With its maritime heritage, artist spirit, and a touch of urban chic, Port Townsend is an easily accessible base camp to the Olympic Peninsula and beyond. Whether on land or sea; indoors or outdoors – Port Townsend has activities for every taste.
As April showers turn into May flowers, one in particular takes center stage in Port Townsend—the rhododendron. Celebrating its 79th year, the Rhody Fest, as it’s fondly called by PT locals, features Washington’s official state flower with events and fun for the whole family…even your pet! Mark your calendars to join us May 14 through 18, 2014.
Dozens of volunteers start planning months in advance, including selecting a theme for the festival. In the spirit of the Roaring ‘20s, this year’s theme is “Roaring Rhody.” Ideas buzz around about what the official float should look like and who’s going to build it.Did you know the float and the Rhody Royalty travel across the state from now through October representing Port Townsend?
They make us very proud.
In January, the selection of the royal court begins, culminating with the coronation in mid-March. Meet Queen Addison Richert, Princesses Lane Hill, Kaycee McGuire and Prince Shiloh Lanphear-Ramirez. Queen Addison will receive a $1,500 scholarship, and the princesses and prince will receive $1,000 each.
The volunteers aren’t the only ones getting set for Rhody, participants in the parades are preparing floats, costumes, music and choreography. The festival features a grand parade through the streets of Port Townsend, as well as a trike race, bed race, kiddies parade, pet parade, carnival, golf tournament and the Rhody Run.
As preparations get closer to the big event, you’ll see locals place their lawn chairs along the parade route ensuring a front row seat for the grand parade on Saturday, May 17. An entry of a lawn chair drill team is a local favorite.
So you can make plans to join us, here is a schedule of events for our Port Townsend “community holiday” celebration:
Wednesday, May 14
Thursday, May 15
Friday, May 16
Saturday, May 17
Sunday, May 18
Eat, drink, learn and MAKE, while celebrating local artisan foods and their makers. Enjoy classes and tastings at the Port Townsend Farmers Market and around town.
Harbingers of spring tend to be daffodils and blooming forsythia or sweet birdsong at dawn, but in Port Townsend, we go a step further and celebrate the season with the opening of our Farmers Market.
Where else can you enjoy a goat parade with kids—both four-legged and two—as they wend their way along Taylor Street in Uptown Port Townsend through an array of farmers, bakers, crafters, shellfish growers, winemakers, cidermakers and more?
It all begins on Saturday, April 5th, promptly at 9 a.m. as 50 vendors spring forward into the freshness of the season with a wide array of products for your enjoyment. For more info about the market, go to: www.jeffersoncountyfarmersmarket.org.
New vendors at the market
The market has a bumper crop of new vendors this year. Port Townsend’s own Propolis will be selling and sampling their seasonal herbal ales at the market. Victor and Olga Paz, of Olgita’s, will be selling handmade tortillas, salsas and pupusas (Latin American style stuffed tortillas—meat, cheese, bean or all three). Meredith Hotchkiss of Bread and Honey Bakery will be making her debut at the market with pies and cakes and pastries and other sweet things. Cherepashka Candle Company is bringing their handmade, all natural soy and coconut wax candles scented with pure essential oils. Blyn’s new Gathering Ground Farm will bring a bounty of mixed vegetables, berries and flowers, all cultivated with horse power. As in actual horses. And Olympic Onion will be selling their Sequim-grown dried green onion powders.
Changing it up this season
Dabob Kabobs, the market’s maker of local meats on a stick is changing up their menu this year to include stir fries that utilize even more fresh market produce. Virginie Borque’s award winning one woman Lullaby Wines will be selling a variety of handmade macaroons to be eaten and paired with samples of her wines. Virginie hails from Provence originally, and everything she makes honors and expands on her French upbringing.
Midori Farm has moved. The formerly Port Townsend based farm has relocated to the greener pastures of Quilcene, on acreage that lies between longtime market vendors Serendipity Farm and Wildwood Farm. Last year, Dharma Ridge relocated to Quilcene to take over the large and fertile Bolton Farm, and Colinwood farm’s Jesse Hopkins has purchased and planted on the farmland next to Midori. The warmer climate and cheaper land is leading to a new farming renaissance in the remaining fields of the former timber town.
Go green—cycle to the market
Take a cue from Rick Altman, owner of Cape Cleare Salmon, and ride your bike to the market. He’s an inspiration, encouraging people to cycle more. Read their bicycling story:
We have moved over 100, 000 pounds of salmon by pedal power, hauling up to 1/8 of a ton as much as 20-mile round trips. Ninety five percent of the salmon we sell locally is delivered by bicycle. Our dedicated cyclists: Rick, Heidi and Pam, pedal this precious cargo in rain, snow and shine.
The salmon is packed in insulated boxes, strapped to our custom-fabricated trailer made from an aluminum ladder, and delivered with the same care and attention that we bring to everything we do.
We believe in bicycles as a viable alternative to motorized vehicles. We’d like to see bicycles used more often in business and commerce.
See you at the market on two wheels!
From farm to market to table—a day in the life of Chef Laurette
See how Chef Laurette Feit finds fresh, seasonal ingredients to create local delicacies for her guests at Sweet Laurette Bistro.