Phil Castell, the 2020 Irrigation Festival Grand Parade marshal, waves to a small gathering on what would have been the festival’s parade day Saturday, May 9, 2020. With the festival postponed until October, Castell hosted the small, one-car parade to mark the original day of the Grand Parade. (Michael Dashiell /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Phil Castell, the 2020 Irrigation Festival Grand Parade marshal, waves to a small gathering on what would have been the festival’s parade day Saturday, May 9, 2020. With the festival postponed until October, Castell hosted the small, one-car parade to mark the original day of the Grand Parade. (Michael Dashiell /Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Irrigation Festival Grand Marshal marks festival with mini parade

SEQUIM — A worldwide pandemic has interrupted Washington state’s longest-running community festival, but that didn’t stop its Grand Marshal from a bit of tongue-in-cheek pageantry this past weekend.

Phil Castell, founder of Castell Insurance Agency, held a small, one-car parade on Saturday to mark the originally scheduled day of the 125th Sequim Irrigation Festival Grand Parade.

The parade and the majority of festivities for Sequim’s largest annual civic festival have been postponed until October. The state has banned large gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Castell said he wanted to share some fun and joy during a difficult time, bringing the mini parade — complete with two police vehicle escorts — for his staffers, most of whom he hasn’t seen for the past six weeks, as they now all work remotely.

“I’m still looking forward to October … (but) I didn’t want the day to go by without some recognition,” he said.

The parade, held at 10 a.m. Saturday, was a couple of hundred yards long and was over in a matter of minutes. Castell took to the parade route in a Jaguar XK8, driven by owner Jodie Coulson and her daughter Ruby, a Sequim High sophomore.

“I was so nervous!” Castell remarked following the “festivities.”

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Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

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