PORT ANGELES — From funnel cakes to Thai food, blues to Hawaiian music and independent film, the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts gave just about anybody a reason to attend Saturday.
And more happens today and Monday.
Port Angeles’ 12th annual arts festival would have gone on even if the weather hadn’t been so cooperative, but with few clouds in the sky, the incentive is there, said festival director Anna Manildi.
“Mother Nature’s doing us a favor this year,” she said of the sunshine and shirtsleeve temperatures.
“It makes people want to get outside.”
Manildi said this year’s festival — her fifth as director — will likely beat the 2004 festival’s attendance of about 12,000.
“I’m quite sure we’ll have more this year,” she said. “There are people everywhere.”
Spread among six venues across town, the festival brings about 450 performers to stage, Manildi said.
Every year is different, she said, and not just because of the rain that usually dampens the festival.
Last year’s event had an abundance of dance performances. This year, she said, seemed to be boogie-heavy.
“This year it seems like we’re seeing a little more blues,” Manildi said. “We didn’t do that on purpose, though.”
Some of the blues headliners include ax-woman Alice Stuart and the Formerly’s, and country blues stalwart Walker T. Ryan.
Fleur Cornelius from Perth, Australia, came to Port Angeles to visit friends she made while an exchange student at Port Angeles High School in 1990.
The fledgling blues fan made sure to check out Ryan at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center on Saturday afternoon.
“I don’t know much about it, but I like it,” she said.
Not all Fuca Fest visitors showed up to see a performance on one of the festival’s stages.
Jamie Scott of Port Angeles took her lunch break from the Gottschalks cosmetics counter to stroll through the crowd outside the main festival area.
Music and people-watching keep her coming back year after year — this is her third consecutive visit — but that’s not everything.“Of course the food,” she said.