Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival a homecoming for many — Grand Parade at 1 p.m. today
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
The Rhododendron Festival float, shown in last weekend's Sequim Irrigation Festival Grand Parade, will be the chariot that conveys the Rhody royalty this weekend. Present on the float are, from left, Princess Lane Hill, driver Harlan Lafollette, Prince Shiloh Lanphear-Ramirez, Queen Addie Richert and Princess Kaycee McGuire.
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Jonathan Safir
Lark Hanson, 7, of Port Townsend partook in the 2013 Cake Picnic.
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Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News
During Wednesday’s Trike Race, from left, Layton Lopeman, Taya Hewitt and Molly Murley ride in the 3-year-old race. Sixty-four kids participated.

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

Fun blooms from Rhody Fest schedule
PORT TOWNSEND — The 79th annual Rhododendron Festival, which began Monday, continues today (Saturday) and Sunday:

Saturday

■ Funtastic Carnival, noon — Memorial Field.

■ Running of the Balls fundraiser, about 12:30 p.m. — Monroe Street where it intersects with Lawrence Street. $5 per ball.

■ Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open, 8 a.m. — Port Townsend Golf Course, 1948 Blaine St.

■ Grand Parade, 1 p.m. — The parade will begin at the Port Townsend Fire Station at 1310 Lawrence St., head on Lawrence Street to Monroe Street, turn right and then turn right again on Water Street and Quincy Street.

■ Cake Picnic, following Grand Parade — Free cake at Pope Marine Park.

■ Early Rhody Race packet pickup, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Jefferson Healthcare hospital auditorium, 834 Sheridan St.

■ Spaghetti feed, 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St.

■ “Dine and Dash,” 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Jefferson Healthcare. A spaghetti dinner prepared by chef Aaron Stark will be available for $10.
Phone 360-385-2200, ext. 2014, for reservations.

■ “Wanda's World,” 7 p.m. — Port Townsend High auditorium.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $3 for children 11 and younger.

Sunday

■ Elks' Rhody Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. — Port Townsend Elks Lodge.

■ Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open, 9 a.m. — Port Townsend Golf Course.

■ Rhody Run Registration, 9 a.m. — Fort Worden.

■ Kids Sprint for Health, 9:30 a.m. — Fort Worden.

■ 36th annual Rhody Run, 11 a.m. — Mini-marathon of 12 kilometers, or 7.45 miles, beginning at Fort Worden State Park. Pre-registration is $30 for adults and $12 for those younger than 15. Race day registration is $45 for adults and $15 for those younger than 15.

For more information about the festival, visit www.rhodyfestival.org or http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Rhody.
Peninsula Daily News
PORT TOWNSEND — The 79th annual Rhododendron Festival gets into full swing today (Saturday).

This year's theme for the festival is “Roaring Rhody,” with the 1920s theme to be highlighted in Saturday's Grand Parade at 1 p.m.

Reigning over the festival are Queen Addison Richert, Princess Kaycee McGuire, Prince Shiloh Lanphear-Ramirez and Princess Lane Hill.

While the festival celebrates community spirit, it is also a scholarship pageant.

Richert will receive a $1,500 scholarship, while Hill, Lanphear-Ramirez and McGuire each will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Grand Parade

This year's Grand Parade is pretty grand, with 109 entries, including 10 bands and eight festival floats.

The parade will begin at the Port Townsend Fire Station at 1310 Lawrence St., head on Lawrence Street to Monroe Street, turn right and then turn right again on Water Street and Quincy Street.

Immediately following the parade will be the second annual Cake Picnic in Pope Marine Park, where some 4,000 servings of cake will be given away free.

Past President Rita Hubbard is managing the parade again.

“Even though I say every year it has to be my last, I continue to get caught up in the excitement by not only our entire Rhody Family but all the volunteers and the community that continues to support our wonderful festival,” she said.

“We have new entries this year, people that haven't ever been in our parade or have not been here for a long time.

“We, of course, have our regulars,” she said, and since it's an election year, there will be candidates in the parade.

Hubbard acknowledges how the entire community embraces the festival.

“I'm constantly grateful for the support and patience of the neighborhoods that allow us to line up in front of their homes and come out to meet and greet our visitors,” she said.

“As always, the city police and fire department are a vital part of our festival, and we couldn't stay safe and organized without them, and it's going to be a great parade.”

The festival began Monday with the royal court immortalizing their handprints in cement and continued with a Trike Race on Wednesday and a Pet Parade on Thursday.

Preceding the festival were the “Dude Looks Like a Lady” fundraiser last Saturday, which brought in more than $1,900 toward the royalty's scholarship fund, and the 38th annual Rhododendron Arts and Crafts Fair last weekend.

Running of the Balls

Before the parade Saturday at about 12:30 p.m. will be the Running of the Balls fundraiser.

For $5, a person can sponsor a numbered golf ball. All of the balls will be rolled down the hill on Monroe Street where it intersects with Lawrence Street.

The sponsors of the first three balls to pass the finish line will win cash prizes.

The fundraiser, sponsored by the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary Club, will fund the free dictionary program for all Jefferson County third-graders and the “Backpack” supplemental food program for children.

Tickets are available at Henery's Hardware, Safeway and the starting gate at Lawrence and Monroe streets on Parade Day from noon until the race begins.

Golf enthusiasts can play in the Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open, which will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday at the Port Townsend Golf Course, 1948 Blaine St.

Rhody Run

On Sunday will be the 36th annual Rhody Run, sponsored by Jefferson Healthcare hospital.

The mini-marathon is 12 kilometers, or 7.45 miles, beginning at Fort Worden State Park at 11 a.m.

Registration until Saturday is $30 for adults and $12 for those younger than 15.

Those registering at the race itself will be charged $45 for adults and $15 for those younger than 15.

Jefferson Healthcare also will sponsor a free Kids Sprint for Health for children 9 and younger at 9:30 a.m.

Online registration at www.rhodyrun.com for the Rhody Run ended Friday.

Jefferson Healthcare will host an early packet pickup for the Rhody Run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium of the hospital at 834 Sheridan St.

It is taking reservations at 360-385-2200, ext. 2014, for a “dine and dash” spaghetti dinner prepared by chef Aaron Stark from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Runners can also chow down Saturday at the Port Townsend Elks Lodge spaghetti feed from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the lodge at 555 Otto St.

And don't forget the carnival. The Funtastic Carnival opened at Memorial Field for the first of three nights on Thursday.

It will open at noon Saturday.

For more information about the festival, visit www.rhodyfestival.org or http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Rhody.

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 16. 2014 10:24PM
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