As April showers give way to May flowers, nothing takes center stage as eloquently here in Port Townsend as the Rhododendron, which you’ll see blooming prolifically around town. It’s not only Washington’s state flower, but it’s the star of the show this month as we celebrate our 83rd Rhododendron Festival, with activities and fun for the whole family…even your pet! Mark your calendars to join us May 16-20!
But that’s not all that’s coming your way in May. Read on to learn about more exciting events and activities for you to enjoy in Port Townsend this month!
Art Wave, May 1-31
You’ll be inspired by this colorful month-long exhibit of over 400 pieces of children’s artwork displayed in businesses in Uptown and Downtown, created by grades K-12 in the Port Townsend School District. Come to the historic districts for Art Walk on Saturday, May 5, from 5:30-7:30 pm and see the creativity of our children.
New this year, tap into your creativity at the ArtZone—a Paint n’ Sip Party on May 24 from 5-7 pm for adults 21+ to benefit Arts in the Port Townsend Public Schools. The class will be led by Jesse Watson, an award-winning local artist who’s known for his colorful landscapes and portraits. The $50 fee includes materials and refreshments. The art party will be held in the Kuhn Building at 1044 Water Street. Sponsored by the Port Townsend Main Street Program. http://ptmainstreet.org/may-is-art-wave/
Opening Day on the Bay, Saturday, May 5
Opening Day of the 2018 boating season is cause for celebration as the Port Townsend Yacht Club invites the public to view the waterfront parade. Watch the boats sail by from the Northwest Maritime Center Pier, Pope Marine Park or any other convenient location along Water Street. The parade will begin after the departure of the 12:30 pm ferry to Coupeville. Following the parade, there will be the traditional Blessing of the Fleet. www.PTYC.net
Gemboree, Saturday, May 5
The Port Townsend Rock Club is hosting their annual Gemboree showcase, including local experts demonstrating contemporary beading, jewelry bezel setting, stone sculpting and much more. The organization has been active for over 50 years in Port Townsend. Located at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, the clubhouse hosts a complete studio, library and a cavalcade of people who love to work on and learn about gems, minerals and geology. Explore the possibilities at the Gemboree from 10 am to 2 pm. Free to the public. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
83rd Annual Rhododendron Festival and Rhody Run, May 16-20
Talk like a local and call it “Rhody!” For those of us in Port Townsend, this term encompasses anything going on during the week of the festival. We simply call all of it “Rhody.” Feel free to do so, too. Make plans to join us this year for Rhody and celebrate our Port Townsend “community holiday” with us. Here’s the scoop:
Wednesday, May 16
6pm Trike Race begins
Thursday, May 17
4:30pm Pet Parade begins and the Funtastic Carnival opens at Memorial Field
Friday, May 18
3:30pm Kiddies Parade begins and the Carnival is ongoing through the evening
6:30pm Bed Races begin
Saturday, May 19
1pm Rhody Festival Grand Parade with a Cake Picnic to follow
Sunday, May 20
11am 40th Annual Rhody Run begins
www.RhodyFestival.org or www.RhodyRun.com
The 5th Annual Artisan Food Festival is May 26 in Uptown Port Townsend with 70+ local farms, live music, artisan foods, craft beer, cider, wine, and arts and craft vendors including cheese pairings with Mt. Townsend Creamery and Port Townsend Vineyards. Chef demonstrations by Jefferson Healthcare’s Executive Chef, Arran Stark; Finistere’s Executive Chef and Co-owner Deborah Taylor; Jess Rose, Silverwater Café’s Executive Chef; and Denise Joy from Mountain Spirit Herbal Company. For a schedule of events, go to http://jcfmarkets.org/ptaff/.
Save the date for upcoming events in June:
Classic Mariners’ Regatta
Watch beautiful wooden boats and high-caliber sailors racing their hearts out.
Port Townsend Main Street’s Taste of Port townsend
Sample. Sip. Mingle. It’s going to be delicious!
The Brass Screw Confederacy – Steampunk Festival
Join us somewhere between 1891 and a time that yet may be…
June 13 and 14
Pre-Race Ruckus and Race to Alaska
No motor, no support, all the way to Alaska. Watch the race start in Port Townsend!
