Sequim Irrigation Festival chairman Borden stepping down

SEQUIM — Joe Borden, veteran volunteer chairman of the Sequim Irrigation Festival, announced Monday night that he’s stepping down.

“It’s time for somebody new, somebody younger,” he said, “and some new ideas.”

Borden, 64, has been a key organizer of the festival for 15 years, and chief for six. He is also a recent recipient of the Clallam County Community Service Award.

Under Borden’s guidance, Sequim’s multi-day community party turned 115 this year and drew some 10,000 people to events including the Kids’ Day and Family Picnic on May 1 and the Grand Parade and Logging Show on Saturday.

After making his announcement at the Sequim City Council meeting Monday, Borden told the Peninsula Daily News that Deon Kapetan, another veteran festival volunteer, will become chairwoman.

Borden will continue to serve on the festival committee as float chairman, helping to build and maintain the Irrigation Festival float, which is known for its moving parts, music, sound effects and other mechanical enhancements.

“I finally convinced Deon I’m not going anywhere,” Borden said. “I’m just moving into the background.”

Kapetan is 39 and the Peninsula lending team manager at Sound Community Bank in Sequim — a major sponsor of the Irrigation Festival — said she’ll officially take over in July.

“I’ve kind of been shadowing Joe for the past year,” Kapetan added.

“It’s a natural thing for me. Probably since 2000, I’ve been chairman of one or more events.”

She’s been the organizer, for example, of “float display,” which means coordinating volunteers and logistics for the Irrigation Festival float’s travels to 17 parades around the region.

“I’m really excited,” Kapetan added. “I have a lot of support,” from other Irrigation Festival volunteers as well as from her employer and her husband, Kevin Kapetan.

In addition to her full-time job at the bank and her new position heading the Irrigation Festival, Kapetan is Mom to two children, C.J., 18, and Hailey, 12. She moved to Sequim nearly 20 years ago from Bellingham.

As festival chairwoman, Kapetan will help coordinate the scores of other volunteers who will bring together the 116th annual Irrigation Festival in spring 2011. To learn more, visit

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at

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