SEQUIM — Those who have been in the dark about Sequim’s newest festival can be enlightened: City officials said that there will be plenty to see and do to brighten the beginning of March.
The inaugural Sequim Sunshine Festival is set for March 6-7 — Friday and Saturday — throughout the area to highlight one of Sequim’s best assets — its sunshine.
It’s an idea that has been discussed for about two years, said Barbara Hanna, Sequim communications and marketing director.
The goal is to create something for Sequim’s off season with summer full, spring already busy and fall becoming busier.
“It’s two weeks before the spring solstice, so it’s good timing,” Hanna said.
The festival features events for all ages and abilities throughout two days ranging from a walk/run to a drone show to an interactive light show to a lot of live music.
The Sun Fun Color Run is one of the festival’s events receiving a lot of interest, said organizer Victoria Jones, who also coordinates Run the Peninsula events.
“There’s really nothing like it done before on the (North Olympic) Peninsula,” she said.
Participants sign up for a 1K or 5K walk/run at 10 a.m. March 7 at Carrie Blake Community Park and on the Olympic Discovery Trail.
Each will receive a T-shirt, sunglasses and a color blast bag to “color up” during the run.
There will be “blast zones” — seven in the 5K and three in the 1K — where runners/walkers can get sprayed to decorate their shirts.
The color burst bag of nontoxic colored corn starch can be thrown up in the air at the beginning or throughout for a cool effect, Jones said.
The 5K is featured as a professional timed event with overall places for first, second and third in each age category, and medals for all participants.
Jones said 203 people had registered as of Feb. 14, with space for up to 450.
“I’m urging everyone to register because you’ll be mad you didn’t,” she said.
Cost online is $15 for the 1K and $30 for 5K through Feb. 29 at runsignup.com/Race/WA/Sequim/SunFunColorRun.
The Sun Fun Color Run is one of two entry-fee required events including the Sound Community Bank Beach Party Dinner and Dance at 6 p.m. March 7 in the Guy Cole Event Center.
It will feature a dinner by Kokopelli Grill, and music by Black Diamond Junction and Bread and Gravy. Cost is $35 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4443839.
The Rolling Sunshine Cycling Event will begin in the park at 9 a.m. that day, with registration prior to the race at no cost.
Organizers call it a “relaxed, family-friendly, social bike ride” along the Olympic Discovery Trail to the Agnew Grocery store and back. Helmets are required.
Music will be featured in the park during and after morning events.
Hanna said the organizers’ goal was to have a variety of events to appeal to all ages.
Art, food and lights
March 6 will tie into the First Friday Art Walk downtown from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
During the art walk, many venues stay open late to welcome locals and visitors.
Hanna said the city will work with local eateries to offer special menu items and prices as a way to encourage people to eat in Sequim.
Ross A. Brown, Sequim’s Arts Advisory Commission chairman, will speak at the Sequim Civic Center at 5 p.m. that night before hosting a custom-built light experience at Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St.
He tells festival organizers the “exhibit is intended to invite the viewer to experience light as a form of artistic expression as well as talk about ’what is light.’
“As the viewer, you will be able to interact with and manipulate the light to see and feel the extraordinary power of these electromagnetic waves we call light.”
A preview will open at 6 p.m. March 6 and the light will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., also will host screenings on both days of the documentary “Look to the Sky” about children doing charitable acts in their cities. It will be screened at 7 p.m. March 6 and at 2 p.m. March 7.
Participants are encouraged to wear superhero costumes for the show, organizers said.
Music all day
Live music is scheduled throughout March 7 at Pioneer Park, Centennial Place and for portions of the day and night at Carrie Blake Community Park.
An Open Jam Session is set from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 7 on the corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street. Players and singers can join for folk music and early rock songs for all level of musicians; lyrics and chords will be provided.
Members of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will tell why it’s always sunny in Sequim at 12:30 p.m. March 7.
Chalk artist Naomi Haverland will create a 3-D sunshine-inspired chalk art piece that people are encouraged to take their picture with outside the Civic Center all weekend.
In case of rain, a tent will be available.
Prior to the Beach Party Dinner Dance, Firefly Drone Shows will bring 100 drones programmed to fly in formation over Carrie Blake Community Park at 6:30 p.m. March 7.
“The people who don’t go and hear about it later are going to wish they didn’t miss it,” Hanna said.
Both days, participants are encouraged to take photos or selfies with items in the area that represent the sun, and post to social media with the hashtag #sequimsunshinefestival.
Hanna said people can redeem photos with festival representatives for “glow-bling,” glow necklaces or bracelets, for the night’s events on March 7.
Glow-bling photos can be redeemed from noon to 4 p.m. at the Civic Center and from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at Carrie Blake Community Park. Five photos will earn one glow-bling, 10 photos two pieces, and 15 three. Bracelets and necklaces will be for sale at the festival, too.
The City of Sequim budgeted about $50,000 this year for the festival from lodging tax dollars, with about $12,000 helping establish next year’s event, Hanna said.
Advertising has been ongoing since the fall in print and online.
“The target is always to bring in people for the weekend, but we always design it so that locals will come,” Hanna said. “Our community thrives on community events. We always want the community to get involved and excited about it.”
About a week after the event, organizers plan to assess what worked well, she said.
Hanna said organizers’ goals in the short-term are to be successful enough to have a second year, and in the long-term be financially stable in about three years.
“I just want people to come out and have a fun time,” she said. “If people talk about it and tell their friends about it, and it grows from there (then it’s a success).”
For more information, visit sequimsunshine festival.com or call the city of Sequim at 360-683-4139.
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].