Port Angeles artist and pie judge Jeff Tocher, left, along with fellow judges Darren Westergard, coach of the Port Angeles Lefties, and John Brewer, community volunteer and former Peninsula Daily News publisher, taste samples of apple pie during Wednesday’s Independence Day “Pies on the Pier” contest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
                                Port Angeles artist and pie judge Jeff Tocher, left, along with fellow judges Darren Westergard, coach of the Port Angeles Lefties, and John Brewer, community volunteer and former Peninsula Daily News publisher, taste samples of apple pie during Wednesday’s Independence Day “Pies on the Pier” contest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles artist and pie judge Jeff Tocher, left, along with fellow judges Darren Westergard, coach of the Port Angeles Lefties, and John Brewer, community volunteer and former Peninsula Daily News publisher, taste samples of apple pie during Wednesday’s Independence Day “Pies on the Pier” contest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News) Port Angeles artist and pie judge Jeff Tocher, left, along with fellow judges Darren Westergard, coach of the Port Angeles Lefties, and John Brewer, community volunteer and former Peninsula Daily News publisher, taste samples of apple pie during Wednesday’s Independence Day “Pies on the Pier” contest. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Fourth of July celebrated with contests, games and concerts

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fourth of July celebration kicked off Wednesday with a variety of activities and plenty of apple pie.

The six judges — Jeff Tocher, John Brewer, Laurel Hargis, Darren Westergard, Corey Delikat and Amanda Bacon — had the grueling task of sampling 27 apple pies.

The winner this year was Kari Horton of Port Angeles, who said she was surprised when the judges announced her name.

“I got second place last year, so I was going for first this year,” she said.

The contest was one of many activities along the Port Angeles waterfront on Wednesday marking the celebration of Independence Day.

The Forks Outfitters store entered its large grocery cart honoring the United States in the grand parade. (Lonnie Archibald/ for Peninsula Daily News)

The Forks Outfitters store entered its large grocery cart honoring the United States in the grand parade. (Lonnie Archibald/ for Peninsula Daily News)

This year included a cornhole tournament at Waterfront Park, a pickleball tournament at The Landing mall, a lawnmower derby and, of course, a parade and fireworks.

Horton said she did most of the preparation for her pie the night before and baked it fresh Wednesday morning. She would not say if she had any secret ingredients that helped her win top prize.

Ten-year-old Makenzy Thompson of Port Angeles receives an American Flag from face painter Abby Sanford in honor of Independence Day at the children’s activity area in the pavillion at The Gateway transit center in Port Angeles on Wednesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Ten-year-old Makenzy Thompson of Port Angeles receives an American Flag from face painter Abby Sanford in honor of Independence Day at the children’s activity area in the pavillion at The Gateway transit center in Port Angeles on Wednesday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

“I can’t divulge my secrets,” she said. “I have little secrets here and there.”

Kelsey Sholund earned second place and JoAnn Gilbertson earned third.

This marked the second year of the annual apple pie baking contest. Last year 40 pies were entered into the contest — so many pies that organizers pulled judges off the street.

Bryce DeLeon, 11, of Port Angeles wears Uncle Sam sunglasses at Port Angeles City Pier on Independence Day. The city’s waterfront was a focus of numerous activities in celebration of the Fourth of July. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Bryce DeLeon, 11, of Port Angeles wears Uncle Sam sunglasses at Port Angeles City Pier on Independence Day. The city’s waterfront was a focus of numerous activities in celebration of the Fourth of July. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Brewer, former publisher and editor of the Peninsula Daily News, said he was thankful there were fewer pies this year.

He said judges had to endure tasting the the pies and the strict judging guidelines they were given.

The judges based their decisions on pre-cut and post-cut appearance, taste and other factors.The competition was so close that two pies initially tied for third, forcing judges to retaste the two pies.

Pies entered into the Apple Bie Baking Contest on Wednesday wait to be sampled by judges. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Pies entered into the Apple Bie Baking Contest on Wednesday wait to be sampled by judges. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Elsewhere in Clallam County, Forks rolled out a full day of activities during it Old-Fashioned Fourth of July celebration, which will continue Friday through Sunday; fireworks and other festivities were had in Neah Bay and Sequim was the venue for a patriotic concert.

In Port Townsend, the Old School 4th of July offered activities beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing to a fireworks show.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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