Here come the ducks — and more!

IN ADDITION TO this weekend’s Rhododendrom Festival and parade in Port Townsend and Sunday’s Rhody Run:

* The 17th annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby in Port Angeles on Sunday (a second duck derby will be in Port Townsend June 4).

* Sushi, origami, Japanese consulate dignitaries and taiko drummers in Sequim on Sunday.

* Plus spring plant sales . . Olympic Theatre Arts’ annual fuindraiser gala Saturday night . . . the opening of the Sequim Open Aire Market . . .

And the second annual Olympic Cycling Classic — “Altitude with Attitude — on Saturday.

Also:

* From concerts to art galleries, today’s Peninsula Spotlight magazine, part of the PDN every Friday, highlights events relating to arts and entertainment this weekend.

* And the column “Things to Do This Weekend,” found today on Page C4 adds other activities across the North Olympic Peninsula.

Day for the ducks

This Sunday’s race of about 30,000 yellow rubber ducks will be held in the Nippon Paper Industries USA canal at the base of Ediz Hook in Port Angeles.

It begins at 1 p.m., preceded by the VID race (for Very Important Ducks) at 12:30 p.m.

Set up before the races next to the canal will be a kids’ pavilion (sponsored by Star Video of Port Angeles) and refreshment vendors.

Almost 60 prizes worth more than $25,000 will be determined by which numbered rubber ducks floating down the canal on the incoming tide reach the finish line first.

The grand prize, a new Toyota pickup truck donated by Wilder Toyota, goes to the person owning the first-place duck.

In addition to the pickup, racers can win cash prizes sponsored by 7 Cedars Casino, men’s and women’s snowboards, travel packages, gift certificates, and dozens of other prizes from merchants.

The ducks cost $5 each, or $25 for either six ducks in the race, or five race ducks and a rubber duck to take home.

Proceeds benefit the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and Sequim Rotary Club.

You must be over age 18 to purchase a ticket.

The ducks are numbered, and buyers are given a ticket with matching number.

All of the numbered ducks will be dumped into the canal on race day, and each duck is tagged on crossing the finish line.

In addition to the race-day prizes, every duck also comes with more than $20 worth of coupons for values donated by Olympic Peninsula businesses.

For $250 each, businesses and individuals, including those from outside the Peninsula that do business with local companies, can purchase a special Very Important Duck — VID — emblazoned with their logo for Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. race.

First prize in the VID race is $1,000 cash.

Duck Derby tickets are available from scores of merchants displaying “Duck Derby” posters and at Peninsula Daily News offices at:

* Port Angeles: 305 W. First St.

* Sequim: 510 W. Washington St.

Ducks in PT, too

A rubber duck race to raise money for middle school and high school athletics in Port Townsend will be held June 4.

The goal is to sell about 8,500 tickets at $5 each.

The rubber ducks will be released in the bay next to Port Townsend Marine Science Center in Fort Worden State Park.

The first duck washed ashore by the waves will be the winner, and the ticket holder will get $2,500.

There are prizes for holders of tickets on other top-finishing ducks.

Tickets are on sale at the Peninsula Daily News’ office in Port Townsend, 1939 E. Sims Way, and at other locations.

Japanese culture

Sushi, Northwest Taiko’s thunderous drumming and ikebana flower arrangements will converge at Carrie Blake Park’s Guy Cole Convention Center, 202 N. Blake Ave., on Sunday.

The Sequim-Shiso, Japan, Sister City Association will host the event from noon to 3 p.m.

Admission to Sunday’s event is free, but the association welcomes donations to help send Sequim students to Shiso, formerly known as Yamasaki, this November.

Sunday’s party will also feature Japanese anime and orgami tables, Chiyo Sanada’s calligraphy demonstration, Japanese consulate officials from Seattle and tours of the Sequim-Shiso Friendship Garden in Carrie Blake Park.

(See photo on Page 3 in Peninsula Spotlight.)

Following this event, the Sequim City Band plays Sousa marches plus pop and classical pieces in the bandshell just north of the park at 3 p.m.

Three garden parties

* The Rhododendron Show and Plant Sale will be presented during the 71st annual Rhododendron Festival this weekend in Port Townsend by the Olympic Peninsula Chapter, American Rhododendron Society.

Entries will be exhibited in the Chapel at Fort Worden State Park from noon to 6 p.m. today.

The show will run from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, with the plant sale beginning at 9 a.m.

The show continues on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free, and there will be a plant raffle.

* St. Agnes Guild of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Port Angeles is sponsoring a tour of five uniquely landscaped gardens on Saturday.

A pre-tour brunch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the church, 510 E. Park Ave.

Following brunch, participants will car pool for the tour beginning at 11 a.m.

Cost of the tour and brunch is $15.

For information and tickets, contact Karen Agee at 360-565-1423, or Sally Mowbray at 360-452-6158.

* Some of Jefferson County’s best specialty nurseries will sell ornamental grasses, ferns, large trees, hostas, bamboo, water plans and other unusual perennials in the Chimacum High School parking lot, 91 West Valley Road, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Other items

* Sequim’s Open Aire Market opens with music and speeches on Cedar Street between Sequim and Second avenues at noon on Saturday.

See article on Page A4 today.

* Olympic Theatre Arts holds its Beau Arts Gala Fundraiser at 7 Cedars Casino in Club Seven from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The evening will feature fine dining and dancing to the Snowbird Orchestra and the Skylarks.

There will be a special media presentation of past Olympic Theatre Arts performances and a silent auction.

Cost is $50 at the door.

See advertisement on Page 11 of Peninsula Spotlight.

* Hardcore road bikers of the North Olympic Peninsula have met their match in the form of the second-annual Olympic Cycling Classic this Saturday.

See story on Page B4 (sports) today.

And how’s your car?

A 21-point inspection on any make or model car will be offered by Port Angeles Ford Lincoln Mercury’s top service technicians at the dealership’s spring Service Clinic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.S Saturday.

And it’s free.

Plus there will be refreshments and prizes.

Make an appointment by phoning 360-457-3333. PA Ford is at 1527 E. Front St.

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