By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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First observed in Europe, it's a national holiday in Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria.
But hold on.
“We're having a 'big deal' [here],” said Patricia Schromen, also of Port Angeles.
She and Wise will co-host one of this week's big deals at a winery wholly owned by women: Olympic Cellars, 255410 U.S. Highway 101, Port Angeles.
Wednesday's gathering, the first of several such events across the Peninsula — commemorating the actual International Women's Day on Friday — will be an evening of food, drink, connection and relaxation that's happened every March for nine years.
Schromen and Wise are board members of Womanfest, a nonprofit soon to mark its 30th year.
The organization, whose board includes women from Jefferson and Clallam counties, will host the 6 p.m. supper and provide homemade soups, breads and cookies.
It's also a fundraiser, as a $10 donation benefits Serenity House's Hill House refuge for homeless women, as well as the Mujeres de Maiz (Women of the Corn) Opportunity Foundation, a Sequim-based group giving scholarships for young women in rural Mexico.
The party is open to all — men and children included — and the donation is only suggested, said Karen Hanan, Womanfest's treasurer.
“There's always a brave handful [of men],” she said.
“It's a chance to come and meet some interesting people, and it's a very welcoming environment.”
The Womanfest group likes an intergenerational gathering, Schromen added: “Grandmas bring their grandchildren.”
For more details, phone Olympic Cellars at 360-452-0160, and to learn more about Womanfest and its fall retreat Sept. 20-22 at Lake Crescent, see Womanfest.org.
Port Townsend will have a pair of events Friday.
Local musicians and theater artists will mark the occasion with American folk, jazz and words from women across the globe.
“Here, There and Everywhere,” an evening of short pieces written by women from South Africa to Romania to India, will arrive at the Key City Playhouse on Friday.
Local actors Heather Dudley Nollette, Emily Huntingford and Erin Lamb will offer five- to 10-minute pieces including “Love, Janis,” about what might have happened had Janis Joplin lived longer; “Rosa Amen,” a shaman's monologue by Conchi Leon of Merida, Mexico; and “StorieStore,” Saviana Stanescu of Romania's tale about a shop that sells brand-new life stories.
Curtain time is 5:30 p.m. at the playhouse, 419 Washington St., and tickets are $20 to benefit the Jefferson County Fund for Women and Girls.
Reservations can be made at the Key City Public Theatre box office, 360-385-5278.
“Here, There and Everywhere” has sold out in recent years, so this time two additional performances are slated.
They're not Jefferson County foundation fundraisers, but are part of the Key City Playwrights' Festival starting this Thursday.
The two later “Here, There and Everywhere” shows will be at 7 p.m. March 12 and March 19.
Later Friday evening, jazz vocalist Jenny Davis and folk singers Aimée Ringle and Aimee Kelly will offer an International Women's Day concert at The Upstage, 923 Washington St.
Admission is a $10 donation to the 7:30 p.m. show.
“It's just a celebration,” said Davis, who will sing “No More Blues,” by Antonio Carlos Jobim, among other songs from her latest CD “Inside You.”
Guitarist Chuck Easton and bassist Ted Enderle will back Davis as she also offers new music from an album to come out this summer.
Ringle and Kelly, for their part, will knit their voices for an acoustic set, possibly to include songs from Ringle's album “Bowl of Stones.”
For more details about Friday's concert, phone The Upstage at 360-385-2216.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.