Sequim Irrigation Festival’s royalty and volunteers continue to show people across the state that there’s no place like home.
The “Wizard of Oz”-themed float has won big awards all summer with the most recent accolade “Best of Show” coming at the Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival on Aug. 3.
At the royalty’s first festival of the year, the Tacoma Daffodil Festival they won “Best Animation.”
So far they’ve also won the “Light of the Night Award” at Seafair’s Torchlight Parade and “Grand Sweepstakes” at the Marysville Strawberry Festival, Port Angeles’ Port Angeles Fourth of July Celebration, and the McCleary Bear Festival.
The festival took home the “Key City Award” in the Rhododendron Festival, the “Mayor’s Award” at Port Orchard’s Fathoms O’ Fun, and second place at Forks’ Old Fashion Fourth of July.
“It’s doing quite well,” said float designer Guy Horton.
“I think it’s a great float. I’m excited about it. It’s my favorite movie of all time and this group of girls has just been amazing.”
Horton said he and a small crew built the float with animation in mind with 10 moving parts, including Dorothy’s house and a tornado spinning, moving lights creating the Yellow Brick Road, along with homages to the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.
Horton said the float is competing as well as the paddle wheel float from a few years ago.
“I knew this one was going to be something special,” he said.
While in the Emerald City of Seattle, royalty fielded compliments all day as they parked by the Space Needle and waited for the Torchlight Parade that night.
“When you look at it, it draws you in,” Horton said. “It tells the complete story of the “Wizard of Oz” in about 20 feet. It’s been a lot of fun.”
The float finishes its parade season with the Hoquiam Logger’s Play Day Grand Parade and Quilcene Fair in early September followed by Leavenworth’s Autumn Leaf Festival on Sept. 28 and Issaquah Salmon Days Grand Parade on Oct. 5.
Along with Horton, several people helped build the float, including Mark Ostroot, Dan Goettling, Pat McComb, Justin Witherow, Steven Jordan, Quin Meyer and Lynn Horton.
For more information on the Irrigation Festival, visit irrigationfestival.com.