Category Archives: Things to Do on The Weekend

Peninsular Interning: The best of Kitsap

Peninsular Thinkers, you know your towns better than anyone else. So what are the things you’d recommend to someone who’s never set foot in the Pacific Northwest before? If your relative came into town (and you liked that relative) what are the places, attractions and restaurants you would insist they experience?

That’s the position that I’m in. My name is Miranda Davis and I arrived in Kitsap County about two weeks ago to spend my summer interning at the Sun. The plot twist? I’m from Kansas. I’m a senior studying journalism at the University of Kansas and I drove two thousand miles at the end of May and before that, I’d never been west of Denver. Everything I thought I knew about the area before arriving was from Grey’s Anatomy and Starbucks. I know, I’m awful.

When I tell people I’m new here they say I’m so lucky, because summer is the best time to experience the area, and I completely agree. It also appears as if I brought my pink rain boots for nothing.

So send in the things you think I have to see, eat and experience before August 1st, and I’ll give them a try. Ideally, I want to experience the things that you think of when you think of the word “home,” so hopefully that includes a mix of tourist attractions and things that are off the beaten path.

My rules:

  1. I am willing to drive up to two hours each way if It’s something I can do for the majority of the day. I also like taking the ferry to Seattle but I plan on trekking it on foot once I get into the city.
  2. I’ve already been to the Space Needle and Pike Place Market (It was so busy! There was too much happening around me! I ate a really good grilled cheese!)
  3. I have no diet restrictions and I will eat almost anything. Seafood is growing on me every minute I’m up here. (However, bonus points if you recommend an awesome cheeseburger, and double bonus points if you recommend barbeque)
  4. I’m not afraid of heights but I really dislike roller coasters. Please don’t make me go on a roller coaster.
  5. While mountains and large bodies of water are new to me, I like hiking and swimming, but do not expect me to run a half marathon.
  6. I want to attend festivals and events and I’m 21 years old (so yes, I would really like to know what craft beer I should be purchasing at the grocery store)

I’ll post about the best of my experiences on the Peninsular Thinking blog, where you can see what I think of the best Pacific Northwest and weigh in from the comments section or on social media.

Send all ideas to, or find me on Twitter @MirandaDavisUDK. That’s also where I’ll be posting photos, videos and unrefined thoughts from my adventures.

Kitsap likes its fundraisers outdoors, active

Bake sales are all well and good, but here in Kitsapland (and it’s safe to say the Northwest in general), we like to get double duty out of raising money for a worthy cause.

Upcoming are two events where you can get vigorous exercise in the fresh air while doing good. The first is the Jingle Bell Run, raising funds to combat juvenile arthritis, on Saturday in Port Orchard; the second on Dec. 14, is NewLife Kitsap’s Walk for Water, raising money to build wells in Africa, to be held on waterfronts in Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Silverdale, Bainbridge Island and the Theler Wetlands in Belfair. Both require registration, and pre-registering is preferred. But you can jump on board with both events the morning of.

Both events raise awareness of of things most of us (I think it’s safe to say) take for granted.

Walk for Water
When it’s raining buckets here in the Northwest, like on July 4th, most of us probably don’t think, “Dang, I wish we had some more water around here.” Kitsap, which relies solely on rainfall to replenish its reservoirs and aquifers each year, has faced seasons where water conservation is encouraged. But we’re always able to turn on the tap for a drink of potable water or a bottle of water at the convenience store.

In contrast, many people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean water. The average African walks 5 miles a day for water, according to people at New Life who are organizing the Walk for Water. The journey is dangerous and most of the water gathered is unclean, causing illness and sometimes death, especially among young children.

Walk in the Light, a charity supported by NewLife in the Walk for Water, collects money to build wells and bring other forms of water purification to towns in Burkina Faso. Last year, reporter Josh Farley wrote about the organization, founded by Tom and Katy Cornell, who are also involved with NewLife. The couple, while attending Northwestern University in Kirkland, got to know a man from Burkina Faso, and so learned about the needs of people there.

