Tag Archives: Cedar Cove Days

Friday Afternoon Club: Catch Debbie Macomber’s “Miracle”

By Chris Henry
“Mrs. Miracle,” a heartwarming holiday movie based on the book by South Kitsap author Debbie Macomber, will premiere Saturday at the Historic Orchard Theatre, 822 Bay St.
The event, followed by a black-tie reception at Kitsap Bank, is a fundraiser for the South Kitsap High School Band, which will play in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, and for Kitsap Regional Library.
Macomber will appear at the premiere, along with the two young Canadian actors, Valin Shinyei and Michael Strusievici, who star in the film.
In the movie, James Van Der Beek, formerly of “Dawson’s Creek,” plays a widower and father to six-year-old twins (Shinyei and Strusievici). Their new housekeeper, Mrs. Emily Merkle ( Doris Roberts) works her magical touch on their home and lives.
The film will be shown Dec. 5 on the Hallmark Channel.
Shannon Childs, a member of the Cedar Cove Association, approached Macomber’s publicist during Cedar Cove Days, Port Orchard’s celebration of Macomber’s work, about the possibility of showing “Mrs. Miracle” in the author’s hometown. Hallmark was open to the idea, but no profit could be derived from the showing, hence the fundraiser.
Tickets for the premiere and reception, at a cost of $50 per person, are available at Kitsap Bank, 619 Bay St. A limited number of tickets may be available at the door, said Childs.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The movie starts at 5 p.m.
The event is hosted by the Cedar Cove Association and Kitsap Bank. For tickets, contact marketing@kitsapbank.com or (360) 876-7883.

Debbie Macomber’s Message to Fans and My Advice to “Cedar Cove”

Will Port Orchard live up to its image as the town that inspired Debbie Macomber’s feel-good Cedar Cove series?

On Wednesday, throngs of Macomber’s fans will arrive — a good percentage from outside the region — eager to see the real life places and people behind the fictional town of Cedar Cove. Here’s what Debbie had to say about the event.

Macomber, 60, sold her first book in 1982. Since then she’s hit The New York Times best-seller list multiple times, and more than 100 million copies of her women’s fiction books, also in other languages, have sold worldwide.

It’s safe to say this is a really big deal for little old PO.

Macomber once said she wants fans to see Port Orchard/Cedar Cove “warts and all.” She may get her wish. Word is, her sons, who will be bus tour guides, will tell stories on “mom.”

And as visitors roam the town, chances are they’ll encounter the dumpsters on the back side of Bay Street and bail bond businesses aplenty — serving Kitsap County’s courthouse up the hill.

Macomber, born with a “happy gene,” is not the least bit worried.
“If you come to my house, there’s a tricky little toilet. You have to jiggle the handle. … Whenever anyone comes to my house, I bet they don’t remember my toilet,” Macomber said. “Everyone wishes they were perfect. It’s a real town with real people. When company comes, they look for the real people, not the flaws.”

So Port Orchard, during this, your big chance to make a good impression on the millions of Macomber fans worldwide who, though they can’t all be here, will surely be watching us with avid interest, my advice to you is, “Be real, be yourself … just be subtle about it.”

While most of the by-reservation events have sold out (check the Cedar Cove Web site for availability), there are a number of freebies (see schedule below).

A Cedar Cove Sob Story

Disclaimer: I absolutely cannot vouch for the authenticity of the request below or the character of those who made it. Anyone jumping forward to play Good Samaritan does so at his or her own risk. CTH

I spoke with Cindy Lucarelli, executive director of the Cedar Cove Association, about how things are shaping up for Cedar Cove Days, a celebration of the work of local author Debbie Macomber, who based her Cedar Cove series on Port Orchard. The four-day event, starting Aug. 26, will feature bus tours of the real-life locations mentioned in the books, teas with and without Debbie, a gala cruise to Kiana Lodge and more. I’ll be writing about what it took for Port Orchard to “become” Cedar Cove for a story to run Sunday in the Kitsap Sun. I also had a nice chat with Debbie Macomber herself today.

Cindy tells me there will be visitors from 37 states and a couple of foreign countries (if you count Canada as foreign), as well as an expected 9,000 or so regional visitors over the four days. Many of the notes accompanying requests for tickets to reserved events are touching tributes to the loyalty of Debbie Macombers fans, which brings me to the topic of this blog post.

Cindy & Co. on Aug. 18 received an e-mail from one Adam B. Martin, who says he’s a 22-year-old Chicago resident whose mother is an avid fan. The family wasn’t well off when he was growing up, and Mom is now living on disability due to having been diagnosed with cancer. Her birthday is Aug. 25, and so young Adam had reserved and paid for (Cindy verified this) his mother to attend several reserved events during Cedar Cove Days. He also bought her an airline ticket. Alas, he said, he has not been able to find any place for her to stay.

