PORT TOWNSEND — The 88th annual Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival begins Wednesday with Trike Races and will continue each day through Sunday.
“Wild, Wild Rhody” is the theme this year of the five-day festival that will offer a variety of races and contests, culminating with a grand parade and the annual Jefferson Healthcare Rhody Run.
Presiding over the festival are the members of the Rhododendron Festival royalty, Queen Melody Douglas and Princess Paige Govia. Douglas, 17, is a Port Townsend resident and a home-schooled senior. Govia, also 17, is a junior at Chimacum High School who lives in Port Hadlock. Both receive scholarships: $2,000 for the queen and $1,500 for the princess.
In addition to overseeing the Rhody Festival, the two and the Rhody float have been seen in festivals across the state. The float won the President’s Award at the Sequim Irrigation Festival parade on Saturday.
Here is the schedule:
• Trike Races — Races begin at 6 p.m. in front of City Hall on Water Street, with registration beginning at 5 p.m.
Participants must be between 1 and 6 years old. Two-wheeled bikes also are allowed with training wheels but must be 12-inch bikes or less.
• Pet Parade — The parade begins at 5:30 p.m. at Van Buren and Lawrence streets.
Registration begins 4:30 p.m.
The parade will travel on Lawrence Street from Harrison to Quincy streets.
• Kiddies Parade — The parade beings at 3:30 p.m. at the Port Townsend Recreation Center at Lawrence and Tyler streets.
Registration begins at 2 p.m.
The parade will travel Lawrence Street from about Quincy to Jackson, then to Chetzemoka Park.
• Hair and Beard Contest — Judging will be at 6 p.m. on Water Street at the American Legion Hall.
Registration is at 5:30 p.m.
• Bed Races — Races begin at about 6:30 p.m. at Water and Monroe streets.
Registration is at 5:30 p.m. and judging is at 6 p.m.
Races will travel Water Street from Monroe to Madison.
Each bed must have something akin to a headboard and footboard and wheels with four pushers and a rider weighing at least 100 pounds.
• Opening Ceremony — 7:30 p.m. at Pope Marine Park.
Rhody royalty will be welcomed and live music is planned.
At 9 p.m., an outdoor movie, “Chautauqua Shorts,” will be screened.
• Rhody Grand Parade — Parade begins at 1 p.m. with the route to be from Uptown to downtown.
Registration is from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Port Townsend Visitor Information Center, at 2409 Jefferson St., off Sims Way.
Festival floats are judged at 11 a.m., along with commercial, community and car clubs. All other units are judged during the parade.
• Elks Rhody Fundraiser Pancake Breakfast — The breakfast is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the lodge at 555 Otto St. It costs $10.
• Rhody Patrons 9-Hole Scramble — The game begins at 9 a.m. at the Port Townsend Golf Course, 1948 Blaine St.
• Sunrise Rotary’s Running of the Balls — The golf ball contest down Monroe Street will begin at Monroe and Lawrence streets at 12:30 p.m. Each ball has an assigned number that corresponds to a purchased ticket.
• Cake Picnic — The gathering will be at 3 p.m. at Pope Marine Park.
• Rhody Run Registration — Registration will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Floral Building at Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 4907 Landes St.
• Elks Spaghetti Feed — A “carb-loading” meal will be at the Port Townsend Elks Lodge from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It costs $15.
• Chautauqua Big Show — The finale of the three-day Chautauqua weekend will begin at 7 p.m. at the Fort Worden McCurdy Pavilion. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Among events scheduled are performances by Chautauquans, an outdoor movie, an everybody-wins PT Lottery and the Chautauqua Congress.
Food and beverage service will be made available by Fort Worden Hospitality.
• Rhody Scholarship 18-Hole Best Ball — Game will be at 9 a.m. at the Port Townsend Golf Course
• Jefferson Healthcare Rhody Run Redux — The run begins at 9 a.m. and finishes at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, offering 5K and 10K options for runners and walkers.
Registration is $45 for 19- to 64-year-olds, $40 for 65 and older, $15 for 18 and younger, free for 5 and younger and includes a short-sleeved shirt.
Use the discount code Olympic23 and receive 10 percent off the 2023 Olympic Summer Running Events: Rhody Run Redux, North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Quilcene Oyster Races.
All proceeds support school sports programs and youth-oriented nonprofit organizations such as Jumping Mouse Children’s Center, The Benji Project, Quilcene/Brinnon Dollars for Scholars and East Jefferson Rivals Athletics.