Irrigation Festival still going, growing 117 years later

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Sequim Gazette staff

Last weekend’s wonderful weather should lead into Sequim Irrigation Festival’s main events May 10-13.


From the 117th festival’s Grand Parade to the multitude of events in the Logging Show to the carnival, organizers are readying to build on the success of last weekend’s events.


Festival chairman Deon Kapetan said events like the Arts & Crafts Fair, the Merchants Fair and the Kids Day and Family Picnic were successful.


Lynn Elliott, co-organizer of the Arts & Crafts Fair, said there was a steady flow of people and that most vendors were happy and turning a profit by noon on Saturday.


Theresa Rubens, organizer of the Merchants Fair, said that most merchants are excited about signing up for next year’s fair already.


The pace picked up at the Kids Day and Family Picnic after 11 a.m., Kapetan said.


“You could definitely tell there was a ‘buzz’ in the air,” she said.

Putting on a show

This year, 130 entries are entered in the Grand Parade sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sequim. They’ve managed the event for 57 years. It features the Grand Marshal, Grand and Honorary Pioneers, festival float and floats from around the state, bands, community groups, businesses and service and children’s groups.


Kapetan said this year the festival and Sound Community Bank are supporting a peanut butter drive for the Sequim Food Bank. City of Sequim staffers will take jars of peanut butter during the parade and place it in their vehicles.


“I love the excitement of it all,” Kapetan said of the parade. “I enjoy seeing all the spectators come out and spend time with their families and friends in celebration. Most people have no idea how much work goes into running an event this size until they see multiple festival event directors, volunteers and Rotarians in action and it’s wonderful to see everyone working together.”


Prior to the parade, the 5K Dungeness River Run takes to the parade route.


“It’s going to be a pretty tight fit to get everyone down and back on the route in a timely manner,” she said. “However, it should be fun for the runners to have a captive audience before the car parade begins.”

Another treat is the carnival on Sunday allows for moms to ride for free in honor of Mother’s Day.


“It’s a great venue for adults and children and it also helps fund the many festival events,” Kapetan said.


The biggest bang of the festival is the fireworks show on Friday at 9:30 p.m.


“They’re one of the largest expenses to the festival but, so worth it,” Kapetan said. “So grab a cup of hot cocoa and a blanket and come down to the Logging Show with your friends and enjoy the fantastic display of fireworks.”


Second weekend events: 

1. Carnival

Thursday, May 10, 5-9 p.m.; Friday, May 11, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, May 12, noon-9 p.m.; and Sunday, May 13, noon-6 p.m. at the Sequim High School green field. Wrist bands will be available at an advance cost of $20 for all day ($25 day of the carnival) at KeyBank, the Chamber of Commerce, Sound Community Bank and Pacific Mist Books until May 9.

2. Crazy Daze Breakfast

Friday May 11, 7 a.m.
Sunland Clubhouse
The irrigation ditches were designed and developed by D.R. Callen. Because the concept was so far out, he was dubbed “Crazy Cal.” Crazy Daze is Sequim’s way of celebrating and honoring Crazy Cal. Business teams and individuals come in costume, perform skits and have a fun time. Awards are given to best skits. Tickets are $10 each and are available at Solar City’s Tesa Boutique, KeyBank and Sound Community Bank in Sequim.

3. Logging Show, Truck and Tractor Pull

Friday, May 11, 5-10 p.m.
Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Blake Avenue lot
Now in its 25th year, the Logging Show will feature contestants from throughout the Northwest and Canada. Competitors can register for events at noon on the day of the show. Helicopter rides (fee) will be available on Friday until dark and on Saturday.
• Friday
Beer Garden: 4-11 p.m.
Chain saw carving: Noon-7 p.m.
Country band starts at 8 p.m.; Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m.
• Saturday
Lawnmower races: 11 a.m. with main event at about 3 p.m. New event: 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Children’s push mowers races by age groups with trophies and prizes awarded.
Chain saw carving: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with live auction of carvings at about 5 p.m.
Tractor pull: Noon
Logging show events start at 2 p.m. From 10 a.m.-6 p.m. there will be a beer garden, antique saw exhibit, food vendors and petting zoo.

4. Strongman Showdown

Friday, May 11, 6-8 p.m.
Blake Avenue lot
The Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Strongman Showdown will test the boundaries of physical strength with a variety of contests. This free event will be held in the Logging Show area, in the field south of Carrie Blake Park.
Events will include: Press medley including two logs, an axle and dumbbell, stone lift, truck pull, tire flip and yoke and farmer’s walk.

5. Fireworks

Friday, May 11, 9:30 p.m.
Blake Avenue lot

6. Kids Parade

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.
Lineup at 9:30 a.m. and staging at 9:45 a.m. at Walgreen’s parking lot; Parade route is on Washington Street from Fifth to Third avenues.
Kids 12 and younger can participate in these categories: Best Festival Theme (117 & Still Growin’ Green), Cartoon/Storybook Character or Best Dressed Pet. Pick up your children at Thomas Building Supply. If you have any questions, call Nikki at 360-808-4855.

7. River Center Run

Saturday, May 12, 10:20 a.m.
Out and back course with start/finish at J.C. Penney parking lot (Washington Street at Seventh Avenue)
Participants are encouraged to pre-register. Day of event registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; lineup is at 10 a.m.; the run starts at 10:20 a.m. Medal awards will be given for the top three male and female finishers and there will be first-place awards in the following age categories: under 18, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and over
The entry fee is $10 per person or $25 for a family (proceeds will be donated to the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim).
For more information, go to or contact Kristin at 360-477-1877 or
Note: Event times and locations are subject to change as conditions require. For updates, go to or

8. High Octane Car Cruzz

Saturday, May 12, 10:55 a.m.
Washington Street from Dunlap Avenue to Walmart (Priest Road)
The Car Cruzz is a parade of vintage automobiles that precedes the Grand Parade. Once the cars have reached the Walmart parking lot, the Car Show ‘n Shine will begin at noon.

9. 117th Irrigation Festival Grand Parade

Saturday, May 12, Noon
Washington Street from Dunlap to Seventh avenues
For 57 years, the Rotary Club of Sequim has organized and managed the Sequim Irrigation Festival Grand Parade which draws entries from Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap counties and beyond. Entries include the Grand Marshal, Grand and Honorary Pioneers, festival float and floats from around the state, several bands, community groups, businesses, service groups and children’s groups.

10. High Octane Car Show ‘n Shine

Saturday, May 12, Noon-4 p.m.
Walmart Parking lot at Washington Street and Priest Road
Browse among the many vintage and special vehicles at the Walmart parking lot.


For more on the Sequim Irrigation Festival, visit



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