It’s hard to believe, sports fans, but it’s Irrigation Festival time and the hard-working festival organizers are putting the finishing touches on all of the activities that make this the greatest Olympic Peninsula festival.
I’m sure many long-time parade goers are getting ready to put their lawn chairs and lounge chairs out on Washington Street to “reserve” their special place to watch the Grand Parade.
I remember some of the “old” festivals when it seemed like 100 events were packed into three days.
Many times I watched the fun run at the old schoolhouse in the early morning, then raced to downtown to watch the kids’ parade at 11 a.m., then the main parade at 1 p.m., then dashed over to the high school field to announce the Sequim Valley Lions demolition derby.Now the big festival is spread over two weekends and I really haven’t embraced the longer concept, even though I know the volunteers who put on the big show have more time between events so as not to burn out easily.
The early part of the log-ging show begins May 11 with chain saw carving, tractor pulls and mud buddies from 5-11:30 p.m., then the strongman competition begins at 6 p.m. with the strong guys doing amazing feats, then a country band at 8 p.m. with the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Some famous television strongmen are on the list of stars heading for Sequim, including Kevin Nee of Boston, Grant Higa of nearby Maple Valley and Corey St. Clair of Columbus, Ohio. Sequim’s Nate Bolin is in the field with Zach McKarley of Ellensburg, Karl Gillingham from Minnesota and Brad Dunn from Florida.
Events will include the keg toss over a 15-foot bar, 330-pound stone toss over a bar, giant dumbbell press and axle press.
Last year’s big crowd enjoyed the strongman show and stayed for the big fireworks display and another big crowd is expected. Bring your warm coat, just in case.
The big Saturday fun begins at 6:30 a.m. and goes to 11 a.m. at the Guy Cole Convention Center when the Sequim Valley Lions return to put on their pancake breakfast to get the day started.
The Lions helped build that facility and had their meetings there for 25 years until the lease ran out and they return to cook those great cakes. I hope they don’t put a piece of cardboard inside my cakes this year.
The new River Center Run begins at 10:20 a.m. in the JC Penney parking lot and the out-and-back run will take place along the Grand Parade route. Pre-register for $10, $25 for a family and all proceeds benefit the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Day of registration begins at 8:30 a.m., lineup at 10 a.m. The course will close at 10:55 a.m. to get the route ready for the old car parade. Walkers will be diverted to other streets.
The Irrigation Festival
Logging Show will attract some of the Pacific Northwest’s greatest loggers, the pole climbers, the guys and gals who man the whip saws, the chain saws and throw the axe at a target. Be sure to watch the log truck drivers in the wrap contest as they show you how they secure the logs to the truck before heading into town from the woods.
There will be great concessions, the busy Sequim Valley Lions beer garden, the chain saw carving displays and old-time saw displays as well, and it’s all for a donation at the gate as major sponsors pick up the majority of the expenses. Make sure you reach deep into the wallet.
The logging show activities begin about 10 a.m., but the main logging show waits until the parade is over, so you won’t miss a thing except the corny jokes from the logging show announcer.
The 23rd Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby will go Sunday, May 13, at the Lincoln Park pond in Port Angeles, due to construction at Nippon.
The very first derby was on the Dungeness River, the second at Carrie Blake Park, then 20 more in Port Angeles.
I have yet to win a prize, folks, but I keep hoping that this will be the year.
Plenty of Irrigation Fest activities for sports fans
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