Lantern Festival lights up Chinese New Year

PORT TOWNSEND — Stars wheeled overhead in the cold night sky, candles glowed in a spiral of light and lanterns shone like the planets.

Once again, Port Townsend marked another cycle of the sun with an ancient Asian tradition, the Lantern Festival.

“We’re saying goodbye to the Year of the Rooster, and are welcoming in the Year of the Dog,” said Thaddeus Jurczynski.

Modeled after New Year celebrations in China, this is the third Lantern Festival that Jurczynski has organized in Port Townsend.

This year, cold temperatures made the grass slick underfoot, but several hundred people came downtown to the festival, which started at dusk Saturday.

They included Doug and Megan Mason of Port Townsend, who brought handmade lanterns to walk a labyrinth marked with 200 luminarias.

But the candles weren’t putting out much heat.

“We’ve walked it several times and are completely frozen,” Doug Mason said.

Performance troupe

Things warmed up as a local performance troupe called Circus Saturnalia — Corvus Woolf, Rob Goldstein, Ben Renzendes and Nathaniel Pierson — took the field to perform their impressive repertoire of fire-spinning and fire-blowing tricks.

Then the Cirque de Flambe from Seattle performed a variety of fire and pyrotechnic feats.

The Fremont Philharmonic, a small band of musicians, provided accompaniment for the fire performances.

At the close, Chris Huson, in a rooster outfit, strutted around the field, then was chased away by the dog, representing the Year of the Dog.

In the middle of the field, people carrying lanterns walked a labyrinth laid out by Johanna Rienstra.

Libby Urner, with her two children, Isaac and Rachel, brought a camping lantern plus two paper lanterns Urner made, one with a design representing spring, the other summer.

“They’re two of the four seasons,” Urner said.

“I’ll do the other two when I get around to it.”

More in News

Ridge ski season opens Saturday

Finally, enough snow falls for winter sports

Work progresses on the road deck of the main over-water spans at the site of a new U.S. Highway 101 bridge over the Elwha River southwest of Port Angeles on Thursday. The bridge will replace an older nearby span that was determined to have structurally-deficient pier footings. The $36 million project is expected to be completed in December.
Elwha River bridge construction

Work progresses on the road deck of the main over-water spans at… Continue reading

Clallam Community Service Awards nominations deadline April 1

Nominations for the 2024 Clallam County Community Service Awards… Continue reading

Road work to begin near Forks

Contractor crews will begin construction of a temporary bridge on… Continue reading

A gate and concrete barricades block the north end of Towne Road as it reaches the new Dungeness River levee on Tuesday northwest of Sequim. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Residents provide Towne Road feedback

More than 30 express opinions on project

Point Hudson Marina slated to be open today

Port of Port Townsend plans grand opening ceremony on April 24

Firefighters extinguished a fire in an RV near Olympic Medical Center on Wednesday in Port Angeles. No one was injured. (Port Angeles Fire Department)
No one injured in RV fire

No one was injured following an RV fire at… Continue reading

Mobile Healing Clinic to start in Clallam Bay on Monday

RV offers similar MAT services as Sequim facility

Finalists for the 2023 Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award include, front row, from left, Carol Labbe and Pauline Olsen. Not pictured is the award recipient, Renne Emiko Brock, who was unable to attend the chamber’s annual awards luncheon on Tuesday. Pictured with Labbe and Olsen are, back row, from left, chamber President Eran Kennedy, chamber Executive Director Beth Pratt and Lorie Fazio, Citizen of the Year committee chair. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Art advocate Brock named Sequim Citizen of Year

Labbe, Olsen finalists for town’s top civic award