Volunteers with the 128th Sequim Irrigation Festival receive exclusive “Let’s Get ‘Ditched’ in Sequim” T-shirts. (Sequim Irrigation Festival)

Volunteers with the 128th Sequim Irrigation Festival receive exclusive “Let’s Get ‘Ditched’ in Sequim” T-shirts. (Sequim Irrigation Festival)

Irrigation Festival expands with races, arts and crafts

Carrie Blake Park to host most events

SEQUIM — As the fun is set to begin for the 128th Sequim Irrigation Festival, some of its popular events are on the move.

Crazy Callen Weekend, the 2023 festival’s first weekend this Friday through Sunday, brings its Saturday and Sunday events — all of the festival except the Art Walk and first showing of the Sequim High School operetta on Friday — to Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Blake Ave., by the James Center for Performing Arts band shell.

The move comes with a desire to grow the festival, said Executive Director Deon Kapetan.

“Our only choices were to move or block off more streets, and we didn’t want that,” she said.

“This is a safer place to grow and set up.”

The Kids Parade, Family Fun Days (now two days), Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair, Crazy Daze Breakfast for Dinner, the run series, a new Trashion Show and community dance move to the park for Saturday and Sunday.

Except for the run series, all first weekend events are free, including music, laser tag and a foam cannon.

For a full schedule and maps of both weekends, including the Grand Finale Weekend, visit https://irrigationfestival.com.

Volunteers wanted

The Irrigation Festival seeks volunteers to help at both festival weekends, this weekend and May 12-13. If interested, email to info@irrigationfestival.com.

These who volunteer for five hours or more get a “Let’s get ‘Ditched’ in Sequim” T-shirt.

More details

Lineup for the Kids Parade begins at 8:45 a.m. Saturday near the band shell with a 9 a.m. start. Prizes will be awarded for Best Storybook Character, Best Pet Entry, Best Mini Floats, Best Festival Theme and Grand Prize Overall.

Family Fun Days features a cakewalk, crafts, games, music and more both days, with Sunday emphasizing big yard games, laser tag and a foam cannon.

The festival’s 1 mile and 5K races are out-and-backs on the Olympic Discovery Trail on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. near the James Center for the Arts. The 5K is a timed event.

The half marathon is set for 8 a.m. on Sunday starting at Troll Haven Bandy Farm on Gardiner Beach Road in Gardiner and finishing at Carrie Blake Community Park.

Cost is $15 for the 1-mile run, $30 for the 5K, $80 for the half marathon and $60 for the virtual half marathon. Sign up at tinyurl.com/SEQifestRun.

Joy in Mudville plays the community dance, or Bandersnatch Ball, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday from the band shell.


A shuttle will run 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday from West Washington Street in front of Pacific Mist/Cedarbook Lavender to two spots in Carrie Blake Community Park. The shuttle is not handicap-accessible, organizers said.

Vendors will only be allowed to park in Carrie Blake during events, and public parking will be on city streets or by donation on the property in the lot behind Trinity United Methodist Church. Organizers have asked people not to park in the church lot.

Sequim Passport

With many festival events moved out of downtown Sequim, organizers have asked festival goers to participate in the “Passport to Sequim” program from Friday to May 14. They ask people to pick up a passport and shop small by visiting at least 10 of the 47 participating merchants for stamps.

Each business, the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Co-Op Farm and Garden has a passport. Entries must be turned in by May 15 to the Co-Op with 10 winners of local prizes drawn on May 16.

Grand Finale

The second weekend of the festival returns May 11-13 with most of its events, such as the Logging Show, Grand Parade and Classic Car Show and Cruise.

Kapetan said there are about 100 parade entries that will travel the usual route west on Washington Street.

The Classic Cruise & Show returns this year on May 13 and will travel from the former JCPenney lot, 651 W. Washington St., to 250 Center Park Way.

Cars are staged on the west end (651 W. Washington St.) from 8 a.m. til 10 a.m., with the cruise at 11 a.m. Car show judging is from noon to 4 p.m., with 20-plus awards announced at 4 p.m.

Register online at sequimirrigationfestival.enmotive.com/events/car-show-n-cruzz.

The carnival won’t return this year, Kapetan said, due to staffing issues for the different agencies.

“We’ve talked to all of the carnivals, but they can’t cover [our festival],” she said.

“We’d love to have them back, but they can’t find enough people to work.”

The carnival has been one the largest fundraisers for the all-volunteer festival.

“We’re hoping to have them back next year,” Kapetan said.

For more information about the festival, visit irrigationfestival.com or email to info@irrigationfestival.com.


Matthew Nash 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 him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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