And the fest goes on …
Sequim celebrated its civic pride this past weekend with a slew of online events combined with an Innovative Arts and Crafts festival and a parade-turned-procession to celebrate the annual Sequim irrigation Festival on Saturday, May 8.
Julianne Coonts, the festival’s first-year volunteer executive director, said the day of events went well.
“We had a lot of positive feedback and we were able to get all of our events out there,” she said. “We had more participation virtually this year than last year, too.”
This was the second year for the festival turning to virtual events following COVID-19 protocols and concerns.
Coonts said there were some inquiries about events not being in-person, but because of permit deadlines, state health guidelines and the need for more volunteers, organizers opted to keep most events virtual.
“At this point, we are looking forward to a full, live festival next year,” she said. “We might have to pivot, but those kinds of decisions will be made by the end of February (2022) to see where we’re at.”
For the in-person events, the Arts and Crafts festival joined the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturday, and the procession route wasn’t revealed until Friday, May 7, so as not to promote large gatherings.
There was still a good turnout around the City of Sequim, Coonts said, with “quite a few people coming out to watch with a lot thumbs up and honking and waving.”
Sequim continued its streak for the 126th year as the most continuous festival with the theme “A Place for You to Rome.” Coonts said planning is underway for the 127th festival set for the first two weekends of May 2022 with its theme to be revealed at a later date.
Organizers are exploring a downtown street dance, offering more distance options with the Fun Run, keeping a scavenger hunt as part of the Family Fun Day, and many other ideas, Coonts said.
“We learned a lot from virtual events,” she said. “We found some real positives and maybe there are some things we can continue to implement.”
Another idea is making the royalty scholarship pageant a hybrid in-person/virtual event so people who are unable to attend can see it from afar.
With the festival an all-volunteer effort, Coonts said they’re always seeking volunteers and event chair people, such as for the Crazy Daze Breakfast, Fun Run and float construction.
“There’s a lot of support surrounding these positions, and space for someone to volunteer if they don’t want to chair something,” she said.
For her first year as director, Coonts said she had a lot of support from the festival’s organizers and “everybody was so warm and gracious and open.”
“I really want to thank the community for coming together and supporting and participating in the festival,” she said.
To volunteer, email to firstname.lastname@example.org with how you’d like to help.