Fathoms O’ Fun: Tradition Runs Deep at Annual Festival

I remember the first year our family attended the Fathoms O’ Fun Grand Parade. We were living on Pottery Hill above Port Orchard Boulevard, where parade entries line up. We heard the cacophony of bands warming up, and we wondered what was going on, because it wasn’t a holiday … yet.

Since 1968, the parade has been the kickoff for the Fathoms O’ Fun celebration, which includes a snake race, frog jump, carnival and, on the 4th of July, fireworks over Sinclair Inlet.

Well, we threw the baby (now a college graduate) in the stroller and began a family tradition that has run almost entirely uninterrupted lo these many years.

Covering this story, I interviewed a young couple with a 15-month-old baby, starting their own tradition.

“We’re gonna probably make it a family event now that our lives have changed,” said Raymona Bennett of Gorst.

Not too much has changed since we first saw the parade: The bands, the floats, the horse poop on the pavement. I did notice one of the Fathoms princesses with a cell phone.

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