Articles from 2013

Port Angeles duck derby moving to June to spur more ticket sales to tourists

By Arwyn Rice and Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
Monday March 4, 2013

PORT ANGELES —PORT ANGELES — The 24th Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby, traditionally held in May, will be in June this year.

Rubber ducks will be dumped into the pond at Lincoln Park at 1500 W. Lauridsen Blvd., on Sunday, June 9. Last year, the race was on May 13.

The date has been changed in hopes of increasing sales by having duck tickets available during Memorial Day weekend and the two weeks after, said Bruce Skinner, executive director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation which, along with the Sequim Rotary Club's charitable projects, benefits from the race.


Thousands of plastic ducks tumble out of a dump truck and into the Lincoln Park pond during the 23rd annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby in Port Angeles last year. -- Peninsula Daily News photo


Tickets will go on sale May 9. They will be available to tourists in town for the Esprit 2013 transgender convention May 12-19, the Halibut Derby on May 24-25, the Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts on May 24-27 and the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on June 2, Skinner said.

"I always wanted to sell over Memorial Day weekend because of the tourists," he said, pointing out that volunteers will be selling tickets at busy times at Swain's General Store and Safeway and saying that duck derby tickets are poplar with Esprit conventioneers.

"This may prove to be wrong, but we think it's worth a shot," Skinner said.

He and volunteers who sell duck tickets hope to increase the number of ducks entered in a race that is already one of the most popular in the nation.

"It's one of the top 10 races in the U.S., and the largest per capita," Skinner said. "It kind of captures the town."

Some 30,000 ducks were in the 2013 race, held in the Lincoln Park pond and netting about $100,000.

Skinner hopes to push that to about 32,000 ducks and perhaps reach sales of $120,000 to match the event's best year in 2008.

"We will be looking for more volunteers to sell ducks," Skinner said.

Participants "adopt" rubber ducks by buying duck tickets, which cost $5 per duck or $25 for six.

For each rubber duck that's "adopted," the purchaser receives a ticket with a printed number that corresponds to the number on the duck.

All of the numbered ducks are dumped into the pond.

The "owners" of the first 42 ducks to cross the finish line win prizes.

Skinner said that the later date may not help the Duck Derby's chances for clear skies and a warm day for the event.

"Both May and June are a bit iffy," he said. "It could be great weather or bad weather."

This is the second major change for the Duck Derby in as many years.

The derby was held at Nippon Paper Industries USA's canal off Marine Drive through 2011 but was displaced during the construction of the paper mill's new biomass power generation plant.

Instead, the ducks have to make their own way across the Lincoln Park pond, encouraged by volunteers from the Port Angeles Fire Department firefighters who use fire hoses to push the mass of ducks across the pond.

For more information, visit www.omhf.org.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

WEEKEND: Other area events on Peninsula

Peninsula Daily News
Friday May 10, 2013

...

Dude Looks Like a Lady

PORT TOWNSEND — The fourth annual Dude Looks Like a Lady fashion show is Saturday.

The show, in which men dress up in women's clothes to raise money for Rhododendron Festival scholarships, will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Marvin G. Shields American Legion Post Hall at 209 Monroe St.

Admission will be $5 at the door.

The show will be followed by an "after party."

...

Esprit in town

PORT ANGELES — Esprit 2013 conventioneers will begin arriving Sunday for a week of classes, entertainment and other activities.

Esprit, the Pacific Northwest's premier transgender convention, will run from this Sunday through Sunday, May 19.

Activities will be based at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St.

The first event is a 7 p.m. Sunday ice-breaker at the hotel. Classes, tours and other activities will continue through the week.

A Girls' Night Out is planned at 7 p.m. Thursday; the Esprit Talent Show is at 6 p.m. Friday, May 17; and a special gala is planned Saturday, May 18.

For more information, visit www.espritconf.com.

...

 

Esprit transgender conference starts today in Port Angeles (With Video)

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
Sunday May 12, 2013

PORT ANGELES –– Participants will begin arriving today for Esprit, an annual gathering of members of transgender organizations from Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C.

(A video by Esprit promoting this year's convention is below)

"I can't tell you how wonderful of a city Port Angeles is to do this," said Suzanne Adams, president of the Esprit conference's organizing board and the Emerald City Social Club, a transgender organization in Seattle.

"It means a lot to all of us."

Like they have every year since 1989, more than 100 transgender people will fill the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St., to be themselves for a week.

Some are men who simply enjoy dressing in women's clothes. Others, like Adams, have begun new lives as women.

"For a lot of people, this is the perfect place for them to get more comfortable with who they are," said Adams, a former law enforcement officer who now serves as a consultant on transgender issues.

"It's a real special thing to have."

A busy week

Those who have signed up for the conference get access to a week's worth of classes on topics ranging from self-defense and legal defense to relationship seminars and fashion training.

