JOYCE — The beginning of August always brings a sweet taste to the North Olympic Peninsula during the annual Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival.
Slices of pies made with the small, sweet native blackberries that grow wild around Joyce will be served during Saturday’s celebration centered around the Joyce Depot Museum in the heart of Joyce, 14 miles west of Port Angeles on state Highway 112.
More than 200 pies are expected to be baked for the occasion that will also include a parade, craft vendors, games, a salmon bake and entertainment that includes slug racing.
Slices topped with ice cream will be sold starting at 10 am for as long as they last. If any pies remain after the 1 pm hour-long parade, the whole pies will be sold. Proceeds will go towards scholarships and local projects.
This year, two traditional events put on hold during a break for COVID-19 restrictions will return.
The early-morning pancake breakfast will start at 7 am in the Crescent Grange Hall at 50724 state Highway 112. The breakfast will be a fundraiser for the Crescent Grange Scholarship Fund.
The popular pie-baking contest is also back.
All pies are baked by home cooks; no professional bakers are allowed. Crusts must be made from scratch and berries must be the native Pacific Blackberry (Rubus ursinus) of the area.
Judging will begin at 11 am Pies will be judged for overall appearance; the flavor, color and texture of the crust and the filling; and creativity.
Winners will be announced immediately after the close of judging at about noon.
Prizes of gift cash cards donated by the Peninsula Daily News will be awarded in adult and youth categories along with ribbons. Adults will receive $100 for first place and $50 each for second and third place. Youngsters will receive $50 for first place and $25 each for second and third place.
The day’s events will kick off at 7 am with the pancake breakfast and last until 3:30 pm when the raffle/button drawing is finished.
Entertainment will begin at 10 am Local bands will be featured throughout the day in front of the Joyce Museum. The entertainment is organized by Dave and Rosalie Secord of Luck of the Draw.
The Joyce Fire Department will have its fire engines available for kids to visit.
The Slug Races, a fundraiser for the fire department, will be at the Family Kitchen on Highway 112 after the parade ends.
Parking will be available across from the vendors near the museum.
A portion of Highway 112 will be closed during the parade.
For more information, see http://joycedaze.org/ or on Facebook. The email address is [email protected]