103rd Irrigation Festival
Irrigation and
Irrigation Festival
In 2006, Sequim will celebrate its 111th Annual Irrigation Festival, Washington's oldest continuing community festival. Held in early May, the ten day festival features a grand parade, athletic events, a logging show, a quilt exhibit, and the crowning of the Irrigation Queen and her princesses.

Such a festival celebrating irrigation could only occur in an area for which irrigation is essential. Unlike the rest of the Pacific Northwest, Sequim must irrigate for agriculture because it is in the rainshadow of the Olympics. Average rainfall in the area is around 15 inches per year, in contrast to Seattle, not 60 miles away, which receives arout 37 inches annually.

The first irrigation canal was completed on May 1, 1896 by the Sequim Prairie Ditch Company. It was two miles long and capable of irrigating 3000 acres of land. Today there are more than 97 miles of irrigation ditches which could irrigate up to 23,000 acres. Around 11,000 acres are actually irrigated: 3300 acres of commercial farmland; 4,400 acres on small farms; and 3,0004000 acres of lawns and gardens.

Official Irrigation Festival Schedule