Centrum’s Chamber Music Series
An afternoon concert by the Pacifica Quartet
June 27, 28 and 29
Centrum’s Voice Works Performances
Vocal Showcase #1 of music and dances, June 27, 7:30 pm
Boogie at the Honky Tonk Polka Dot Dance, June 28, 8 pm
Vocal Showcase #2 of music and dances, June 27, 7:30 pm
We can’t wait to welcome you to Port Townsend this month!
Please join March 23-25, 2018 in Port Townsend, WA for another delightful edition of the Victorian Heritage Festival
A wonderful weekend to celebrate all that is best in the West Coast’s favorite Victorian seaport.
Join us for this year’s theme: Legends of Literature. From Sherlock Holmes to Alice in Wonderland and all points in between, come celebrate the literary adventures of the time and see their real-world origins. For one weekend, among the grand old buildings and croquet lawns, the 1890’s will live again!
Now encompassing even more of the old town area, this year’s festival will feature many new offerings. Watch this space for details and mark your calendar: a grand time for the whole family!
Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day just a few short weeks away. Escape with your sweetheart to Port Townsend for a romantic weekend getaway. We have a wide array of fantastic accommodations to suit your style. Click here for choices and to book your reservation. Many of our restaurants are offering Valentine’s specials too. For more details, contact our Visitor Information Center at email@example.com or 360.385.2722.
Start your romantic celebration with Port Townsend as your home base and fall head over heels with the Olympic Peninsula Wineries and Cideries during their luscious Red Wine, Cider and Chocolate event over two scrumptious weekends: February 10-11 and 17-19, from 11 am to 5 pm. Let your quest for guilty pleasures run wild with the unmatched, extraordinary blends of Washington grapes, apples and pears—paired with decadent chocolates and local culinary fare. Enjoy a romantic drive through the scenic Olympic Peninsula!
The ticket and glass package entitles you to a special commemorative wine glass, complimentary wine/cider tasting and chocolate samples at the nine participating wineries and cideries. Book here for online tickets. www.olympicpeninsulawineries.org/redwinechocolate.php
What better place to celebrate love than Port Townsend? Over the years, our city has received many accolades from the media naming us the “best of….” Most recently, in 2017, we were named by Architectural Digest as “One of the 15 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America” and MSN named Port Townsend the “Prettiest Town in Washington.”
With that in mind, we welcome you to come downtown and show your love for our fair city by penning a Love Letter to Port Townsend. You can write a poem, a love letter, or simply list the three things you love most about Port Townsend. Select restaurants and coffee shops will have entry forms. Please enter by February 14 to win prizes.
Concierges are ready to assist you!
On Saturdays, Port Townsend have friendly “Celebrity Concierges” roaming Water Street, from 1-3 pm, offering suggestions for things to do and see, giving directions and answering questions. They’ll be providing coupon books and maps to help you get around downtown. Be sure to look for them!
From now through June, the “Believe It or Knot!” game will pique your interest in unbelievable facts (or fiction) about our salty seaport. From the 1890s Victorian seaport to modern day, the past and present of Port Townsend will have you questioning whether you believe it or “knot.”
Hidden throughout downtown are incredible facts (true or false!) about our city. Find 10 of them at participating businesses. Try your hand to see how well you know your facts about Port Townsend by completing the game to be entered in prize drawings–$100 in monthly gift certificates and a chance to win a grand prize of $500 in gift certificates to spend in downtown businesses. And be sure to tag any of your photos on Instagram or Facebook with #ILovePortTownsend!
Key City Playhouse
Key City Public Theatre will kick off its 60th anniversary season with the Northwest Premiere of the critically-acclaimed, one-woman play, “Spirit Awakening,” written, directed and performed by Akuyoe Graham, at the KCPT Playhouse February 9, 10, 16, and 17 at 7 pm with Saturday matinees at 2 pm.
Capturing how Ms. Graham evolved as a human being and performer, an immigrants and a woman, this mythic story is effused with power and strength, sensitivity and emotion as the supremely skilled Graham creates 12 distinct personalities that segue into one another with seamless brilliance as her life takes her from Africa to London to Spanish Harlem and eventually Hollywood. Each step provokes new levels of personal assessment, raising complex questions of split loyalties and the difficulties of rediscovering one’s roots, unimpeded by dogma. One film/theatre critic described her as a “mystic in the theatre, a sage on the screen.”
