By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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■ Elks Rhody Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St.
■ Jim Caldwell Memorial Open, 8 a.m. at the Port Townsend Golf Course, 1948 Blaine St.
■ Olympic Peninsula American Rhododendron Society Flower Show at Fort Worden Chapel from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a plant sale at noon.
■ Visiting Royalty Reception, 10:30 a.m. to noon at First Baptist Church, 1202 Lawrence St.
■ Running of the Balls fundraiser at noon on Monroe Street, sponsored by Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary.
■ Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade at 1 p.m. in front of the Carnegie Library on Lawrence Street.
The parade will turn right on Monroe Street and right on Water Street before ending on Quincy Street.
■ Cake Picnic at Pope Marine Park after the parade. All are invited. Cake is free.
■ Funtastic Carnival from noon until closing at Memorial Field.
■ Spaghetti Feed, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge.
■ “The Imaginary Invalid,” with curtains rising at 7 p.m. at Port Townsend High School.
■ Elks Rhody Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Elks Lodge.
■ Jim Caldwell Memorial Open, 9 a.m. at the Port Townsend Golf Course.
■ Rhody Run Registration, 9 a.m. at Fort Worden State Park parade ground.
■ Rhododendron Flower Show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fort Worden Chapel.
■ Rhody Run Race, 11 a.m. at Fort Worden State Park parade grounds, awards at 1:30 p.m. Kids Sprint will be held prior to the run. Phone 360-385-2200, ext. 2037, for more information.
For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/rhodyfest.
The main event, the Rhododendron Parade, begins at 1 p.m. Saturday in front of the Carnegie Library on Lawrence Street, turning right on Monroe Street and right on Water Street before ending on Quincy Street.
With the number of local and visiting floats, it can take more than three hours to see the whole parade.
This year's theme is “I Dream of Rhody.” The Rhody float resembles Aladdin's lamp, complete with steam.
Rhody royalty — Queen Emma White Thunder and Princesses Corinthia Cardona and Kaila Olin — will ride on the float.
It is the first time in several years that all of the princesses have been high school seniors, according to Melanie Bozak, the event's past president.
One new addition to the parade is the Wells Fargo stagecoach.
“We've been trying to get this for years,” said Rita Hubbard, a veteran member of the Rhody organization. “It's awesome that we were finally able to get them into the parade.”
The Wells Fargo stagecoach is designed to resemble the vintage stagecoaches used in Wild West days and travels throughout Washington state for appearances at events and parades, according to teller Linnea Rivel, who works at the bank's Port Townsend branch and helped secure the stagecoach for the parade.
It can be difficult to get the coach to appear, as there are several conflicting events requesting an appearance, she said.
While the parade is the longest-running tradition, the festival has always sought to provide new events.
Last year was the first outing for the Running of the Balls, which will begin at noon Saturday, with painted and numbered golf balls “racing” down Monroe Street.
The balls are sold as a fundraiser for Sunrise Rotary for $5 each or $20 for five, with the first-place winner walking away with a $1,000 prize.
Second and third prizes for $500 and $250, respectively, also will be awarded.
Balls are for sale from local Rotarians or by emailing email@example.com.
This year, the festival has added a cake picnic to immediately follow Saturday's grand parade, scheduled for around 4:30 at Pope Marine Park.
The BoomFest team, which has sponsored an annual music festival and other events, is the driving force behind the picnic at Pope Marine Park.
Organizer Danny Milholland said that enough cake — a lemon butter recipe with a frosting to be determined — will be on hand to serve 1,600 people.
Bakers Meredith Hotchkiss and Kellen Lynch of the Cultivated Palette kitchen will prepare the cake.
Milholland said he hopes to raise $2,000 to cover the cost of the baking and the cake.
The money will support the Rhody Festival, which Bozak said is in better financial shape now than in years past.
Also new this year will be a hair and beard contest sponsored by Arlene's Shop and Styles by Sean.
Registration will be at 5 p.m. today at Water and Monroe streets, and judging will begin at 5:30 p.m.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.