Irrigation Festival wins Best Small Town Celebration

Irrigation Festival wins Best Small Town Celebration

SEQUIM, Wash. -- Water is such a big deal in this small town, every year they throw a party for it.

And these people really know how to get down -- in fact they dance in the streets.

The Irrigation Festival in Sequim has been around longer than any other celebration in Washington. Despite that odd name. We wanted to learn why, so we found some experts when we visited pre-parade: teenage girls in gowns and crowns.

"We're here to celebrate the 120th year of the Irrigation Festival," explained one member of last year's parade royalty.

Another added: "When settlers first came to Sequim it was really hard to farm, But then, someone dig this huge ditch through Sequim basically, and they could irrigate the land, and they could farm."

The Irrigation Festival peaks -- with a parade.

Half the town is in the parade and the other half comes out early to claim their curb, and wait for their friends to march by.

84 year old Grand Pioneer Helen Bucher was born here, and knows everyone:

"What do I love? The people. The friendliness of the people. It's not like a big city, it's a small town, and if you meet people in the street and you don't know them you still smile and say hello," said Bucher.

When Helen's not doing Grand Pioneer duties -- which appear to include a lot of dancing --
she's walking her duck, Peeper Squeak, around town. The duck even gives hugs.

"You put your arms around him, and he puts his neck and head over your shoulder." said Helen, as her duck demonstrated on a parade goer,

Sequim's motto sums up the reason Helen, and all of her friends, party here every May:

"Where water is wealth, after all, Sequim is a prairie, cactus used to grow here," Bucher laughed, before she sashayed off to do the traditional pre-parade dance with festival princesses from all over the northwest.

We think there's more to this water thing.

Could the Fountain of Youth be an irrigation ditch in Sequim?

Sequim's Irrigation Festival, winner of Best Small Town Celebration in Best Northwest Escapes, takes place every spring in early May.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment