Port Townsend’s calendar is jam-packed with activities, many of which are sponsored by the nonprofit Centrum Foundation (360/385-3102 or 800/733-3608, www.centrum.org). These include events such as performances by jazz, bluegrass, blues, and classical musicians; folk dance festivals; plays; seminars; and readings by well-known authors. For a schedule of upcoming events, contact the Centrum Foundation.
Held the third week in May, the Rhododendron Festival (www.rhodyfestival.org) features a big Saturday parade, dances, antique and art shows, a carnival, rhododendron displays, and the pomp and circumstance of choosing rhododendron royalty.
The summertime music season kicks off with the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (360/385-3102 x127, www.centrum.org) at the end of June, followed by mid-July’s Jazz Port Townsend, which blends directly into the Port Townsend Blues Festival (360/385-3102 X127, www.centrum.org).
The second weekend in August is reserved for the Jefferson County Fair, (www.jeffcofairgrounds.com), the old-fashioned kind with livestock shows, 4-H displays, and a mud race. A particular highlight of the year’s calendar is the Wooden Boat Festival (www.woodenboat.org) in early September, full of music, regattas, boat tours, and exhibitions.
Early October brings the fairly strange Kinetic Sculpture Race (www.ptkineticrace.org) to Port Townsend; costumed characters pilot human-powered mechanical sculptures over land and water in a race to the finish.
If you’re in town on the first Saturday in December, you’ll be able to join the fun as Santa arrives by ferry, and people gather to sing carols on Water Street and watch the tree lighting ceremony (360/385-7911).
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition