There’s no denying that water truly is wealth. Without it there’s nothing – no food, no people, no towns, no life, and certainly no wealth!
Consider Rome, for example – the ancient civilization understood the life-giving value of water and was able to harness and transport it, contributing to their prosperity and wealth.
Closer to home, the 19th Century pioneers who came to Sequim also appreciated water’s life-giving properties. By digging ditches and enabling agriculture, they created a sustainable food and water source to feed the valley and the people who’ve been coming to it ever since.
And that’s reason to celebrate!
Every year, the Sequim Irrigation Festival recognizes the work of D.R. “Crazy” Callen and his partners, the masterminds behind the design and development of the irrigation ditches that brought water from the Dungeness River to the parched prairie.
The first headgate on the Dungeness River was lifted on May 1, 1895 and on May 1, 1896 the first celebration took place at Crazy Callen’s farm. This marked the beginning of a rich tradition that would become the oldest continuing festival in Washington State. This year, they’re celebrating 126 years where water is wealth!
This year’s festivities include a mix of virtual and live events. Recently, the Royalty Pageant saw the crowning of the new Royal Court. If you didn’t get a chance to see them, make sure to get out for the Past Royalty event, where Royals from years past attend.
“This one’s definitely a popular event, especially since we have Royals from the 1940s who attend,” says Guy Horton, Marketing and Communications Director of the Sequim Irrigation Festival. “These ladies show up absolutely dressed to the nines with their hair and make up done and share their stories, and being able to pass it along generationally is pretty special.”
You can also look forward to myriad events, starting May 8, including a Crazy Daze Breakfast, Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair, Family Fun Day and even a car show.
This year’s theme, “A Place for You to Rome,” reflects the long history of irrigation, and the many places to roam close to home – with oceans, forests and mountains in our own backyard, there’s so much to do!
“We’re really trying to encourage everyone to take advantage of the amazing community we get to call home,” Horton explains. “At the same time, the theme is also paying homage to the pioneers’ ability to move water, much like ancient civilizations in Rome, as we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”
To join Washington’s oldest festival and celebrate where water is wealth, visit the Sequim Irrigation Festival today!