If you’ve been in the dark about Sequim’s newest festival, there’s plenty to see and do to brighten the beginning of your March.
The Sequim Sunshine Festival is set for March 6 and 7 throughout the area to highlight one of Sequim’s best assets — its sunshine.
It’s been discussed for about two years, said Barbara Hanna, Sequim communications and marketing director, with the goal to create something for Sequim’s offseason with summer full, spring already busy and fall becoming busier.
“It’s two weeks before the spring solstice, so it’s good timing,” Hanna said.
The festival features events for all ages and abilities throughout two days ranging from a walk/run to a drone show to an interactive light show to a lot of live music.
Shine bright on walk/run
The Sun Fun Color Run is one of the festival’s events receiving a lot of interest.
“There’s really nothing like it done before on the peninsula,” said organizer Victoria Jones, who also coordinates Run the Peninsula events.
Participants sign up for a 1K or 5K walk/run at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at Carrie Blake Community Park and on the Olympic Discovery Trail. They’ll receive a T-shirt, sunglasses, and a color blast bag to “color-up” as they go.
There will be “blast zones” — seven in the 5K and three in the 1K — where runners/walkers can get sprayed to decorate their shirt.
The color burst bag of nontoxic colored corn starch can be thrown up in the air at the beginning or throughout for a cool effect, Jones said.
The 5K is featured as a professional timed event with overall places for first, second and third in each age category, and medals for all participants.
Jones said there are 203 people registered as of Feb. 14, with space for up to 450.
“I’m urging everyone to register because you’ll be mad you didn’t,” she said.
Cost online is $15 for the 1K and $30 for 5K through Feb. 29 at runsignup.com/Race/WA/Sequim/SunFunColorRun,
Dinner dance and bike ride
The Sun Fun Color Run is one of two entry-fee required events including the Sound Community Bank Beach Party Dinner and Dance at 6 p.m. March 7 in the Guy Cole Event Center.
It features a dinner by Kokopelli Grill, and music by Black Diamond Junction and Bread and Gravy. Cost is $35 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4443839
The Rolling Sunshine Cycling Event begins in the park at 9 a.m. Saturday, too, with registration prior to the race but at no cost.
Organizers call it a “relaxed, family-friendly, social bike ride” going along the Olympic Discovery Trail to the Agnew Grocery store and back. Helmets are required.
Music is featured in the park during and after morning events.
Hanna said organizers’ goal was to have a variety of events to appeal to all ages.
Art, grub and lights
Friday ties into the First Friday Art Walk downtown from 5-8 p.m.
A number of venues open up for the night to welcome in locals and visitors.
Hanna said they’re partnering with local eateries to offer special menu items and prices as a way to encourage people to eat in Sequim. Find information on who is participating on the festival’s website.
Sequim’s Arts Advisory Commission Chairman Ross A. Brown speaks at the Sequim Civic Center at 5 p.m. Friday night about light, before hosting a custom built light experience at Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St.
He tells festival organizers the “exhibit is intended to invite the viewer to experience light as a form of artistic expression as well as talk about ’what is light.’ As the viewer, you will be able to interact with and manipulate the light to see and feel the extraordinary power of these electromagnetic waves we call light.”
A preview opens at 6 p.m. Friday night and is available 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., also hosts a screening of the documentary “Look to the Sky” about children doing charitable acts in their cities. It plays at p.m. Friday, and again at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Participants are encouraged to wear superhero costumes for the show, organizers said.
Music all day
Live music is scheduled throughout Saturday at Pioneer Park, Centennial Place and for portions of the day and night at Carrie Blake Community Park.
Join the Open Jam Session from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, too, on the corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street. Players and singers join for folk music and early rock songs for all level of musicians; lyrics and chords are provided.
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe representatives share the story of why it’s always sunny in Sequim at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Chalk artist Naomi Haverland will create a 3-D sunshine-inspired chalk art piece that people are encouraged to take their picture with outside the Civic Center all weekend. In case of rain, a tent will be available.
Prior to the Beach Party Dinner Dance, Firefly Drone shows brings 100 drones programmed to fly in formation over Carrie Blake Community Park at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
“The people who don’t go and hear about it later are going to wish they didn’t miss it,” Hanna said.
On Friday and Saturday, participants are encouraged to take a photo of or selfie with items in the area that represent the sun, and post to social media with the hashtag #sequimsunshinefestival.
Hanna said people can redeem photos with festival representatives for “glow-bling,” glow necklaces or bracelets, for Saturday night’s events.
Redeem glow-bling from noon-4 p.m. at the Civic Center and 5-6:45 p.m. at Carrie Blake Community Park. Five photos earns one glow-bling, 10 photos two pieces, and 15 three. Bracelets and necklaces will for sale at the festival, too.
Looking for more sunshine
The City of Sequim budgeted about $50,000 this year for the festival from lodging tax dollars, with about $12,000 helping establish next year’s event, Hanna said.
Advertising has been ongoing since the fall in print and online.
“The target is always to bring in people for the weekend, but we always design it so that locals will come,” Hanna said. “Our community thrives on community events. We always want the community to get involved and excited about it.”
About a week after the event, organizers plan to assess what worked well, she said.
Hanna said organizers’ goals in the short-term are to be successful enough to have a second year, and in the long-term be financially stable in about three years.
“I just want people to come out and have a fun time,” she said. “If people talk about it and tell their friends about it, and it grows from there (then it’s a success).”
For more information, visit sequimsunshinefestival.com or call the City of Sequim at 360-683-4139.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.