118th Sequim Irrigation Festival begins this weekend
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Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News
Dr. Neil Cays, Grand Pioneer of the 2013 Irrigation Festival, cuts a rug with his wife, Sally, at the festival's kickoff dinner at 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn in March.
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Princesses Danyelle Wilson and Lavee Hess, Queen Angela Bentley and Princess Christie Honore, from left, grin at the camera during the 118th Irrigation Festival's kickoff dinner at 7 Cedars Casino in March. Photo by Joe Smillie/Peninsula Daily News.

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

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Sequim Art Walk tonight (the color is aqua)
By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — With the Irrigation Festival flowing through town, tonight's First Friday Art Walk color theme is a liquid hue: aqua. As ever with these themes, art walkers are invited to dress or accessorize in this color — and admire it in others' attire.

The self-guided tour of art is open from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m., and admission is free at the various venues. A free map is available at www.SequimArtWalk.com, while art lovers and potential venues can reach coordinator Renne Brock-Richmond at 360-460-3023 and renne@uniqueasyou.com.

Here's a cross-section of places to visit during tonight's walk.

■   More than $1,500 in cash and other prizes will be awarded tonight during the opening reception for the Sequim Arts Juried Show at the Museum and Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St.

This display, which coincides with the 2013 Irrigation Festival, highlights 86 works of art from watercolors to ceramics. After the
5 p.m. party and awards presentation, the show stays up through June 1 at the museum. For more details, visit www.sequim
arts.org or phone 360-683-8110.

■ Phil Tauran Photography Studio & Gallery, 155-B W. Cedar St., is a brand-new venue with a themed display titled “Tree of Life.”

■ “Jazzy Judy” Clark will sing at the Sunshine Café, 145 W. Washington St., where on display are cartoons and other art by Tim Quinn and Skip Kratzer.

■ Wind Rose Cellars, 143 W. Washington St., has wine tasting, music and a display of Henning Erben's acrylic paintings.

■ Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., welcomes author Judith Pasco and her travel memoir Somewhere for My Soul to Go, plus light refreshments by Cameron's Cafe & Custom Catering, We Do Fine Fudge samples and art by Jean Wyatt.

■ The Red Rooster Grocery, 1341/2 W. Washington St., showcases Saundra Cutsinger's paintings.

■ Doodlebugs at 138 W. Washington St., invites crafters to drop in at its Creative Café Art Bar from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

■ The Blue Whole Gallery, 129 W. Washington St., highlights watercolorist and ceramist Carol Janda and painter Lynne Armstrong this month.

■ The LARC Gallery, 166 E. Bell St., features Suzy Killins this month alongside 24 other local artists.
CORRECTED: MAC History Walk is Friday, May 10.

SEQUIM –– Washington state's oldest continuing festival will kick up its heels to kick off the 118th Sequim Irrigation Festival this weekend.

The festival beginning tonight will continue through May 12, with the Grand Parade on Saturday, May 11.

Along with the salute to drainage pipes that feed rich farm fields in the Dungeness Valley, this year's festival contains a salute to the century-old city's fondness for dancing with its theme “Dancing Through the Valley.”

“We like to dance. We always have,” said Dr. Neil Cays, a Sequim native, one of the Grand Pioneers for this year's festival and a certified rug-cutter, according to his wife, Sally.

“Oh, yes,” she said. “We've done a lot of dancing through the years.”

Danceable history

One of Neil Cays' very first memories of the Irrigation Festival is of dancing around the maypole when the now-76-year-old was in the fourth grade.

“I have a bit of a limp anyway, but I remember dancing around that maypole with all the other kids in town,” he said.

In keeping with the theme, a Fund the Float Dance is set from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Oasis Bar and Grill, 301 E. Washington St.

Dancing to a band, appetizers, drinks and games are planned.

Events begin tonight with the First Friday Art Walk downtown (see Peninsula Spotlight for more information), which features Sequim Arts' 37th annual Fine Arts Exhibit at the Museum & Arts Center, 175 W. Cedar St.

Deon Kapetan, festival chairwoman, said organizers considered making the monthly art walk a dance similar to those organized in Sequim's younger days.

“There was a rumor at one time that they would have a snake dance through town, where you would dance from house to house and pick people up, and everyone would dance through town in a line like a snake,” Kapetan said.

When the valley was filled with barns, those barns often were filled with teenagers who would dance on weekends, Kapetan said.

“Sure, I remember some of those old barn dances,” said Neil Cays, a 1952 graduate of Sequim High.

“But that's probably all I should tell you about them.”

In the dancing spirit is Sequim High's operetta “Footloose,” an adaptation of the 1980s Kevin Bacon hit about a town that outlaws dancing.

The operetta opened Thursday night and has showings scheduled for the next two weeks.

History in architecture

New to this year's Irrigation Festival is the Museum & Arts Center's Sequim Walking Tour, which debuts next Friday, May 10.

MAC Executive Director DJ Bassett will lead tours of downtown buildings to spotlight the people, places and events that have made up Sequim's century.

Tours leave at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Each is limited to 20 people.

Tickets are $10 per person and may be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis on tour day at the MAC Exhibit Center, which opens at 10 a.m.

This weekend

Events will be citywide for the weeklong festival's first weekend.

■ Downtown will feature the Merchants Street Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Washington Street between Sequim and Second avenues. Booths will provide bargains for passing festival-goers.

■ Vendors and live entertainment will liven up the annual Arts and Crafts Fair on Bell Street between Sequim and Second avenues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The 2013 Festival Float also will be available for an up-close-and-personal viewing all day.

■ The Kids Day picnic will provide fun and an opportunity to dance Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Carrie Blake Park, 202 N. Blake Ave.

Activities include softball games, dog park activities, a bicycle poker run, football camp, touch-a-truck and a barbecue, the latter sponsored by KSQM 91.5 FM radio .

■ Sequim's Open Aire Market kicks off the summer season Saturday on Cedar Street between Sequim and Second avenues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next week

■ The Funtastic Carnival whips the festival back into shape Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fir Street field west of Sequim High School through Sunday, May 12.

■ The Grand Parade will snake its way down Washington Street beginning at noon, moving westward from Dunlap Avenue to Seventh Avenue.

The parade will feature dozens of floats, festival queens, marching bands and classic cars from all around the state.

■ Wacky costumes will be on display at 7 a.m. Friday, May 10, at SunLand Gold & Country Club for the Crazy Daze Breakfast.

Admission is $10.

■ The Logging Show, Truck & Tractor Pull and Strongman Showdown begins May 10 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Blake Avenue lot south of Carrie Blake Park, with the logging show running again Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

■ To feed the logging madness will be the Lions Club's annual Loggers Breakfast on May 11 from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Guy Cole Convention Center at Carrie Blake Park.

■ The Dungeness River Center Fun Run will take off down the grand parade route beginning downtown May 11 at 10:20 a.m.

■ Classic cars will glisten in the patented Sequim sun May 11 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot, 1110 W. Washington St.


Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 03. 2013 11:58AM
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