Friday Afternoon Club: Fathoms O’ Fun Meets Mattress Ranch

The 43rd annual Fathoms O’ Fun Festival By The Sea begins today, Friday, with a craft show and concert. It’s the start of a week-long festival that ends with a bang: the annual fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

Friday’s concert, featuring Deadwood Revival, starts at 6:30 p.m. at the waterfront gazebo. The Fathoms Summer Festival Craft and Vendor Show runs through July 4Sunday on Port Orchard’s waterfront.

At this year’s festival, as last year, there won’t be a carnival (organizers are looking for an operator deemed adequately safe). But otherwise the tried and true trappings of the South Kitsap tradition that began in 1968 are all there. There will be a Street Scramble, where teams race each other find check points around town (10 a.m. Saturday), the snake race and frog jump (noon Saturday), and the Grand Parade (6 p.m. Saturday).

The announcer for this year’s parade will be Ted Sadtler, the man behind those goofy Mattress Ranch Commercials. If you’ve ever driven through Gorst, you will have seen the colorful “folk art” that graces his store in Kitsap County and Alaska, where he’s quite a celebrity. Ted’s a funny guy with a soft spot in his heart for children with disabilities. Hearing that he’d be playing a key role in the Fathoms parade made us want to jump up and do a little dance.

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