“Everywhere that I have tried is booked up solid,” Adam wrote. “And since my mom is having a great deal of trouble walking these days, I really wanted her to be close to the event. Is there anything you can suggest to help me with this surprise for her? … I haven’t told my Mom about this trip yet. I wanted everything to be very special for her, because she is very special to me.”

Disclaimer Part II: You know, folks, we could be totally getting played here.

Anyway, I have the guy’s e-mail. If you want to look into his request, e-mail me at chenry@kitsapsun.com.

Here’s another Cedar Cove request, this one from Debbie herself. Seems there are a few more characters needed to fill out the cast of Cedar Cove folks who will be appearing at events throughout the festival. Debbie was off to scope our South Kitsap Fire & Rescue for a firefighter to play the part of Mack. I suspect she’ll have no trouble there. But she’s having trouble finding a couple of 20-somethings to portray Ian and Cecelia, the Navy couple who lost a baby. And the are a few other parts to be filled, mostly by people in their 20s or 30s. There is a considerable time commitment Aug. 20 through 30. If you think you can help, sing out, and I’ll forward your contact information to Debbie. She’d need to hear from you no later that tomorrow afternoon.

E-mail me at chenry@kitsapsun.com. And remember, “Wherever you are, Debbie takes you home.”

BTW, a number of activities during Cedar Cove Days are free — a character parade, a sock hop, waterfront church service, to name a few — but if you haven’t yet signed up for the bus tours, teas or the cruise, know that most everything is already sold out.

In PO, More Paint Drama and Cedar Cove Jitters

With Cedar Cove Days less than two weeks away, organizers of the festival that will transform Port Orchard into its fictional counterpart are sweating the small stuff. Does Port Orchard need a bigger flag for its pole, and what to do with “that” malodorous downtown restroom.

And while “Paint the Town” has come and gone, prickly feelings linger over design choices, flames fanned by a new effort to repaint the poles under the marquee.

At last night’s city council meeting, Heather Cole, a local business owner and design consultant for the Aug. 2 “Paint the Town” gave an update on Port Orchard’s extreme makeover in advance of Cedar Cove Days, Aug. 26 through 30. The painting party was hosted by South Kitsap’s radio superstar, Delilah Rene.

A total of eight buildings were painted in the volunteer blitz, with supplies and labor donated by local businesses, Cole said. The “Paint the Town” committee is working on “stragglers,” including the Dance Gallery, the “black and white building” next to MoonDogs, Too, and Olympic Bike & Skate, at the corner of Bay and Sidney. Cole noted that MoonDogs is seeing to the restoration of the mural on the black and white building adjacent to its outdoor patio. The bike shop is being painted in various shades of green, with accents in recessed areas, an effect Councilman Fred Chang pronounced “interesting.” “I wasn’t sure if it was finished or not,” he said. The All About Floors building also will be repainted by Cedar Cove Days, Cole promised.

With that she launched into the committee’s next endeavor: repainting the poles holding up the marquee. Cole noted that the current color on the poles was chosen as part of the Bay Street Association’s paint plan of several years ago. She said the committee understands that the paint was specially chosen to withstand marine weather and grit from passing traffic, and that the city spent significantly more than it would have for regular paint. That being said, the committee would like to replace the forest green on the poles with a cream color, using the same high quality, durable paint. That would give the sidewalk under the now-minimized marquee — its pickets removed more than a year ago after much fevered debate — a brighter appearance, Cole said. The paint would be supplied by donors, she said, so the city wouldn’t be out any money.

Cole said she had heard from merchants on both sides of the issue, but that her perception is most favor the change. Chang and other council members said they would like written documentation to that effect, and Cole said she’d produce same by the council’s next work study meeting, Aug. 18, when the matter of the pole paint will be taken up.

Commenting on Cole’s proposal, was Tim Waibel of Sugardaddy’s Salon, who said he’d like to know the process for how the council would take public comment on the proposal. The public is welcome to attend work study meetings, but the council does not have to take comment, as at a regular meeting, he said. The 18th would be the last meeting before Cedar Cove Days for such comment to be lodged, if the poles are to be painted in time.

Mallory Jackson, owner of Custom Picture Framing, was clearly unhappy with Cole’s idea. The council, should it embrace the pole painting proposal, would seem to be dismissing the work of the Bay Street Association to come up with a coordinated palette of Northwest colors.
“Your hardworking merchants downtown do have something to say in this,” Jackson said. “To the best of my knowledge, the association has not changed its mind (about the palette).”

