Keeping the float flowing

— image credit:
Sequim Gazette

From berries to flowers to lavender to water to the wondrous mountains, the new Irrigation Festival float holds a little piece of everything Sequim.


Float designer Guy Horton said he hopes to draw oohs and aahs with his float, his eighth overall.


The float is set for unveiling at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in front of 7 Cedars Casino, 270756 U.S. Highway 101.


Design for the float came to Horton over a meal when he designed it on a dinner napkin. He started construction around Christmas time.


“It’s definitely different from anything we’ve done before,” he said.


Running with the festival’s theme “117 and Still Growin’ Green” and “Water is Wealth“ tagline, Horton installed a functioning irrigation ditch through the center of the float. A 65-gallon tank holds water that is cycled through continuously. A rotating irrigation gate stands at the bottom.


The backdrop is a Ross Hamilton mural of Sequim’s view of the Olympic Mountains measuring 14 feet wide by 11 feet high. On the sides, scale-sized hay bales, ferns and trees mesh with the display for a 3-D look.


Festival royalty see the float for the first time at the event. They’ll be in their gowns for the first time then, too.


Queen Abigail Berry will wear blue, representing water, and sit on a bench above the irrigation ditch.


Princess Amanda Dronenburg wears purple to represent lavender. Princess Arianna Flores is set to wear green and gold symbolizing U-pick flowers. Princess Natalie Stevenson’s red dress represents Sequim’s U-pick berries.


The three princesses will stand on the sides and in front of the float.


Horton said he upgraded the float to include more design options in the years to come.


The float also features new directional subwoofers and speakers.


“The sound system is going to rock,” he said.


Horton worked with a small crew up to the unveiling, including his wife, Lynn — the royalty mom — Guy Eldridge, Brad Lato, Brant Parks and Dan Rigg.


The 117th Irrigation Festival’s Kick-Off Dinner, a fundraiser for the festival, begins at 5 p.m. after the float unveiling. Tickets still are available for $65 at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, KeyBank, Sound Community Bank and Pacific Mist Books.


Visit for more information on the festival running May 4-13.


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