They also can head out together on a number of field trips all over the area.

For instance, on Tuesday, the Esprit corps travels to Victoria for high tea and a chance to put on their finest Kentucky Derby clothes and elaborate hats at a day at the races.

Talent show at the 2012 Esprit conference in Port Angeles.


"I'm so excited for that. We're going to see some tremendous outfits up there," Adams said. "So elegant."

The conference runs through next Sunday, May 19, when participants can attend a farewell brunch before returning home.

Events scheduled

Activities will be based at the Red Lion Hotel.

The first event is a ice-breaker at 7 p.m. today. Classes, tours and other activities will continue through the week.

Conferees can participant in Girls' Night Out in downtown Port Angeles, which is planned with an "island" theme from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Esprit Talent Show is open to the public after 8 p.m. Friday at the Elks Naval Lodge at 131 E. First St.

Between eight and 10 acts will perform, all according to the theme of the Oscars, complete with a red carpet.

A $5 cover charge will be donated to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

The Saturday night gala, also open to the public after 8 p.m. with a $5 cover charge — also donated to hospice — will have the theme of "Everybody is a Star!" in the Juan de Fuca ballroom at the hotel.

The Nasty Habits, a five-piece transgender band, will perform at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights at Bar N9ne, 229 W. First St.

The performances, which are listed on the Esprit calendar as non-Esprit events, will go on until 1 a.m. and are open to the public. The cover will be $5.

For more information, visit www.espritconf.com.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

JOHN NELSON'S LIVE MUSIC COLUMN: Get into spirit of Esprit on Peninsula

Peninsula Daily News
Wednesday May 15, 2013

IT'S THE MIDDLE of May, and you know what that means: It's Esprit time in Port Angeles.

Come on out for an evening of music and dance, and meet the "girls." They're fun to visit with.

...

Port Angeles

On Friday and Saturday, Bar N9ne, 229 W. First St., hosts the Nasty Habits from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. This all-transgender band considers Port Angeles its hometown because its first gig was at the first Esprit convention. They really know how to rock some of the top rock 'n' roll songs of the past 30 years. $5 cover.

...

Contact John by phoning 360-565-1139 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with John Nelson in the subject line.

 

WEEKEND: Public invited to Esprit's final two evening events

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
Thursday May 16, 2013

PORT ANGELES –– The Pacific Northwest's largest transgender convention reaches its peak this weekend, as Esprit invites the public to its talent show tonight and the grand gala Saturday night.

"We come here, and it feels like coming home," said Suzanne Adams, president of the Esprit conference's organizing board and the Emerald City Social Club, a transgender organization in Seattle.

"We've been here so long, we've watched this hotel grow up with us. We picked Port Angeles because it was a beautiful city, but the people here are even more beautiful for welcoming us each year."

Weeklong gathering

All week long, an estimated 125 members of the transgender communities from Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C., have gathered inside the Red Lion Hotel to swap clothes, makeup tips and support strategies, as they have every year since 1990.

Inside the hotel are vendor tables, rooms set up as collective closets and special salons where they relax in an open environment.

Pampering many of the Esprit members inside one of the salon rooms is Kylie Ellis, a cosmetologist from the Steppin' Out Salon in Port Angeles who has attended Esprit as a member since 1999.

"It's just a wonderful ball," Ellis said. "It's a great feeling to have all these girls around."

Ellis will be one of the featured performers vying for specially designed Oscars at tonight's talent show.

She would not, however, disclose what her act will be.

"It's a surprise. You'll just have to see," Ellis said.

Every table will be decorated with a golden statuette that, unlike the Academy Awards' Oscar, has a pair of breasts and long hair.

"It's a girly conference; we needed a girly Oscar," said Karen Williams, an Esprit long-timer.

Kylie Ellis of Port Angeles will be one of the contestants vying for a specially made "Oscar" statuette at the Esprit Talent Show tonight in the Elks Lodge.


Talent show

The Esprit Talent Show will be at the Elks Naval Lodge, 131 E. First St., at 8 p.m.

Guests will get to walk down the red carpet to witness eight to 10 Oscar-themed acts.

A $5 cover charge will be donated to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

The public is also invited to attend the Saturday Night Gala, which is themed "Everybody is a Star!"

The gala will be at 8 p.m. in the Red Lion's Juan de Fuca Ballroom. The gala also has a $5 cover, which will be donated to hospice.

Nasty Habits to perform

Seattle transgender rock band The Nasty Habits plays Bar N9ne, 229 W. First St., at 9 p.m. today and Saturday.

The performances, which are listed on the Esprit calendar as non-Esprit events, will go on until 1 a.m. and are open to the public. The cover will be $5.

For more information, visit www.espritconf.com.

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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