After the meeting, Cole and Jackson had a polite but terse exchange over the paint issue.
“I understand you have a very strong opinion one way, but some people don’t,” Cole said, suggesting that there were a number of new merchants in the association since the original palette was chosen.
Jackson reiterated her contention that the merchants association should have a voice in the matter.

My thoughts: Maybe Port Orchard should offer itself up as fodder for the HGTV show “Paint Over,” in which Jennifer Bertrand orchestrates painting make-overs for those “going through a personal life transition.”

In other Cedar Cove news, Councilman Jerry Childs, a key player on the Cedar Cove Committee, raise the issue of the city-owned restroom in the Port Orchard marina parking lot. With bus tours of the town, made famous in local Author Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, taking off from the parking lot, it’s likely that restroom will see heavy use, said Childs. The concrete structure includes a small stairway to an observation tower that is also likely to be a popular spot during the festival.

The problem is, the restroom smells.

The cause, explained Councilman John Clauson of the public facilities committee, is something no amount of cleaning will help. Underneath the structure is a “wet well,” a chamber where raw sewage from the city is collected and sent on its way to the Westsound Utility District’s sewer treatment plant, jointly owned by the city and the district.

Childs pointed out that Cedar Cove Days will draw visitors from 37 states, with 28 bus loads of Macomber fans embarking from the lot over the four days of the festival that could — organizers hope — put Port Orchard in the national spotlight. With tours lasting two hours and the predominant demographic being “women over the age of 45,” Childs said, it would seem incumbent on the city to provide a proper pit stop.

“That is the last rest room they’re going to have (before the tour),” Childs said. “I’m kind of worried about it meeting the standard of cleanliness.”

The council discussed the relative wisdom of locking the restroom, thereby minimizing the city’s potential embarrassment, with no conclusions arrived at. Meantime Public Works Director Mark Dorsey will check with the Port Orchard Marina to see if they might make their restrooms available to Cedar Cove visitors.

Childs was also concerned over the flagpole at the entrance to the city. Although the old tattered flag has been replaced with a new one for the festival, the size of Port Orchard’s pole calls for a larger tribute, said Childs.

“We want to say, ‘Hey look us over.'” he said.

The Port Orchard branch of the VFW will help accommodate Child’s request.

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?

Cedar Cove Days Funded at $100,000

Volunteer event set for Feb. 19

Question of the day: What Debbie Macomber character do you identify with?

By Kitsap Sun Staff
Cedar Cove Days, a celebration of local author Debbie Macomber and Port Orchard’s role in her bestselling books, is building up a significant fund toward the event, set for Aug. 26 through 30 in POrt orchard and vicinity.
Organizers have raised more than $100,000, including a recent $20,600 grant from the Washington State Tourism Commission that is among 10 grants received this year.
The Cedar Cove Association also received $15,000 from the City of Port Orchard’s lodging tax allocation, a grant of $2,500 from Kitsap Bank and a Port Madison Industries grant of $1,000.
The association has been working with businesses and organizations to transform Port Orchard into the fictional Cedar Cove, setting of Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. Individual volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks, including portrayal of characters from the books.
The association is holding an All City Volunteers Rally at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at City Hall, 216 Prospect St.. Volunteers can also contact the association via e-mail at cedarcovedays@aol.com.
For more information, visit www.CedarCoveAssociation.com.

Tickets to Debbie Macomber Event on Sale Oct. 12

Tickets for Cedar Cover Days, in celebration of Kitsap author Debbie Macomber, will go on sale at 3 p.m. Oct. 12 for the event which runs Aug. 26 through 30 in Port Orchard.

Macomber, who lives in Port Orchard, has drawn on people and places in her hometown to create “Cedar Cove,” the setting for many of her best-selling novels. The Cedar Cover series is laced with hints of local culture, shops based on real storefronts here and characters drawn from Macomber’s own life.

Macomber’s books have sold more than 60 million copies. Organizers hope Cedar Cove Days will boost Port Orchard (and Kitsap County) into the spotlight of her substantial worldwide fan base.

Among the a la carte events from which visitors can choose:
A cruise on the 182′ Royal Argosy through to the luxurious Kiana Lodge with Debbie.

High Tea at the The Victorian Rose Tea Room with Debbie.

A Sock Hop … and more

There’s also a chance to win a free trip to Cedar Cove Days. To enter, readers need to tell Debbie which Cedar Cove character they’d most like to meet and why, in 75 words or less. For complete details, visit Macomber’s Web site. Entries must be submitted by Oct. 31.