QUILCENE — There will be odd-looking vegetables. Fancy cars, artfully arranged flowers and the four Oyster Races will converge. And standing amid it all: the Worthington Mansion, a mansard-roofed Victorian ready for visitors.
This is Quilcene Fair weekend, two days of activities in and around Quilcene School, 294715 US Highway 101, and nearby Worthington Park, 151 Columbia St., where the mansion is the centerpiece.
The fair itself will take place Saturday on the school campus, with art, craft and food vendors, live music and the annual car show. In addition, the Quilcene-Brinnon Garden Club will mark its 75th anniversary with a flower-arranging competition and a weird vegetable contest at the fair.
Sunday brings the Oyster Races: a half marathon, 10- and 5-kilometer runs — or walks — and the kids’ sprint, all starting and ending at Worthington Park. Details can be found at quilraces.com while runners and walkers can sign up in person at the Quilcene Fair on Saturday.
“It’s a good small-town fair,” said Bonnie McDaniel, a co-organizer who works with the Quilcene-Brinnon Garden Club and other local groups to publicize the event.
With the strong possibility of rain both Saturday and Sunday, McDaniel and Oyster Races organizer Brian Cullin are not at all fazed.
Quilcene School is built for rain with lots of awnings and overhangs, McDaniel said. And racing can be especially pleasant when the air is moist and cool, said Cullin, himself a runner.
“The course is gorgeous, with views of the Olympics and of the bay,” he added.
By Thursday, some 200 people from across the United States had registered for the four Oyster Races, Cullin said.
Proceeds from Sunday’s events benefit Quilcene-Brinnon Dollars for Scholars, which provides scholarships for local youngsters.
Here’s an itinerary for the weekend’s festivities:
• 10 a.m. The Quilcene Fair, car show, music and fundraising raffles open at and around Quilcene School and continue until 3 p.m. Awards will be presented in the car show for best hot rod, best classic car and best in show.
• 11 a.m. The Quilcene Parade begins near the U.S. Post Office, 294843 U.S. Highway 101, and continues up the highway toward U.S. Bank.
• 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The First Presbyterian Church commemorates its 130th anniversary with free ice cream and beverages plus the ringing of the church bell 130 times. The public is invited to join in the celebration, meet pastor Carol McLaughlin and even take a turn at the bell. The church is at 294433 U.S. Highway 101 across from Worthington Park.
• 8 a.m. Oyster Races half-marathon walkers get an early start.
• 9 a.m. Half-marathon runners start.
• 9:15 a.m. Kids’ sprint starts.
• 10 a.m. 10K and 5K runners and walkers start.
• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of the Worthington Mansion are free to the public.
Safety protocols will be in place during the weekend’s activities, the Quilcene Fair and Parade Association states on the event website.
Masking is encouraged, as is vaccination against COVID-19, and free masks will be available at the fair.
Vendor booths will be spread out, and the garden club contests will be held outdoors under a tent; the children’s planting activity will come in a take-home kit. The fair’s traditional kids’ games have been canceled this year.
For more information about the fair, go to quilcenefair.org or email [email protected] To learn more about the recent Worthington Mansion restoration — a $1.6 million project that has logged more than 37,000 hours of volunteer work — see WorthingtonParkQuilcene.org.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]