The 123rd Sequim Irrigation Festival
Visit Sequim during the 123rd Irrigation Festival for a weekend of family fun. It may sound strange to celebrate irrigation, however the festival symbolizes Sequim’s history of hard work, ingenuity, and strong community. And irrigation made the Sequim Valley bloom and flourish. In 1896, the parched prairies were transformed into fertile farmlands and lavender fields with the construction of irrigation ditches. Sequim held its first irrigation celebration in 1896 and the party has continued for 123 years. In addition to the fascinating and inspiring history, the festival has all the fun and small town charm of a classic carnival. Visit Sequim during this two weekend celebration (May 4th to 13th) that includes a parade, fireworks and so much more.
Sequim Irrigation Festival History
It all started when D.R. “Crazy” Callen and his partners decided to design and develop irrigation ditches to bring water from the Dungeness River to the dry Sequim Valley. On July 20, 1895, this group held their first meeting of the “Prairie Ditch.” These hardy pioneers labored all winter building the ditch and flume. The whole community pulled together and celebrated the completion on Callen’s farm on May 1, 1896. Residents of the Dungeness Valley and beyond gathered to witness the opening of the headgate. And this was the very first Sequim Irrigation Festival.
Fun Irrigation Festival Activities
Over the years the festival has grown and now spans two weekends. The first weekend called “Crazy Callen Weekend” runs from May 4th to 6th. The second weekend, aptly named, the “Grand Finale Weekend” wraps up the festival on May 10th to the 13th.
“Crazy Callen Weekend” events:
- First Friday Art Walk – Every first Friday of the month Sequim hosts a free self-guided tour of local art. Artists and vendors will have art pieces for sale at the Innovative Arts and Crafts Fair on the Civic Plaza.
- Family Fun Days – There are many free activities to keep the little ones happy including Touch-a-Truck and the Kids Parade. Prizes are awarded for playful categories such as: best storybook character, pet entry, and historical theme.
“Grand Finale Weekend” events:
- Carnival – A good old fashion carnival with all the rides and games for the entire family
- Hot Rods & Harleys Show N’ Cruz – One of the largest car shows on the Olympic Peninsula, with 200 participants joining in past festivals. They kick off the parade on Saturday, May 12th.
- 123rd Irrigation Festival Grand Parade – Line up on the streets of Sequim and admire the creative floats, local bands, and wave to The Royalty Court.
- Logging Show, Truck and Tractor Pull – The lumber history comes to life with tractor pulls, chainsaw carving, and a strongman competition. End the day with a drink in the beer garden and a dazzling fireworks display.
Sequim is a warm, welcoming town with a rich history of strong community. That community thrives today and makes Sequim a wonderful place to live. Visit the Sequim Irrigation Festival and experience this special place on the Olympic Peninsula. When you’re ready to find your own corner of this charming town contact our friendly agents at Schwab Realty.