Irrigation Festival Royalty, from left, prince Logan Laxson, princess Brii Hingtgen, princess Alicia Pairadee, and queen Lindsey Coffman wave from their float for the first time Sept. 19, 2020, outside 7 Cedars Casino after COVID-19 concerns led organizers to delay the reveal in March. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Irrigation Festival Royalty, from left, prince Logan Laxson, princess Brii Hingtgen, princess Alicia Pairadee, and queen Lindsey Coffman wave from their float for the first time Sept. 19, 2020, outside 7 Cedars Casino after COVID-19 concerns led organizers to delay the reveal in March. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

125th Irrigation Festival kicks off with float reveal

Event keeps streak as most continuous festival in Washington

SEQUIM — The “awe factor” remained high for the Sequim Irrigation Festival royalty six months later, as the Sequim teens saw their float for the first time.

“It’s awesome!” queen Lindsey Coffman said on Saturday.

“I love it,” added princess Alicia Pairadee.

Two weekends of irrigation festival events will be consolidated into one day on Oct. 10 for the festival’s 125th year, branded “125 the Fields are Alive.”

COVID-19 concerns led organizers to delay the festival’s kickoff dinner and auction for its 125th year along with the float reveal from March to Sept. 19. Instead, they held a virtual reveal to show the float made by Guy Horton, David Blakesley and John Riley.

“It was a labor of love,” Horton said.

He and the crew spent 600-plus hours making the float that will be used for two events — the kickoff and a procession (smaller parade) on Oct. 10.

See more photos from the event at flic.kr/s/aHsmQUrCpV.

Horton and fellow crew members couldn’t work together on the float because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they mostly worked alone, he said.

The float features the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop along with 30 different photographs of historic Sequim, courtesy of Sequim Museum and Arts. Jean Wyatt wrapped around buckets that light up and spin.

“I thought it was cool they incorporated all the old photographs,” said prince Logan Laxson.

“It gives a perspective of how old the festival is.”

During the Kickoff Dinner for the Sequim Irrigation Festival, longtime executive director Deon Kapetan announced she’ll be handing the position to long-time board member Julianne Coonts next year. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

During the Kickoff Dinner for the Sequim Irrigation Festival, longtime executive director Deon Kapetan announced she’ll be handing the position to long-time board member Julianne Coonts next year. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Princess Brii Hingtgen said she’s been wanting to see the float since she tried out for the royalty.

In past years, the float made appearances at parades throughout Western Washington and Canada representing and promoting Sequim. This year, because of Washington state’s health guidelines for COVID-19, no plans were made for the royalty outside of the Irrigation Festival’s events, organizers said.

Despite the lack of events, royalty did meet to work on their song together, they said.

“These are unprecedented times,” said Deon Kapetan, the festival’s executive director. “But I’m proud of you guys for rolling with the punches.”

As a ceremonial act, the royalty and a few participants of the virtual unveiling rode/walked around the 7 Cedars Casino’s parking lot.

Queen Lindsey Coffman waves for the first time from the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s float Sept. 19, 2020. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Queen Lindsey Coffman waves for the first time from the Sequim Irrigation Festival’s float Sept. 19, 2020. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Afterward, volunteers and royalty handed out meals to kickoff dinner ticket holders with an online silent and live auction. Funds from the auction support scholarships for the royalty and festival operations.

Organizers said they exceeded their $20,000 goal but still seek support for the float at kickoff2020.givesmart.com or by dropping a donation off at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The kickoff event can be viewed at facebook.com/SequimIrrigationFestival and irrigationfestival.com.

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