In 2012, 80 people took part in the first Walk for Water in Kitsap County, treking 2 1/2 miles along the Silverdale waterfront with empty five-gallon jugs and other containers.
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They filled them and lugged them back, getting a taste of what people (most women and children) must do each day. Lack of a clean water source is not only inconvenient and unhealthy, it robs people of the time to work, get an education and have a life, as the saying goes here in the U.S. The event has been expanded this year to several waterfront locations.

When: December 14; registration a 9:30 a.m.; walk starts at 10 a.m.
Where: Gig Harbor waterfront; Bainbridge waterfront Park; Silverdale waterfront; Port Orchard Westbay Center; Theler Community Center.
What: The length of the walk is 5 miles. Each person will be given a 5-gallon container to carry on the walk or bring your own.
Cost: $20 registration fee to receive a T-shirt and five-gallon container (fee waived if you skip the T-shirt and bring your own container); recommended donation of $100 to walk. Online registration through Dec. 12.

Jingle Bell Run
I ran into Sheila Cline the other day at MoonDogs (when I was covering that outrageous tip the restaurant received). Cline was busy preparing for the third annual Jingle Bell Run, an event she has captained since 2011, in support of her daughter Kinsey, who has juvenile arthritis. The 5K run/walk is part ofPort Orchard’s Festival of Chimes & Lights.

The Jingle Bell run is the signature event of the Arthritis Foundation. To get the organization on board with allowing the run in Port Orchard, Cline had to guarantee a minimum level of participation. No worries there; the run has exceeded expectations each year, involving more than 1,000 runners (some real serious types) and raising more than $50,000 annually for the organization.

Kinsey Cline has struggled with arthritis since she was 8. Now 13, she’s having a good year and able to regularly attend John Sedgwick Junior High School. That wasn’t always so. Last year, she missed a lot of school and experienced a lot of discomfort. Now on a new medication regime, Kinsey’s arthritis is well controlled.

As those with the disease know, it’s an ongoing battle to stay mobile. Something those participating in this year’s run/walk might consider as they trot (or clip) along Bay Street and Beach Drive.

Kinsey was the honoree at the first Jingle Bell Run. This year’s honoree is Linda Banks of Port Orchard who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis two years ago. Now 48, Banks was and is an athlete, and she finds that exercising and staying active helps reduce her arthritis symptoms.

A member of the Kitsap Tri-Babes, Banks has participated in many triathlons, and on her birthday in 2012, Banks completed an Ironman triathlon in Cour d’Alene, swimming in the choppy 58 degree lake, bicycling, and then running. Doctor’s have advised against her running for the time being, but Banks will participate by walking the 5K on Saturday.

A costume contest is at 12:30 p.m.; kids’ 1K at 1 p.m.,; 5K at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Port Orchard City Hall, 216 Prospect Street, Port Orchard
When: Dec. 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Free – $30

KRL hands out “catch and release” books

You’ve heard the term “catch and release” used by fishermen (and -women). Here it is applied to books.

Kitsap Regional Library staff members will tour the county Saturday to “release” special copies of KRL’s One Book, One Community selection to the public.

More than 100 copies of “The Leisure Seeker,” by Michael Zadoorian, will be handed out, free and available to keep … or release to bring others enjoyment.

The books are not part of the library’s collection and don’t need to be returned. They were purchased with funds from the KRL Foundation. Each comes with special labeling urging temporary owners to enjoy and share.

The label on the cover of each book says, “Read & Release. Take this Book. Details inside.” Inside the front cover is another label explaining the One Book, One Community program, coming up in October, which gets the whole community on the same page, so to speak. Online discussion of the chosen book and book groups around the county draw readers together.

Each “read and release” book has a unique identification number that has been registered at Readers can use that number to record their comments on the book, see the path it has taken through the community and to note where they have released it for the next person to take.

The “read and release” effort is aimed at getting people jazzed about the One Book, One Community program, said library Spokesman Jeff Brody. Copies of the book also will be available for checkout from the library.

The Leisure Seeker,” announced in March as KRL’s One Book selection for 2013, is “a story about making the most of your time, a celebration of love and partnership, of Old Route 66 and the challenges of modern life,” according to a KRL news release. A couple, married 50 years, “goes on the lam against doctors’ orders and the wishes of their grown children, piling into their RV, the Leisure Seeker, to take one last road trip together.”