To purchase tickets, go to www.keycitypublictheatre.org or call 360.385.5278.
The sailboat racing season opens with the 27th Annual Port Townsend Shipwrights’ Regatta on February 24. Boats of all construction are welcome. As always, the race is open to folks who would like to try sailboat racing, but do not have a boat. Non-boat owners are encouraged to show up at the Skippers’ Meeting to be connected with skippers looking for crew.
The regatta is presented by the Northwest Maritime Center and the Port Townsend Sailing Association. www.nwmaritime.org/events/shipwrights-regatta/
Save the date for upcoming events in March and April:
22nd Annual Port Townsend PlayFest
Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend
This is a theater lover’s feast offering 10 plays over two weekends, including six one-act plays by local writers and three full-length plays by regional and national playwrights.
Victorian Heritage Festival
The theme is Victorian Dreams—from roots as traditional as tea and shortbread to the high-flying speculation of Jules Verne, there will be celebrations about all that was best in the hearts and minds of this time in history. Mark your calendar for a grand time for the entire family!
We look forward to welcoming you to Port Townsend!
Happy 4th of July
Old School 4th of July in Port Townsend
Fireworks off the Beach at Fort Worden State Park – 10 pm
Bring the family, enjoy the show!!!
BOOM! BOOM! BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!
Get ready for the biggest and best party of the year!
The “Old School” 4th of July is coming back for a 3rd round of community collaboration and celebration!
4PM – 10PM Fort Worden State Park
200 Battery Way, in Port Townsend, WA
Featuring live entertainment, food vendors, beer garden, hot air balloon, field games,
free root beer floats, miniature golf, tug of war and a glorious display of fireworks!
It takes a community to pull off a party like this and it can’t happen without your help
There are tons of ways to get involved
An “Old School 4th of July” is the theme of a big celebration this year at Fort Worden State Park featuring music, games, pie-eating and tug-of-war contests, and a free firework display.
The event is sponsored by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Thunderball Productions and Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes.
People are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, blankets, games and anything else they want to share.
The Fort Worden Parade Grounds are open for free parking starting at 3:30 p.m. on July 4; all other parking requires a Discover Pass, available at the park for $30 for a year, $10 for a day.
The sign-up for the pie-eating contest, $20, begins at 4 p.m., with apple pies made by artisan baker Meredith Hotchkiss. The first 12 people to sign up are to compete.
At 6:30 p.m., a flock of bird-shaped piñatas are ready to release candy from Elevated Ice Cream Co. and dental hygiene products donated by David Chuljian, DDS. Free root beer floats are to be served to the first 1,000 people in attendance starting at 7 p.m.
There also is still time to sign up for the Old School 4th of July tug-of-war contest with a $1,000 grand prize. Deadline is at 6 p.m., Thursday, July 2 at Pope Marine Park. Additional activities include, but are not limited to, a display of “old school” cars by the Rakers Car Club, boffing with Wildwise Adventure School, henna art by Sacred Skin Henna, a miniature golf course and a PT Village Building Convergence art installation.
Most importantly: Be there! Party with us on the parade grounds at Fort Worden Tuesday, July 4th
Rhody Festival this Weekend. The Rhody Festival in Port Townsend is always held the 3rd weekend of May.
The 2017 Festival Grand Parade will be on May 20th.
2017 Rhody Grand Parade Application
Your 2017 Rhody Royalty
The Rhody Festival in Port Townsend is always held the 3rd weekend of May.
The 2017 Festival Grand Parade will be on May 20th.
2017 Rhody Grand Parade Application
VIEW ALL THINGS RHODY!
May 18 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
May 19 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Kiwanas Brats & Brew
May 19 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
May 19 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Hair and Beard Contest
May 19 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
May 19 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Elks Pancake Breakfast, Rhody Golf Tournament
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
View All Events
2017 RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM 2017 RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL GRAND PARADE APPLICATION
Stay tuned for more Rhody Events by checking back here or at our Facebook page!
We Welcome Your Help
The Rhododendron Festival Association welcomes anyone who would like to participate in all or portions thereof of the year-long Festival activities. New ‘blood’ is always welcome and helps keep Rhody ‘alive’. Email Us!