The 2022 Sequim Irrigation Festival royalty court boards the festival float at the 7 Cedars Resort on Saturday. From left are princesses Lauren Willis and Ellie Turner, queen Isabella Williams and Katherine Gould. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

The 2022 Sequim Irrigation Festival royalty court boards the festival float at the 7 Cedars Resort on Saturday. From left are princesses Lauren Willis and Ellie Turner, queen Isabella Williams and Katherine Gould. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Irrigation Festival kicks off with dinner and auction

Events expected to return to live, in person

After two years of virtual events, Sequim’s biggest civic celebration is going live.

The 127th annual Sequim Irrigation Festival, touted as the longest-running community fest in Washington state, got its start in full on Saturday at the 7 Cedars Resort in Blyn.

The royalty court — queen Isabella Williams and princesses Katherine Gould, Ellie Turner and Lauren Willis — got their first look at the festival float sporting the theme, “Our Little Piece of Heaven,” followed by the fest’s annual Kickoff Dinner and Auction.

“It’s been a weird couple of years,” festival director Julianne Coonts said Saturday to a packed house inside the 7 Cedars Resort ballroom. There, attendees bid on live auction items as well as in an online silent auction to raise thousands of dollars required to run the festival.

The festival included a first: the auctioning of a festival pin named for longtime Sequim businessman and philanthropist Bill Littlejohn, who died in December 2019.

Following the royalty pageant, held Feb. 26, and Saturday’s dinner and auction, the 2022 Irrigation Festival will begin with Crazy Callen Weekend from May 6-8. Events include: Crazy Daze Breakfast for Dinner, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 6, across from Sequim Civic Center, 157 W. Cedar St.; First Friday Art Walk Sequim, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 6, various downtown locations; Sequim High School operetta, “Emma: A Pop Musical,” 7:30 p.m. May 6, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 7, 2 p.m. May 8; and a Kids Parade, 9 a.m. May 7, 100 block of West Washington Street.

Also set are Family Fun Day, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7, 100 block of West Washington Street, and Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 7 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 8 at the Sequim Civic Center.

The festival concludes with the Grand Finale Weekend, May 12-15. Events include: Past Royalty Luncheon (invite only); Historic Walking Tour, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 12, Sequim Civic Center; golf tournament, noon May 13, Sunland Golf & County Club; Fireworks show, dusk on May 13 at the Blake property just south of Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Blake Ave.; Logging Show, noon to dusk May 13 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 14, Blake property; Fun Run, 11 a.m. May 14, starting at Sequim Village Center, 651 W. Washington St.; SHS operetta (same show days, times as previous weekend, as well as May 20-22 performances), and the Grand Parade, noon May 14 through downtown Sequim.

“We’re excited to have (the Grand Parade) back,” kickoff dinner emcee James Castell said.

One activity not included in this year’s events is the annual carnival, traditionally held on West Fir Street between Sequim High School and Helen Haller Elementary.

“We’re trying to bring back as much as we can,” Coonts said Saturday, but carnival organizers were not able to find enough team members to bring to carnival to Sequim.

For more information about the festival, see irrigationfestival.com.

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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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