“KRL hopes to encourage more people to read this thought-provoking book by releasing these extra copies into the community and urging people who find them to read them and pass them along to family, friends or neighbors,” Brody said.

Copies of the book will be released Saturday at the following locations and events:
8 a.m.: A Port Orchard senior center (will it be yours?)
9 a.m.: Poulsbo Farmers Market
10:30 a.m.: Bainbridge Farmers Market or other Bainbridge location (they want to keep you guessing)
3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Silverdale Whaling Days Festival

For more information on the special release of “The Leisure Seeker” copies in the community, contact KRL Marketing Manager Jeannie Allen, (360) 475-9033

Library fundraiser, candidates’ workshop

Here are some events coming up this week in Port Orchard that you may want to take note of.

Candidates workshop, Thursday
The city of Port Orchard will host a candidates workshop from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at city hall, 216 Prospect St.
Anyone thinking about running for any local elected office can learn about how to file for office, rules for reporting campaign contributions and other information.
Filing week begins Monday. Check the Kitsap Sun on Sunday for a more detailed story on filing week.
For more information, contact the city clerk at (360) 876-4407.

Library renovation fundraiser
Last summer, a new roof. In September, the Port Orchard Library will undergo a major interior renovation.
The library will be closed Aug. 30 through Sept. 30, during construction.
The library will get new carpet, more nooks and crannies in which patrons can read or work on laptops, and repairs on downtrodden features, such as ceiling acoustical tile.
The whole project will cost $100,000, of which roughly $70,000 will come from Kitsap Regional Library’s capital budget. KRL officials have planned for more than a year for the project, according to Kathleen Wilson, branch manager.
The Kitsap Regional Library Foundation will provide up to $10,000, and the Port Orchard Friends of the Library will donate roughly $30,000.
Friends of the Library recently received a $1,000 donation from Kitsap Bank. Fred Meyer earlier donated $5,000. With these large donations, the Friends of the Library is about halfway to its goal.
Friends of the Library will hold a comedy night fundraiser featuring Dwight Slade at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Clubhouse at McCormick Woods, 5155 McCormick Woods Dr. SW. Tickets, at $20 per person, are available through, at the library or at the door.
Donations can be made at any Kitsap Bank branch or at the Port Orchard Library. For information, call 360-876-2224.

Three, count them, three holiday festivals Saturday

Choices, choices …

For holiday festivities Saturday, should one head north to Poulsbo’s Scandinavian Julefest and Kingston’s “Country Christmas,” or south to Port Orchard’s Festival of Chimes & Lights? Or should one attend all three and cram in a triple helping of holiday fun?

Chimes and Lights takes place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday in Port Orchard. Note that Bay Street will be closed during this time. The theme this year is “A Hometown Christmas.” Events range from the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for the Arthritis Foundation, which kicks off at 11 a.m. at City Hall, to a pet parade that begins at the Kitsap Bank drive-thru at 4:45 p.m. For a full schedule of events and a map, visit the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce website.

Julefest is a longstanding celebration of Poulsbo’s Nordic heritage. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Sons of Norway will have arts crafts, traditional pea soup, folk dancing and singing. The location is 18891 Front Street. As the early dusk falls, revelers will gather by a bonfire on the waterfront to await the arrival of the Lucia Bride, accompanied by Vikings, of course. For information, visit the Sons of Norway website.

Kingston’s “Country Christmas” takes place Saturday, with Santa’s workshop up and running at 2 p.m. Arts and crafts for kids will be available at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club. At 4:30 p.m. at Mike Wallace Park, bands from Kingston Middle School and Kingston High School will perform. Bonfires will burn, and Santa will arrive by firetruck to flip the switch on the port’s botanical light display at 5 p.m. For information, call the Kingston Chamber of Commerce at 360-297-3813.

Fishing town popular with Kitsap anglers struggling

Raise your hand if you were in Sekiu this past weekend.

On our annual fill-the-freezer excursion to the little fishing town two miles west of Clallam Bay (19 miles East of Neah Bay), it seemed one in every six people had a Kitsap connection.

