Kim Trenerry, left, and Jason Mogi, who make up the Port Angeles-based duo Deadwood Revival, shown Tuesday at the New Moon Craft Tavern in Port Angeles, will perform at this weekend’s Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

Kim Trenerry, left, and Jason Mogi, who make up the Port Angeles-based duo Deadwood Revival, shown Tuesday at the New Moon Craft Tavern in Port Angeles, will perform at this weekend’s Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)

Juan de Fuca Festival spreads out this weekend

Street fair, five stages host performers, vendors

PORT ANGELES — Blues, soul, rock’n’roll, electro-swing, indie folk, country, Americana, Shakespeare, bellydancing, ballet: the 31st Juan de Fuca Festival promises more than 50 performing acts this Friday through Sunday.

“This is probably the first year it’s going to feel like it did pre-COVID,” said Juan de Fuca Foundation operations manager Kari Chance. “People are excited to come back out.”

Comprehensive festival information can be found at JFFA.org.

This year’s festival brings a number of brand-new acts, including guitarist Luca Stricagnoli, rockers The West Coast Feed, tribute band Petty Fever, jazz group Duende Libre and Hillstomp, “a band we’ve wanted to get here for a long time,” Chance said.

Returning performers include blues and soul singer LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends, Rose’s Pawn Shop, bluesy rockers Dirty Cello, local bands Joy in Mudville and Deadwood Revival, singer-songwriter The Sam Chase and blues duo David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach.

Ballet Victoria returns, too, and this year the ensemble will dance on the Field Arts & Events Hall stage Saturday.

The Seattle Shakespeare troupe also will be at that new venue, performing a 90-minute Scottish play, as in “Macbeth,” with just five actors.

Outside the Vern Burton Community Center, the free Community Stage will look different this year.

“We purchased a real stage for our outdoor acts,” Chance said. “From 12 noon to 6 every day, we’ll have community artists and national touring artists, and that’s all for free.

“The new stage is 18 by 16 feet — bigger than our Chamber Stage.”

The festival’s free street fair has changed, too. Because of construction work at the Vern Burton parking lot, the vendors will be on Fourth Street between Lincoln and Peabody streets.

“We’re taking everything to the street. It’s a true street fair this year,” said executive director Kyle LeMaire.

He added that a free shuttle bus, donated by 7 Cedars Casino, will circulate among festival venues, and there is a mobile app loaded with information about performers, the 10 food purveyors and the 42 artisan vendors.

“We have some cool workshops, all on Sunday,” LeMaire noted.

They include the 12:15 p.m. Intro to Clave and Afro-Latin Rhythm with Pa’ Gozar, the 3 p.m. “youth songwriting adventure” with Jesse Roper and the 4:30 p.m. “harmonica groove” workshop with Lee Oskar.

Oskar, LeMaire added, is going to invite participants to play on stage with him as he and his band close out the Juan de Fuca Festival at 8:30 Sunday night.

Oskar, who’s coming back to Port Angeles for the second consecutive year, makes music as varied as the festival itself. His sound “can be Latin, blues, R & B, whatever I feel in the moment,” he said.

“It’s guaranteed to make you feel incredible.”

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Port Townsend.

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