Port Townsend celebrates rhodies, Chautauqua this weekend

PORT TOWNSEND — The finale of the Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival and the Chautauqua Week will offer a robust variety of activities this weekend.

The 87th Rhododendron Festival will “Stop and Smell the Rhodies” again, with the same royalty that was selected for 2020 and 2021 when events were curtailed by COVID-19 pandemic health measures.

The float will be the same as well, said Rita Hubbard, president of the festival.

Queen Jenessah Seebergoss is not able to be in the festival this year because of school, Hubbard said, so the two princesses, Hailey Hirschel and Brigitte Palmer, will wave to the crowd from the float.

New this year will be the passing out of U.S. flags to those watching the parade as it gets underway Saturday at 1 p.m. They can be waved as a color guard parades past under a banner that says: “Please Stand for Those Who Serve You.”

Activities began Wednesday, and all the usual events were scheduled this year except for the carnival.

Today will be a Kiddies Parade, Hair and Beard Contest and Bed Races.

On Saturday will be the Grand Parade at 1 p.m., the beginning of the Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open, the Running of the Balls, Rhody Run registration and an evening spaghetti feed.

On Sunday will be the Jefferson Healthcare Rhody Run, the second day of the Jim Caldwell Memorial Rhody Open and the opening of Sather Park to the public on Morgan Hill from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to view newly planted Pacific Rhododendrons.

As of Thursday, Grand Parade entries had grown to 78, Hubbard said.

The New Old Time Chautauqua 1978 Cadillac Eldorado will bring up the rear of Saturday’s parade and lead visitors to the 3 p.m. Cake Picnic at Pope Marine Plaza.

The Jefferson Healthcare 10K and 5K Rhody Run is at a new venue this year. It will begin at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St.

A variety of street closures are planned over the weekend. See them at https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/entertainment/stop-and-smell-the-rhodies-again.

For more information about the new Rhody Run course, see rhodyrun.com.

For more about the Rhody Festival schedule of events, see rhodyfestival.org.

At the same time as the festival this weekend will be the celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the New Old Time Chautauqua today through Sunday.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for children 6 to 12 years old. Those who choose to do so also can support the Chautauqua Week with tickets of $50, $100 or $250. All tickets provide access to all events scheduled for the weekend. They are available at theproductionalliance.org/events/chautauquaweek, at The Food Co-op or at Littlefield Green at Fort Worden.

Chautauqua events will begin today at 5 p.m. with registration and community picnic, opening ceremony, music and a dance party, and movie at Littlefield Green, Fort Worden State Park.

After participating in the Rhody Parade and Cake Picnic on Saturday, Chautauqua Week will host The Big Show at McCurdy Pavilion, Fort Worden State Park at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

The Big Show, will feature acrobatic, comedic, musical and vaudeville-style performances from more than 20 acts, among them The Flying Karamazov Brothers, which have been centered in Port Townsend since 1986. Paul Magi, aka Dmitrti Karamazov, co-founded the New Old Time Chautauqua in 1981.

On Sunday, Chautauqua Week will offer New Old Time Chautauqua workshops at Littlefield Green and Building 204, a drawing for the PT Lottery tickets, and a Chautauqua Community Congress with presentations and dialogue from tribal leaders and local and state elected officials, followed by community discussion.

For more about Chautauqua Week, see the productionalliance.org/events/chautauquaweek or https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/entertainment/chautauqua-celebrates-activities-this-weekend.

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