Posted on Feb 28, 2021

No Bull! The Balls Will Run This May in Port Townsend, Washington 

By Jayne Neu

No Parade? No Problem! On to Plan B… Just a minor “bump” on the road!

Many of you have been there, waiting for the Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade to start and you make your way down to Monroe street to watch the golf balls take over the street for the Port Townsend Sunrise Rotary’s “Running of the Balls,” just before the Grand Parade. But this year will be a little different because there will be NO grand parade to follow us. 

The 9th annual event, which involves releasing a few thousand numbered golf balls on the Rhody Festival parade route on a steep portion of Monroe Street where they bump and bounce their way to the bottom and get captured in the final shoot, will have a different look this year with the Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade cancelled for a second year in a row. 


Last year in the wake of the Rhododendron Festival Grande Parade being cancelled we took it to a completely different level. With a turning bins contraption, created by one of our club members Chuck Henry, that tossed around and mixed up the numbered tickets the “Bull” himself, (or was it herself?) drew the three winning tickets out of the bin live on Facebook. “This year though, we have a little more time to plan”, says President Lois Sherwood, “we are still planning on rolling the balls down Monroe street using all the social distancing protocols in place and stream it live, but May is still a few months away and who knows what idea may evolve. Rotarians are very clever people you know”!

The first three balls to reach the finish line earn their owners a prize. Cash prizes are paid out for: 1st in the shoot for the Grand Prize of $2000, second place is $500, and third place is $250. However, we are all winners as the proceeds come back to support our Rotary projects!

The event is scheduled at its normal place and time and will begins at 12:30 p.m., on May 15th, the race starting point is planned to take place at Lawrence and Monroe street. But remember; we will stream it live so you can cheer on your ball from the comfort of your easy chair.

Golf ball tickets are sold at the Port Townsend Farmers Market on Saturdays, and other local pop-up spots from now until May 15th. You can also purchase tickets directly through one of our club members or email us at

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and all proceeds of the event go to support our projects and other beneficiaries in our community and beyond.

Here is a partial list of what and who we support: 

Rotary  Youth Exchange * Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival * Shelter Box * Memorial Field Lighting *

Jefferson County 3rd Grade Dictionaries * "Dignity Toilets”  International Project *  PTHS Mock Trial Team *

Olympic Neighbors * No. Olympic Salmon Coalition * Rwanda Rising * 4-H Know Your Government * 

Worldwide Polio Eradication * PTHS Interact Club * Rotary Park * SAT Proctoring *  P. T.  Roboctopi Club * 

Christmas For Children * PTHS Scholarships * Foster Supports of Jefferson Co.* Republic of Congo Youth Home