JOYCE — Sweet wild blackberries in freshly baked pies are always the highlight of the annual Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival, which will return for the 36th year Saturday.
These aren’t just any blackberries. Pies must be baked with only the native Pacific Blackberry, Rubus ursinus, which many say are the tastiest blackberries on the planet.
Local berry pickers have provided the essential fruit for the Joyce pies which will be sold in slices from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joyce Depot Museum.
Pie makers will work from noon to 3 p.m. today.
The money raised from the sale will go into a scholarship fund for Crescent School graduating seniors.
Along with a pie-baking contest and sales of blackberry pies there will be a parade through the community on state Highway 112 west of Port Angeles, vendors, a salmon bake and entertainment.
Highway 112 will be temporarily closed through Joyce during the Joyce Daze Parade.
The highway will be closed to traffic from the intersection with Piedmont Road to east of downtown Joyce from 12:30 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. A detour route to bypass Joyce will be available.
Judging for the parade at the staging area at Crescent School will begin at 10:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. parade, said Patti Morris, and so parade participants have each year been treated to homemade cookies.
“For years Leila Singhose has baked cookies for the Joyce Daze Parade attendees at the staging area,” Morris said. “As you know there is quite a wait in between the parade judging and the parade and folks get hungry.”
However, Leila and John Singhose are stepping back from this task and so Morris is seeking bakers willing to share their skills with parade participants.
“We are asking if you are going out to Joyce Daze to try and bring a dozen cookies to the parade registration tent no later than 10 a.m.,” Morris said in an email.
“We want to try and relieve Leila Singhose of this huge responsibility and let her know that we will carry on for her.”
Morris can be reached at 360-461-9008.
During the parade, old-fashioned horse-drawn carriages will carry parade honorees. Floats, antique cars, horses and bikes, wagons and decorated wheel barrows are expected in the parade. Politicians will wave from convertibles and veterans will salute from trucks.
Pies submitted to the pie-baking contest will be judged from 11 a.m. to noon with prizes donated by the Peninsula Daily News for first, second and third place in both adult and youth categories.
In the adult category, first place will receive $50 in Downtown Dollars while second and third place each will be given $25 in Downtown Dollars.
In the youth category, first place will receive $25 in Downtown Dollars while second and third places each will get $10 in Downtown Dollars.
Only amateur bakers can enter. Youth entries must be by people 12 and younger.
Other guidelines: Pie must be traditional two-crust berry pies, crusts and filling must be made from scratch and only native Pacific Blackberries can be used in the filling.
Pies will be judged for overall appearance; flavor, color and texture of crust; and flavor, color and texture of filling; as well as creativity.
Here is the schedule for Saturday’s Joyce Daze.
• 7 a.m. to 11 a.m — Pancake breakfast, Crescent Grange.
• 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. — Pies submitted for judging.
• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Clallam County Fire District and the Elwha Police Department will offer equipment demonstrations at the mini-mall.
• 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Vendor booths at Joyce Center.
• 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Blackberry pie sales open at the Joyce Depot Museum.
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Kids’ activities at the lumber yard east of Joyce Museum.
• 10:30 a.m. — Parade judging at Crescent School.
• 11 a.m. to noon — Judging of the pies.
• 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Salmon Bake by Crescent Bay Lions Club at the mini mall.
• 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. — Grand Parade – state Highway 112
• 3 p.m. — Raffle drawing.
Here is the schedule for entertainment at the Joyce Depot Museum.
• 10:30 a.m. — Olympic Mountain Cloggers.
• 11 a.m. — Wanda Bumgardner.
• 11:40 a.m. — Jim Hansen and Friends.
• 12:20 p.m. — Luck of the Draw.
• 2 p.m. — Cheering Contest.
• 2:20 p.m. — Just Friends.