Port Townsend is experiencing our first real spring weather this week, and just in time for our wonderful Rhody festival. Always a great reason to spend a few days in this charming Victorian Seaport Village.
The festival was started in 1935 when a local businessman contacted the Hearst News Organization with an idea to film the rhododendrons in bloom as a part of their "short subjects" popular in movie theaters in those days. The business community then organized a Queen competition to have a group of young women in the photos. The townspeople could vote by spending money at local participating merchants.
The following year the American Legion liked the enthusiasm generated by the event and decided to go forward with an annual event which became the Rhody Festival we enjoy today. The festival has been going on ever since except for the war years of 1942-1945.
In the 1950's the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce took over and more activities have been added until now it is a week long celebration. There have been golf tournaments, boat races, air show, cow chip throwing, bed race, trike race, beard growing contest, and more.
There was some talk this year of not having our Kiddy Carnival, but I see it is now being set up for Friday evening. Also on Friday will be the Fish Fry, and The Bed Races. Thursday afternoon will be the terrific Pet Parade for pets ranging from rabbits to goats and horses, and of course the family cats and dogs. The main event will be held early on Saturday afternoon: The Rhody Parade. Rhody Run will be held on Sunday morning.