Volunteers prepare for Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts
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Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News
Tara Martin Lopez, left, works with fellow volunteer Gail Weger on hanging banners outside Port Angeles' Vern Burton Community Center, headquarters of the five-day Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. The festival runs through Monday on stages in and around downtown.

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

NOTE: “Today” and “tonight” refer to Friday, May 23.


PORT ANGELES — This is like summer camp, Sam Calhoun said after stepping down from a ladder.

Calhoun, coordinator of volunteers at the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts, was hanging banners and streamers Thursday morning for the five-day music-dance-art event, which emanates from the Vern Burton Community Center at 308 E. Fourth St.

After the kickoff concert with the California band Poor Man's Whiskey on Thursday night, the festival charges forward today through Monday with blues, rock, soul, folk, bluegrass, country, reggae and Latin music, plus Ballet Victoria and local bands such as Porto Alegre with Robin Bessier from Port Townsend and Witherow with Abby Mae from Port Angeles.

Much more about the festival lineup can be found in Peninsula Spotlight in today's Peninsula Daily News and at http://tinyurl.com/pdn-jffa2014.

Free festival programs are also available at the Vern Burton center.

Just as enjoyable as the shows, for Calhoun, is seeing friends you haven't seen since last year.

Music, street fair

They come for the music and the street fair, which wraps around the Vern Burton center from noon until 7 p.m. today, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Monday.

Admission to the fair — with some 40 food, art and craft vendors — is free, while full-festival passes, available outside the Vern Burton, are $70 for adults and teens; single-day tickets are $20 for today or Monday and $25 for Saturday or Sunday — while for children 12 and younger, there's no charge throughout the festival.

Tonight's concerts

Tonight's concerts on the Vern Burton stage include Dustbowl Revival, voted 2013's Best Live Band by LA Weekly, at 5:15 p.m.; Poor Man's Whiskey at 6:45 p.m.; and blues artist Curtis Salgado at 8:30 p.m.

Next door on the chamber stage, it's folk-rock band Hot Damn Scandal from Bellingham at 8:30 p.m.

“Juan de Fuca After Hours” shows, included with a festival ticket, start at 10:30 p.m.: Poor Man's Whiskey at Bar N9ne, 229 W. First St.; Dustbowl Revival at Barhop Brewing, 124 W. Railroad Ave.; and Hot Damn Scandal at Next Door Gastropub, 113 W. First St.

Expands on weekend

The festival expands Saturday and Sunday with concerts and dances at the Vern Burton and the chamber stage plus the ballroom and second-floor stage at the Elks Naval Lodge, 131 E. First St.

Barhop, Bar N9ne and Next Door will host 10:30 p.m. shows both nights.

On Monday, the Vern Burton and chamber stages will host acts including the Mogis, Geoffrey Castle, Witherow and the Highlife Band from Seattle.

The festival's venues may not be fancy concert halls — the Vern Burton was a gym and the chamber stage is the Port Angeles City Council chambers — but they'll do in the rain that's forecast for the weekend.

But then, there might be a sun break now and again. Local weather tends to mirror the diversity of festival music.

“It wouldn't be Port Angeles,” said volunteer Steve Johnson, “if we didn't have a little bit of everything.”

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 22. 2014 10:08PM
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