Sekiu shrinks and swells on the tides of anglers who come and go with the fish runs. In winter it dwindles to a handful of residents who probably know each other way too well (some escape to the warmth and anonymity of Arizona). During salmon season, though, the hillsides are chock-a-block with RVs perched above the bay, barely tucked in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Canada within spitting distance.

The accommodations are nothing fancy, but the view is spectacular. Bottle green water, sparkling with beds of kelp that sway and twirl in the currents. Mist shrouded forests and strange rock formations, like Mussolini Rock, with the tuft of trees growing on its top looks like the Italian dictator’s military cap. There are seals, sea birds and the occasional porpoise or whale passing through. On this visit we saw a sea elephant about two miles from shore bobbing on the surface long enough to get a gulp of air then sliding down into the water.

At dawn, fishermen (and the occasional woman) lug on their muckboots, fill their thermoses and fire up their motors, lighting out on the heaving waters like a swarm of bees. If the bite is on, they’ll limit out before noon and spend the rest of the day swapping fish stories. Word of how deep to fish and where they’re biting spreads like a virus. If there is a #Sekiu on Twitter, it’s overkill.

A glamorous resort town this is not. The docks are splattered with excrement from great clouds of seagulls that flock like brazen thugs around the fish cleaning stations, mewling for a handout of guts. The smell is distinctly horrific, sometimes tinged with a pleasant waft of salt air from the open water.

The anglers don’t seem to care about the smell. For many the trip to Sekiu is an annual ritual, like summer camp for adults. When they’re not fishing, you might find them tending the smoker or vacuum-sealing their catch. The anglers drop plenty of dough on Sekiu. They eat in the handful of restaurants, buy bait, tackle and ice at the stores, and pay for moorage and RV or tent spaces.

Those who live here year ’round to operate the eateries and rustic resorts make much of their annual income during these few frenzied weeks when the fish are running. The recession hit them hard, but the town had been struggling years before the bottom dropped out of the housing market.

On the west side of town, a decaying dock is all that’s left of a once bustling fish cannery from decades past. Here and there are abandoned, boarded up buildings. The properties that remain open are sagging, a little seedy. The fishermen don’t care, but the symptoms don’t bode well for Sekiu.

Challenges facing resort owners are often invisible to visitors. For example, there was the storm of 2006 that took out the parking lot of Van Riper’s Resort. Repairing the damage took a quarter million dollars worth of fill.

There’s another problem, age, not of the properties but the owners. Barbara, who owns The Breakwater restaurant, is in her mid-60s. She has a 5-year-old granddaughter to raise and a grandson to help through college, so she’s not actively looking for a buyer. But the place has been listed since before her husband died four years ago.

In the old days, The Breakwater had no “off season.” If it wasn’t the fishermen, it was the loggers, who lined up outside the door on payday. Now, what logging goes on, the workers live out of town, she said. These days, the place stays busy enough, but nothing like it used to be.

Barbara and her cohorts are beyond ready for something new. Van Ripers is for sale. So is Olsons, the largest resort in town, as well as many smaller properties.

“We’re all tired,” said Barbara, a warm and friendly woman with a white apron around her waist, who makes homemade pies and cakes, and a mean prime rib.

Barbara would work with any prospective buyer for her place, should one step forward. There’s a lot of memories in the old place. “I just want whoever takes it over to succeed,” she said.

Fathoms O’ Fun Festival starts today (Friday, June 29)

