We had a great time! The weather was perfect! The crowd was fantastic!
We were toward the end of the parade and the crowd was ready for the corgis.
Enjoy the video below…
A little Rhody History:
Nearly ninety years ago Port Townsend’s Rhododendron Festival began as a grassroots community event. Organized originally to take advantage of a Hearst News media public relations opportunity, volunteers returned the next year to do it again. Then the next year, and the next, convincing the community that the festival was and should remain an annual event.
The festival’s popularity was such that it became too important to be left to well-meaning volunteers and needed year-round attention. Initially, the American Legion Post was the permanent organization overseeing the festival. As the event expanded, the Chamber of Commerce took it over and created a standing Rhododendron Festival Committee to manage the myriad of details which continued to increase as the festival grew from an ad hoc parade to a week-long event with royalty coronations, carnival rides, trike races, bed races, pet, kiddie, and grand parades, golf tournament, arts & craft fair, pancake breakfast, and a cake walk.
By the 1990s, the festival committee was no longer under the auspices of the Chamber. It had come full circle and was again on its own as an unaffiliated group of community volunteers. The festival was one of the town’s largest annual events by this time. A survey conducted by Port Townsend’s Main Street Program revealed that the Rhododendron Festival was the annual event the community favored the most.