Category Archives: Celebrations

Stennis Brings Sailors Home

Stennis sailors await liberty.

Earlier this week one of our editors threw out the suggestion that we needed another reporter to attend the arrival of the USS John C. Stennis, which happened early Friday. Our regular military reporter Ed Friedrich is on vacation, so two of us would be needed to fill in for him. I volunteered, reasoning that I shouldn’t leave Bremerton without having been on hand for the reunion of sailor and loved ones. Not that I’m leaving or anything.

I’m glad I went. I’m always a little touched by parents reuniting with children. The husband-wife and boyfriend-girlfriend thing isn’t bad, either, I suppose. But it’s the kids, man, it’s the kids.

It’s also a piece of history, too. As the Stennis pulled in I tried to get my head around a number of how many times the same scene has been done here and elsewhere. I didn’t do that very long. Immediately I go back to World War II, because that’s a time my parents talked to me about often. My grandfather was a Seabee and, I’m told, was at Normandy. The history of him in regards to my mother isn’t great, but I can do nothing but admire him for being part of that tipping point in history.

This group got to the Bremerton boardwalk early to watch the Stennis pass.

That’s something other people around here appeared to appreciate as well, evidenced by how many people were standing at Bachmann Park and the boardwalk near the Bremerton Marina just to watch the ship pass. They had no one to greet, they just wanted to offer their respect.

Going to the main event required getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m., standing around a long time, struggling to come up with questions that would somehow make this homecoming story different and then walking from the Delta pier to the Kitsap Sun office downtown. That was quite a haul.

I can’t wait for the next one.

Mariners in Minnesota, Moose in Bremerton

Andrew Binion writes:

Q: How do you know your city has arrived?

A: The Mariner Moose shows up at a restaurant opening to sign autographs, schmooze with fans and frighten children.

“He’s more afraid of you than you are of him, Timmy.”

Such was the scene Wednesday, when the Warren Avenue Burger King hosted a party for fans of baseball and burgers featuring the moose, KOMO sports reporter and Mariner’s announcer Tom Hutyler plus a chance to spin a wheel and get a prize.

The restaurant had been shuttered since May 20 for a remodeling, said owner Jeff Rose, and reopened Aug. 14 but held the official reopening festivities Wednesday. He’s been advertising with the Mariners recently, noting that the King (The Burger Kind, not Elvis) threw out a opening pitch and sponsored a post-game activity where fans could file out on to the Safeco Field diamond and run the bases. Those eligible to run the bases were kids, not portly, 30-something former athletes, which didn’t go over well with this reporter.

Beside making appearances at local fast food restaurants, the moose had 15 more minutes of fame recently, when earlier this month, while driving a four-wheeler during a game nearly crippled Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp. Crisp was unhurt and played a pretty decent game.

A gaggle of school kids were on hand Wednesday to meet the moose. But when one mother tried to push her boys toward the towering, fur-covered corporate mascot, they slid out from under her arm and cowered behind her legs.

“I think the moose is probably the draw,” Hutyler said of the crowd that turned out, but noted that the prospect of free stuff appeals to children and adults alike.

“If there’s anything free to give away people will come to stand in line for it,” Hutyler said.

That’s what drew Bremerton resident Bob Cline.

“No, I didn’t come for the moose,” he said, a little annoyed at the question.


Ed Friedrich tells you about the parade in this story, and there’s an accompanying slide show.

Showers came and went, not once, not twice, but three times as marching bands, drill teams, floats, classic cars, motorcycles, fire engines, queens, admirals, captains and politicians rolled through downtown for 2 12 hours.

Punctuating the ranks were an Abrams tank, a Vietnam river patrol boat and an Air Force transport plane that flew straight down Fourth Street and practically scraped the New Life Assembly church steeple.

You’re on Notice! – Armed Forces Weekend

Do you hear that? Hey, you in Poulsbo. How many bands you got? Here in Bremerton we’ve got 32 marching bands ready to brave the rain to deliver our local members of the armed forces and other hangers-on a parade that blows yours away. And in case it doesn’t happen figuratively, we’ve got a tank!


Once again it’s time for Bremerton’s unofficial “You’re on Notice” board, based on the one done by Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

The Web site, not a Comedy Central site, allows ordinaries like me to create a “You’re on Notice” board, sending a warning to let people know you’re watching them. These are based on your suggestions, which you can read in the comments, and my personal whimsy.

Regarding this week’s board: The first one is a shout to Poulsbo, which has a competing fest going on this weekend. I lived in Poulsbo three years and loved Viking Fest. But I live here now, so to heck with them. The middle six are all your nominations and I have no idea what you’re talking about. Port Orchard is on there again, this time because we want the drum beats from 32 marching bands to be heard all the way across the Sinclair Inlet. Hey Port Orchard, can you hear what the Bremerton is cooking?

Continue sending your nominations and I’ll continue to update this board, probably every Friday.

Remember, “You’re on notice” means “I’m watching you,” not “You’re dead to me,” which is a different board. Send me your nominations for things or people you’re getting a little suspicious of, or getting a little tired of, or you think isn’t getting the attention it should. Try to be Bremerton-specific and feel free to duplicate other peoples’ nominations. If something gets nominated a lot, it’s more likely to get on the board.

Then again, this isn’t scientific and is subject to the blogmaster’s personal bias and sense of what’s relevant and/or funny.

32 Marching Bands

Ed Friedrich gives the goods on the Armed Forces Festival this weekend here in Bremerton.

Most Armed Forces Day parades feature 40 to 50 entries, Larsen said. Bremerton’s is pushing 200, with 32 marching bands alone. Pearl Harbor survivors are also recognized and every service branch participates. Crowd favorites include the Army National Guard’s M1A1 Abrams tank, Combat Veterans International’s motorcycle tribute, and Gamewardens of Vietnam’s river boat. There will also be a flyover of C-17 Globemaster planes from McChord Air Force Base.

I’m there, dude.