Locals can watch the 125th Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Grand Parade, now a procession due to COVID-19 regulations, at <a href="http://www.irrigationfestival.com" target="_blank">irrigationfestival.com</a> at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. Here, festival royalty and organizers ride the float for the first time on Sept. 19. Other events run throughout the day online as well. The only in-person event is the Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair at the Sequim Farmers Market. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Locals can watch the 125th Sequim Irrigation Festival’s Grand Parade, now a procession due to COVID-19 regulations, at irrigationfestival.com at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. Here, festival royalty and organizers ride the float for the first time on Sept. 19. Other events run throughout the day online as well. The only in-person event is the Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair at the Sequim Farmers Market. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim Irrigation Festival shifts for its 125th version

Innovative arts and crafts fair only live event of weekend

SEQUIM — It will be unlike any event in its long-standing history as organizers keep the 125-year-old tradition of the Sequim Irrigation Festival going this week.

On Saturday, festival organizers are condensing festival events into a mostly virtual experience, which will be featured at irrigationfestival.com.

Included are the Crazy Daze Breakfast (8:30 a.m.), Past Royalty Luncheon (noon), Family Fun Day (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Kids Parade (3 p.m.), Grand Parade (5 p.m.) and fireworks show (6:30 p.m.).

The only live event is the Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair, now in its 30th year, set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the Sequim Farmers Market at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.

“We’re one of the few events that has continued on,” said Deon Kapetan, the festival’s executive director.

“I’m pretty proud of the people who have thought outside the box. This is completely revamping it.”

All virtual events will be available on the festival’s website for two weeks before shifting to its YouTube page.

Festival organizers paused events in March following increased concerns and regulations during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That led to the hard decision, organizers said, of shifting to online events and canceling many popular attractions such as the Logging Show and carnival.

Organizers held a festival kickoff and float reveal as a virtual event on Sept. 19 and said they were pleased with the results.

Parade to procession

Since September, Kapetan said, festival organizers had to make more tough decisions such as with the parade — now considered a procession — going online only.

“We wanted to focus on the safety of our dignitaries and our community,” she said.

Kapetan said they aren’t disclosing the route as they do not want to encourage group gatherings, per state guidelines.

However, she said, the route reaches enough of the city of Sequim that many may see the procession if they’re out and about at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain will lead the procession with police escorts followed by parade sponsor Sound Community Bank, the festival truck, festival float, pioneers, grand marshal and the junior royalty.

This will be the second and last time people can see the float before it is dismantled and repurposed for the 2021 festival.

No fireworks

Recent ongoing smoke issues from regional wildfires led organizers not to pursue a live fireworks show this year. However, they are creating an online show featuring fireworks from previous years to make an approximate 20-minute show, Kapetan said.

Crazy Daze Breakfast

Community groups and businesses have submitted skits that reflect the festival’s theme, “125 the Fields are Alive.” Viewers are encouraged to “order out” breakfast and watch the event from a computer.

Kids Parade

Winners in the Kids Parade’s many categories will be announced online at 10 a.m. on the festival’s website.

Crafts fair

In its 30th year, this year’s event focuses on “Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose.”

As the only live event, visitors can see it at the Sequim Farmers Market in front of the Sequim Civic Center.

Past Royalty Luncheon

The Past Royalty Luncheon opens to the public for the first time with past royalty sharing their experiences.

Family Fun Day

Families can sign up now for an activity packet for Family Fun Day featuring crafts, art projects and more activities from local businesses, nonprofit organizations and service organizations.

One free packet is available per child by signing up at familyfunday.givesmart.com and picking them up at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce office, 1192 E. Washington St.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, instructional videos will be provided at the festival’s website about the packets.

For more information, visit facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival and 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 [email protected].

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