30th annual Joyce Daze has most vendors ever [**GALLERY**]
Peninsula Daily News
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And vendors, for that matter.
Festival Chairman Ed McKay said 68 booths — a record number — were open for this year’s celebration of the area’s wild blackberries.
“[That’s] the most we’ve ever had,” McKay said.
Strumming of guitars and mandolins, with the occasional staccato drone of a fiddle, wafted across the sun-baked crowd filling the small community of Joyce, about 16 miles west of Port Angeles.
Visitors walked with dogs, while children with painted faces flitted about.
Vendors sold jewelry, clothing and woodwork of every kind, and wild-blackberry lovers enjoyed a parade that marched its way down state Highway 112.
And what would the event be without blackberry pies?
Hundreds of slices, most with ice cream, were sold to event-goers. Proceeds from the pie sales will go to scholarship programs.
Janice Harsh of Joyce took first-place honors in the homemade blackberry pie contest sponsored by the Peninsula Daily News.
Sharon Webb-Bowerman of Joyce was second. Martha McLean of Port Angeles — with an unconventional chiffon blackberry pie — was third.
Aliina Lahti with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition said this was her group’s third consecutive Joyce Daze.
The highlight of the coalition’s booth was Fin, a 25-foot-long, 1,250-pound metal representation of a chum salmon.
Children were allowed to climb inside Fin and see the mural of Pacific Northwest wildlife painted within.
Fin is the product of Tom Jay and friends of Chimacum, Lahti said, and has traveled with the coalition all over Western Washington to help teach schoolchildren about salmon life cycles.
“[Fin’s] had a fun time so far,” Lahti said.
Numerous hands went into planning and setting up this year’s Joyce Daze, including the handful of volunteers who helped park cars.
Seth Helgeson, 18, a lifelong Joyce resident, said this was his third Joyce Daze but his first time directing cars to their proper parking spaces.
With Helgeson and his partners hard at work, the grass fields on both sides of state Highway 112 through Joyce were packed with cars, with some areas fitting two rows.
Despite only one hour of sleep before work began, Helgeson said he was glad to help.
“[I went] to bed at 4 a.m. after setting all this up, slept for an hour, then got back out here at 6 a.m.,” he said.
Helgeson said the parking helpers typically dress in all the same colorful — sometimes goofy — clothes, and this year was no different.
Helgeson sported a purple bandana, bright-blue tank top with the Kool-Aid Man’s face on it and stark white gym shorts.
Last modified: August 04. 2012 6:52PM