Logs of fun planned at Sequim irrigation celebration
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Dave Bekkevar, left, and Kevin Kennedy discuss Thursday setting up the Sequim Irrigation Festival's 25th annual Logging Show.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– In 1988, longtime friends Dave Bekkevar and Kevin Kennedy decided to have some of their friends compete to test their logging skills.

They figured, Kennedy said, it would be a fun lark to see traditional logging contests like ax throwing, pole climbing and hand bucking.

“I can still remember seeing that swarm of people coming down toward the arena,” Kennedy said.

“They just kept coming in droves.”

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary in Sequim's centennial year, the Logging Show is one of the highlights of the city's annual Irrigation Festival.

“It's a great part of the festival,” said Deon Kapetan, chair of this year's festival. “People go crazy over that logging show.”

The Logging Show at Blake Field at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., is set from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. today and starts again at 2 p.m. Saturday.

This weekend is the second of the Sequim Irrigation Festival, now in its 118th year — the longest continually running festival in Washington state.

The celebration will include a Grand Parade, strongman competitions, fireworks and other activities before it comes to a close Sunday.

Although he doesn't take official attendance at the Logging Show, Kennedy said he knows it has grown over the past quarter-century.

“I always judge the crowd by Sanikans,” he said, referring to the portable toilets dotting Blake Field.

In 1988, they had one portable toilet and two kegs of beer in the back of a pickup truck.

This year, there are 15 portable facilities, and last year's attendees guzzled 22 kegs of beer.

“We probably shouldn't mention that part,” Bekkevar said.

The farmer, Bekkevar, and the municipal employee, Kennedy, claim to do nothing but argue over logging show preparations.

In truth, the pair get along like an old Vaudeville comedy team, ribbing each other as they inspect the poles set all over the lot before the big show.

Partly for his work in helping organize the Logging Show, Kennedy was named Sequim's 2012 Citizen of the Year by the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce in March.

In addition to organizing the first Logging Show with Bekkevar, Kennedy has served on the festival board for 25 years.

“Yeah, the big Citizen of the Year,” Bekkevar said. “A real celebrity.”



Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 09. 2013 6:33PM
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