Writing 101: Day 15: Sequim’s Annual Irritation Festival

Day 15: Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. How does that make you feel?
Let’s consider your voice again. This topic can be tricky, as you might not be sure what your voice sounds like — yet.
Today’s twist: While writing this post, focus again on your own voice. Pay attention to your word choice, tone, and rhythm. Read each sentence aloud multiple times, making edits as you read through. Before you hit “Publish,” read your entire piece out loud to ensure it sounds like you.

My town hosts a couple events every year that tend to change the lives of all the local residents for a week or so. You see, this small town has one road bisecting it and that road has two lanes: one going east, the other going west. To get in and out of our town one must drive on the highway. This highway also has two lanes, one going east, and the other west. However, not everyone that lives in Sequim lives in town. Many of us live off the highway, either on the north or the south side. That’s why, when our  town  hosts a major event, things get crazy.

Festival flowers. Photo by Callie Cobb
Festival flowers. Photo by Callie Cobb

Sequim’s Annual Irritation Festival

It’s time for the Irritation Festival in Sequim. What? You heard me.

Every May the City of Sequim puts hosts Warshington State’s oldest parade and festival. Because it’s the state’s oldest festival, people scurry to this itty-bitty town from all over, including people such as Seattleans, Tacomamoens, Puyallupponicians, Humptulipians, Phystoneans, Angeleans, and Quinaultodes. Oh, there are gobs of them. They swarm over all us hometown yokel Sequimites in droves.

Journey on over to the Sequimite Irritation Festival and you won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it. It’s like the Teddy Bear’s Picnic only with yokels; some of us even dress up as Californinians. But you’d do best to disguise yourself by wearing rainbow suspenders and scruffy beards. You’ll fit right in.

This is the time of year when nary a yokel can turn left on Highway 101 to get anywhere—anywhere—read, a n y w h e r e, since there is only one main road connecting everywhere, and that’s Highway 101, (and that used to run smack-dab through the middle of town, but things are supposed to be improved now, thanks to the Californinians and all that.) If a yokel should make it onto the highway and into town, they’ll just find lines at the gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, long, long lines.

Speaking of restaurants, this is the time of year all our Dungeness crabs refer to as “the Alien Rush season,” the “scramble for your life” time; the time of year the conceited yokel elk herd decides to amble cross the highway for the sole purpose of causing traffic jams and photoshoots; the time when royals float, clowns fall, sawblades whine, and liquids flow.

It is the time of year when prices rise, when the only street across town becomes unusable due to the parade; blocked by police, bands, horses, and strange rolling vehicles spouting bubbles and candy and smiles.

Those in the know nab parking spots somewhere at one side of town while the getting’s good, and walk to where they need to go, like maybe home, where they have the privilege of finding their own driveways clogged with numerous alien cars and their bushes full of strangers.

This is also the time of year strangers consider any building, including but not limited to someone’s private home along the parade route, is there for explicit purpose of public urinals.

Can the locals even make a dime by selling their wares at tent booths? No. There are fees they’d have to pay to do that. There is the “doing business in Sequim” fee, and the open market fee: both ungodly astronomical. Yet aliens flock to sell their wares here and don’t mind spending the money locals don’t have. The only reasonable spot to sell one’s wares is at the Irritation Festival’s annual Logging Show, and over there it’s deafeningly noisy and so full of riled air that ya better like sawdust-flavored cotton candy.

There’s’ nothing like the Irritation Festival us Sequimites put on each year. You’ll love it!

What? You asked about the Irrigation Festival? Oh, well then, that’s totally different.

It’s time for the Irrigation Festival in Sequim. This is the time of year when nary a local can turn left on Highway 101 to get anywhere—anywhere—read, a n y w h e r e, since there is only one main road connecting everywhere, . . .


And for those of you unfamiliar with Warshington, I’ve included

Phonetic Code

Puyallupponicians: Pea-Hewe-Al-up-onee-cians

Dungeness: Dunge-Jen-esse

Phystoneans: Pyst (the hissy sound cats make) + stone-knee-Anns

Californinians: k-Al-livefor-ninny-Anns

Sequim: Skwim

I don’t know about the rest of you writers, but when the prompt asked me to find my voice, they failed to tell me which one I was looking for. It’s like trying to choose which pair of shoes to wear with an outfit. Difficult.

What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Writing 101: Day 15: Sequim’s Annual Irritation Festival

      1. Well, I told folks years ago that they certainly were not going to make money off of each other. Tourism was the only way to go. So of course come! But . . . don’t forget your beard and suspenders!

        Liked by 1 person

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