Irrigation Festival splashes into opening weekend

— image credit:
Sequim Gazette staff

Rain or not, Sequim continues its streak this weekend with the first weekend of the 117th Sequim Irrigation Festival, the longest-running festival in Washington. The event continues over two weekends from May 4-13, including the grand parade May 12.


“It looks like the past few weekends, Mother Nature has been practicing getting into the routine of clearing up for the weekends and I’ve asked her to keep up the great work,” said Deon Kapetan, festival chairman.


“Either way, we’re tough Washingtonians and we know how to have a great time wet or dry.”


Not much is left to organize for the event, she said.


“The City of Sequim is busy organizing the street closures and re-routing traffic. The Rotary (Club of

Sequim) is quickly setting up the parade lineup for the Grand Parade. The Queen and her court are trying to get some last minute beauty rest. It truly is a team effort by all,” she said.


Sequim Irrigation Festival’s first weekend of events includes Sequim High School’s operetta “The Music Man,” art receptions, special exhibitions for small businesses, a family picnic and Kids Day.


Kapetan said the first weekend showcases hometown businesses and activities.


“This is our local event that is a bit more intimate and relaxing,” she said.


“Many of our mom and pop businesses are selling their goods at these events. Plus, it truly kicks off the grand events with a hometown feel for the next weekend.”


Events are all free to attend, including the Kids Day and Family Picnic at Carrie Blake Park featuring a Coast Guard helicopter, various service vehicles and a petting zoo.


The Arts & Craft Fair runs on Bell Street on Saturday and Sunday while the Open Aire Market opens its season on Cedar Street on Saturday.  The Merchant Fair closes off part of Washington Street on Saturday to unite attendees with local businesses. The festival royalty court will be on hand with the float at 1 p.m. for photos and autographs.


Kapetan said she’s grateful to the volunteers and families who donated their time because in the current economy, “We are seeing more and more festivals struggle financially each year.”


“I also appreciate every one of the many sponsors, no matter what the level of support they give, that keep our festival successful each year,” she said.


For more information about each event, visit, see the official program in today’s Gazette or contact Deon Kapetan at 461-6511.


The Sequim Irrigation Festival is the longest continuously running festival in Washington and now celebrates 117 years with the theme “117 and Still Growin’ Green” over two weekends, from May 4-13. For more information, see today’s Sequim Irrigation Festival program inside the Gazette and Here are the first weekend’s events:

1. First Friday Art Walk
Friday May 4, 5-8 p.m.
Downtown Sequim
First Friday Art Walk Sequim is a fun and free self-guided tour of local art galleries, artists’ studios, the Museum & Art Center and alternative art venues in Sequim on the First Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m.

2. Sequim Arts Juried Art Show
Month of May
Reception: Friday, May 4, 5-8 p.m.
Museum & Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St.
Sequim Arts is sponsoring its 36th annual Fine Arts Exhibit. Festivities begin on Friday, May 4, with an artists’ reception in which more than $1,500 in cash and merchandise prizes will be awarded. Art will be on display through May 27.

3. Arts & Crafts Fair
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, May 6, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Bell Street, between Sequim and Second avenues
This will be the 22nd year for the Arts and Crafts Fair, a two-day event that provides an opportunity for artisans and crafters to display and sell hand-crafted items.

4. Merchants Street Fair
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Washington Street between Sequim and Second avenues
Merchants will have booths along Washington Street. There will be raffles, giveaways, demonstrations and more by the businesses and vendors. The 2012 Festival float also will be parked at the intersection.

5. Kids Day and Family Picnic
Saturday, May 5
Kids Day: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Family Picnic: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Carrie Blake Park
Kids Day and the Family Picnic will be in Carrie Blake Park with activities for the family, including softball games, dog park activities, the Bicycle Poker Run, a football camp, Touch-a-Truck and a barbecue. There also will be a petting zoo and the landing of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

6. Sequim Open Aire Market
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cedar Street, between Sequim and Second avenues
The Sequim Open Aire Market will be present again at the Irrigation Festival.  

7. Sequim High School Operetta:
“The Music Man”
6 p.m. Thursdays: May 3, May 10 and May 17
7 p.m. Fridays: May 11 and May 18
7 p.m. Saturdays: May 12 and May 19
Sequim High School auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave.
“The Music Man” is a classic show, based on music by Meredith Willson and the story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. For ticket information, go to


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