Betsy Robins

Betsy Robins

WEEKEND: Webster’s Woods site of Cinco de Mayo fun in day of play

PORT ANGELES — In a free Cinco de Mayo party Saturday, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center will turn its woods and meadow into an art playground for all ages — replete with piñatas and paper sombreros.

Local artists, craft supplies, green grass and budding trees are all part of the party from noon until 3 p.m. While admission is free, food and drink will be available for purchase at the center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

“It will be a celebration of color, rain or shine,” promised Sarah Tucker, the Port Angeles artist orchestrating Saturday’s festivities.

“Even though the crafts have been geared toward children, many adults will enjoy sporting a huge newspaper hat or a lovely paper serape,” she added.

Tucker and her crew will teach party-goers how to make simple piñatas to take home, while refreshments and piñata fillings — trinkets and possibly candy — will be for sale, with proceeds to benefit the fine arts center.

All of the craft activities and games, including croquet in the meadow’s labyrinth, are free, Tucker emphasized.

And in keeping with the Mexican theme, “there will be a cactus ring toss, a jumping-bean freeze game and a big piñata for the finale.”

The Cinco de Mayo party is a new event for the center and an outgrowth of last year’s May Day maypole party, Executive Director Jake Seniuk said.

‘Son of May Day’

“This is sort of ‘son of May Day,’” he quipped.

Like its predecessor, Saturday’s event is designed to welcome people who may not be so familiar with the center and Webster’s Woods, its surrounding 5-acre art park.

Saturday’s visitors will have a chance to explore that unusual attraction, named after Esther Webster, the Port Angeles artist and spouse of Charles Webster, who was publisher of the Peninsula Daily News’ forerunner, the Port Angeles Evening News.

Esther Webster set up the originating fund for the arts center before her death in 1985.

Today, more than 100 works of art are integrated into the trees and open spaces, and more are added each spring as everything else comes into bloom.

“All the fresh growth is coming up,” in the woods, Seniuk said. “It’s a beautiful time of year.”

Art Outside party

Next month, Webster’s Woods will be the site of another Art Outside coming-out party.

In this annual event, Seniuk works with artists from across the country to bring in a new crop of sculptures and installations. This year, the opening celebration will be Saturday, June 16, and Seniuk, who will retire at the end of June, will lead one more “Art Ranger” tour of the forest.

The 25-year-old fine arts center, funded by the city of Port Angeles and by donations, trust dividends and fundraising events, is open year-round with free admission.

Its indoor gallery’s spring hours are from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, while Webster’s Woods is open daily from dawn until dusk.

To learn more about the center’s activities and art exhibitions, visit www.PAFAC.org or phone 360-457-3532.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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