BLYN — This year’s Sequim Irrigation Festival float is ready to steam ahead.
The state’s oldest and longest continuously running festival, set this year for May 6-15, kept tradition Saturday with a grand entrance for its smoking new ride for Sequim’s royalty.
Float crew rolled out the 121st Sequim Irrigation Festival’s steamboat, created by designer Guy Horton and crew Kevin Kapetan, Mark Ostroot and Jeff Gumm, prior to the Kick Off Dinner at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn.
Horton said creating the float took 53 days from start to finish with more than 800 hours put into it.
“It’s far and away the best one I’ve done,” Horton said.
The steamboat follows this year’s theme, “Looking to the Future Through the Past,” and the steam punk/mechanical vibe, Horton said.
Irrigation Festival volunteers said in researching the float, they found that more than 200 registered vessels powered by steam and propelled by paddlewheels have operated in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Horton said included in the design are hydraulic lifts for the third and fourth decks, a commercial-grade smoke machine on the third deck operated by remote control and lights throughout that “look great at night.”
Festival royalty and a large crowd greeted the steamboat with cheers. Dinner proceeds fund taking the float to 18 planned parades and events in the coming year.
At the dinner, locals and current and past royalty and dignitaries participated in silent and live auctions to help support the festival.
The Crazy Daze Breakfast will begin the festival May 6.
The grand parade, which draws about 120 entries, is May 14.
The annual operetta, which is “Cinderella” this year, will run April 28-May 14.
For more information, visit www.irrigationfestival.com.
The Olympic Peninsula News Group is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum.