By Erin Hawkins
Olympic Peninsula News Group
SEQUIM — Five Acre School will host its ninth annual Beat the Blues Barn Dance on Saturday, featuring fun activities during the afternoon with dancing and sweet prizes in the evening.
This family-fun event kicks off at 2 p.m. with the school’s Sound Waves Marimba Band, followed by a performance from magician Jeff Evans and a children’s DJ Dance Hour. Daytime activities include a large children’s tinkering zone and intricate face painting by Paint the Zebra.
Guests can park at King’s Way Foursquare Church and take a free shuttle to the event at the Big Barn Farm, 702 Kitchen-Dick Road.
Tickets are $5 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and $20 after 5 p.m. or for an all-day pass. Children 13 and younger will be admitted free.
Food will be served all day featuring Maggie May’s Espresso &Outfitter food truck, Pacific Pantry and Turnip the Beet with vegetarian and vegan options.
A bake sale also will be held until 8 p.m. The bar will open at 5 p.m. as Joy in Mudville prepares to take the stage by 6 p.m.
“It really is a lot of fun,” said Woody French, Barn Dance manager. “It really is the best community event we’ve been to in the area where you meet everyone around and have a good time connecting and dancing with everyone.”
Last year, French estimated 1,500 people were in attendance for the whole day. He believes the attendance of the dance has significantly increased in the past couple of years.
French is hoping the event will exceed the $25,000 it brought in funds last year and is shooting for $30,000 this year. All the proceeds of the event support the Parent Service Organization Scholarship Program and equipment funds for the school.
“Every penny we fund goes straight to the children,” he said.
This year also features a painted rock contest where rocks painted by students have been hidden along the Olympic Discovery Trail from King’s Way Foursquare Church to Lewis Road. There are a total of 20 rocks hidden, and only five have been found so far. Each rock has a $20 value when found and can be used as an all-day pass for one adult when presented at the entrance of the Barn Dance.
An eclectic silent auction featuring high-quality prizes such as snowboards, a backpacker basket, an auto care basket, coloring materials, students’ artwork, quilts and an Agnew grocery basket will be some of the prizes up for bidding.
The raffle this year will feature package values of an average of $475 including a trip to Victoria with MV Coho ferry passes for four and a night’s stay at Royal Scot Hotel &Suites; gift certificates from Alder Wood Bistro, Blondie’s Plate, Pacific Pantry, Maggie May’s Espresso &Outfitter, Mariner Cafe, Ohana Coffee, Adagio Bean &Leaf and Jose’s Famous Salsa; tickets to Olympic Theatre Arts; a Waters West guided fly-fishing float trip with Curtis Reed; gift certificates to restaurants in Port Angeles; and more.
Five Acre School is in the process of transitioning into a nonprofit organization. Kristen Smith, office manager, said when the school fully transitions into a nonprofit, it will create more fundraising opportunities.
“The school itself being a nonprofit opens the door for taking donations directly,” said Smith, explaining that as a nonprofit, the school can apply for more grants and scholarships it didn’t previously qualify for as a private institution. She said while many people assume private schools have a large reserve of funds, that is not always the case.
Sponsors for the Barn Dance include Jim’s Pharmacy, Westport Yachts, Sunny Farms Country Store, Home Health &Gift, Aspire Academy of Expressive Arts, Olympic Custom Construction, Tracy’s Insulation and Strait Floors Inc.
For more information, contact Five Acre School at 360-681-7255 or visit http://tinyurl.com/pdn-barn dance2017.
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at email@example.com.