedars Resort. There, attendees bid on items at live auctions as well as in an online silent auction to raise the thousands of dollars needed to keep the festival running.

The festival included a first: the auction of a festival pin named after longtime Sequim businessman and philanthropist Bill Littlejohn, who died in December 2019.

After the Royalty Contest, held on February 26, and Saturday’s Dinner and Auction, the 2022 Irrigation Festival will begin with the Crazy Callen Weekend May 6-8. Events include: Crazy Daze Breakfast for Dinner, 6-8 p.m. May 6, across from the Sequim Civic Center, 157 W. Cedar St.; First Friday Art Walk Sequim, 5-8 p.m. May 6, various downtown locations; Sequim High School Operetta, “Emma: A Pop Musical,” 7:30 p.m. May 6, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 7, 2 p.m. May 8; and a Kids Parade, at 9 a.m. on May 7, 100 block of West Washington Street.

Also scheduled is the Family Fun Day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7, 100 block of West Washington Street, and the Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 7 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 8 at the Sequim Civic Center.

The festival ends with the Grand Final weekend, May 12-15. Events include: Past Royalty Luncheon (by invitation only); Historic Walking Tour, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 12, Sequim Civic Center; golf tournament, noon May 13, Sunland Golf & County Club; Fireworks show, sunset May 13 on the Blake property just south of Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Blake Ave.; Logging Show, noon to dusk May 13 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 14, Blake property; Fun Run, 11 a.m. May 14, from Sequim Village Center, 651 W. Washington St.; SHS Operetta (same show days, times as the previous weekend, plus performances May 20-22) and the Grand Parade, at noon May 14 in downtown Sequim.

“We are thrilled to have (the Grand Parade) back,” said launch dinner emcee James Castell.

One activity not included in this year’s events is the annual carnival, traditionally held on West Fir Street between Sequim High School and Helen Haller Elementary.

“We’re trying to bring back as many as we can,” Coonts said Saturday, but carnival organizers weren’t able to find enough crew members to bring to the Sequim Carnival.

For more information about the festival, see irrigationfestival.com.


Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Olympic Peninsula News Group’s Sequim Gazette, which is also made up of other newspapers Sound Publishing Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Join it at [email protected]