Paint the Town: The Day After

7 p.m. Monday: I added the video. CTH

The morning after the marathon “Paint the Town” event in downtown Port Orchard, most people had kind words for the extreme makeover visited on Bay Street by resident radio personality Delilah Rene Luke and a small army of volunteers.

Delilah, footing the bill for most of the supplies, played Fairy Godmother to Port Orchard’s Cinderella. “Paint the Town” anticipates Cedar Cove Days, Aug. 26 through 30, to celebrate Port Orchard’s other celebrity, best-selling author Debbie Macomber. Port Orchard is the real-life town on which her fictional Cedar Cove series is based.

Delilah, who had earlier pronounced the town “butt ugly,” pulled the painting party together with help and significant donations of time and materials from local contractors and other businesses. Also helping coordinate the event was the City of Port Orchard, which helped with publicity, handled the street closure and orchestrated the placement of dumpsters and portable toilets before the event.

Many, including Mayor Lary Coppola, said it was high time Port Orchard got a face lift, considering the last coordinated effort to paint the downtown area took place about 20 years ago.

Paint the Town 1
Paint the Town 1

Prep work (and much of the painting) began early Saturday morning (with some contractors jumping the gun as early as 4:30 a.m. Thursday. Delilah was downtown Saturday, painting a mural, making last minute adjustments for the big day and popping ibuprofen. It was the first time I’ve ever seen her look tired.

Paint the Town 2
Paint the Town 2

Sunday, according to weekend reporter Brynn Grimley, volunteers were whipped into a painting frenzy despite the 90+ degree heat. About 90 percent of the work was completed by late Sunday evening.
This morning, the streets were quiet, the weather had cooled and the buildings were sporting new coats of celery green, sunshine yellow, morning mist (a mix of gray and blue) and butternut.
“This is just charming,” said Marcia Coyne, a longtime South Kitsap resident checking out the new paint job on the 800 block of Bay Street. “There was controversy about the colors, but it’s coming together really nicely.”
Ah, yes, the controversy.
Delilah, working with design consultant and local business owner Heather Cole, had the challenge of blending the bright colors Delilah favors — colors meant to reflect a beach or bay theme — with the previously existing color palette of Northwest greens, golds and reds chosen by the Bay Street Association of merchants a few years.
Some had serious doubts it could work. A flyer in the window of Custom Picture Framing, on the corner of Bay and Harrison, showed City Hall garishly painted in carnival colors. It read, “This is what City Hall would look like if Delilah was mayor.”
The business is closed Monday, so I didn’t have the chance to ask owner Mallory Jackson what she thought of the final effect.
One man walking around Bay Street Monday, who declined to give me his name or final appraisal until all the work is complete, said it looks “like an ice cream shop.”
But if there were outright nay sayers, they weren’t to be found. Everyone I talked to — and granted many shops are closed on Mondays so it’s pretty quiet downtown — said the paint job was a plus.
“I think it just looks clean,” said downtown resident Jessi Foster. “It looks as though Port Orchard has a facelift. It really needs it. And I thought it was nice to see the community come and put in their time for free.”

I’m interested to hear from the rest of you. What do you think of PO’s new look?

6 thoughts on “Paint the Town: The Day After

  1. My family visited PO yesterday having come over by boat from BI. I was very impressed with the focus, organization and the high energy shown downtown. There was a sound stage and young people doing their variation of American Idol. There were contractors, civilians and store owners turning and burning in very hot weather.

    On BI, we instead do $10M +++ extravaganzas that are in litigation and paralysis for years.

    Bravo Zulu to PO group organizing this event. By the way, you have an fabulous dock that is a real crown jewel.

  2. Is it possible to post some pictures of what it looks like now. Pretty hard to comment without seeing them. Thanks

  3. As a Port Orchard citizen and frequent visitor to the downtown area with my children, I was pleased to see the community come together and make our little charming town so beautiful. Thank you to Delilah and all of the people who helped organize this. I can’t wait to bring friends and family down to enjoy.

  4. I visited downtown Port Orchard on Sunday and was moved by all the volunteers working to improve the town. While some of the colors are not ones I would have chosen they are an improvement over what was there previosly. I was very put off by the negative signs and notes placed in the windows (and in one case on a support post) by local business owners…shame on you! Thank you Delilah, volunteers and businesses that chose to participate in this city improvement.

  5. Kudos to Delilah for helping to improve Port Orchard! We live in Vancouver, WA, and came up to help paint the town with our son, who is a local resident. It was amazing to see everyone working together for the good of the community. Port Orchard citizens should be thankful they have their very own “fairy godmother” to brighten their community. We drove through the town Sunday night after the street was opened and it was truly an amazing sight to see….a much brighter and cleaner Port Orchard!

  6. Thank you for all these comments. People worked so hard on this project and it is nice to read heartwarming tributes to their efforts. Heather pulled 60 hour work weeks, volunteering her time for free to coordinate the color scheme and meet with business and building owners. Robert Baglio coordinated the painting contractors, who came out and worked two 12 hour days. Robert also picked up the lunch tab for a room full of volunteers at Moondogs Too on Sunday. I was very impressed with PO City Councilman, Jim Colebank, who cut all the brambles out of the trees on the far East side of town. He was covered in bloody scratches when he was done, but does it ever look better!!!

    Thank you to Leah, who brought all her kids, and who coordinated volunteers, including several marines.

    200 to 300 volunteers came out each day, which is overwhelming. We could have still used more on Sunday. There is still much to be done, but it does look better. So,thank you all for your kind words.

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