Every year, in the small town of Port Townsend, Wash., a historical week-long event takes place, showcasing organizations, schools and people from all around the area. The ornate Victorian downtown area, hugged by the Port Townsend Bay, is host to the annual Rhododendron Festival. In its 74th year, and better known by locals as “Rhody Fest,” the seven-day celebration is marked by a series of events including the Rhody Royalty Courts, Arts and Crafts Fair, carnival, Pet Parade, Kiwanis Fish Fry, Rhody Run and the Rhody Festival Grand Parade.
On the sixth day of the festival, Life Care Center of Port Townsend took part in the Grand Parade, showcasing its rehab department and successfully discharged residents. With a parade theme of “Wild Rhody,” the healthy residents decorated themselves and their parade float with colorful tissue to mirror the exotic flower. Facility associates joined in the parade, walking in their garnished floral costumes with silver walkers.
“We had unique, fun and visually stunning costumes,” said Angela Cerna, executive director at Life Care Center of Port Townsend. “Our enthusiasm and good humor was a great crowd pleaser.” It was that sense of humor and energized participation from residents and associates that won Life Care Center of Port Townsend the award for specialty drill team. These “wild rhodies” were elated about the honor they received at the second-largest event in Port Townsend. “It’s great to be able to showcase our rehab residents,” Cerna added. “We wanted to get them out in the community and let people know that we are not just a long-term care center. We also have a very successful rehabilitation department at our facility.”
Trailing the parade float were two people who residents and associates voted as parade royalty from the facility: King Richard Bruno and Queen Isolene Wilson. The two followed the float in the backseat of a PT Cruiser, waving to the onlookers as they drove through uptown and downtown Port Townsend — royalty for a day.