By Chris Henry
PORT ORCHARD — Little has changed in the Fathoms O’ Fun Festival over 45 years. True the carnival skipped town in 2009 and has yet to return, but there’s still the quaint frog jump and snake race. There’s music to dance to and plenty of sticky sweets to consume.
The festival’s Grand Parade, nicknamed by organizers the “Granddaddy of Parades”, still includes 112 entries. The parade, sponsored by Columbia Bank, is set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at Port Orchard Boulevard and wind its way along Bay Street.
This year’s entries include the usual bevy of pageant royalty, public officials and candidates who hope to become public officials. Dancers, horseback riders, gymnasts and high steppers will take to the streets along with marching bands and other musicians. One of the more unusual musical entries is the Mullenix Ridge Screaming Eagles Pennywhistle Band. The crowd no doubt will hear them coming from blocks away.
The parade will feature floats and classic cars, biker brigades and pets on the march. Nearly last but far from least will be Billy the Bull, the Mattress Ranch mascot.
The festival includes a craft and vendor show sponsored by Clearwater Casino Resort that runs Friday through Sunday.
The fun continues on Wednesday with the Fourth of July Grand Fireworks Show over Sinclair Inlet. The display, sponsored by Wave Broadband, will be visible from downtown Port Orchard, Beach Drive and the Bremerton side of the inlet.
Here’s the lineup:
6:30 p.m. Friday: Concert in the waterfront gazebo.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday: Port Orchard Farmer’s Market, on the waterfront
Noon Saturday: Frog jump and snake races (BYO critters). Watch Fathoms royalty kiss a frog.
6 p.m.: Grand Parade
Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday: Puppet shows at the gazebo.
Ponies and children’s activities all weekend.
Noon to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday (Fourth of July): Concerts at the Gazebo
10:30 p.m.: Grand Fireworks Show
Fathoms O’ Fun is a volunteer-run organization. Beside the summer festival, it hosts a scholarship pageant and Concerts by the Bay. For information, visit

Dads and Barbecues

Father’s Day and barbecues are a tried and true tradition. Around Manchester, it’s not steak and brats on the menu, but salmon. The town’s annual salmon bake, now in its 44th year and run by Friends of the Manchester Library, is steeped in tradition. From what I hear, it’s like a class reunion for old-time Manchester residents. Funds raised benefit the library.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Manchester Library
Cost: $14 for adults, $10 for children 6-11 years and $5 for children under 6.
Info: (360) 871-3921;

In other Dad’s day BBQ news, Bible Baptist in Port Orchard will be enticing dads to its 10 a.m. service with drinks, snacks and a free barbecue after the service.
When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday
Where: 6703 Bethel Rd. SE, Port Orchard, WA 98367
Cost: free
Info: (360) 876-0602

And in Port Ludlow, dads can learn to barbecue “low and slow” with Chef Dan Ratigan of the Resort in Port Ludlow.
“Learn to clean, rub and slowly cook pork shoulder, beef brisket and whole chickens to make them tender and flavorful.
“Following the class, guests will share a grilled meal on the veranda with an optional wine pairing of robust grill-friendly reds from Argentina, France and Washington.”
When: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 1 Heron Road Port Ludlow, WA 98365
Cost: $39 to $59
Info: (360) 437-5160

Send PetsWALK pix to the Kitsap Sun

Because you know you have the cutest pet in the world, or at least Kitsap County. …

SILVERDALE — There may be some soggy doggies at this year’s PetsWALK from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
The weather is supposed to continue its November-like rain and chill, but it was rainy last year, too, and that didn’t stop people from signing up for the annual fundraiser for the Kitsap Humane Society, according to spokeswoman Kristin Lauver.
Walkers and their furry companions have gathered pledges in days leading up to the event. Participants alternately can sign up the day of the walk beginning at 9 a.m. A $35 registration fee is suggested.
PetsWALKS promises fun for both animals and animal lovers, with 1K and 5 K routes, a vendor fair, pet contests, demonstrations, a microchip clinic ($30), and adoptable pets.
Stick around for the afternoon costume contest and talent show.
All money raised goes toward the care of local animals in need. Participants who raise at least $50 will get a commemorative PetsWALK T-shirt.
Go to after PetsWALK to upload photographs of your pet. If enough are submitted the Kitsap Sun will create a photo gallery.
The humane society is located at 9167 Dickey Road NW in Silverdale; (360) 692-6977.

Friday Afternoon Club: Art in Port Orchard & start of festival season

Port Orchard kicks off its First Friday Art Walk tonight (the art walk is held on first Fridays through the warm weather season). Can summer be far behind?

Also on Friday is the kick-off of Viking Fest, Poulsbo’s celebration of its Norwegian Heritage. Events are scheduled through Sunday.

Festival season kicks off as well. The Armed Forces Day parade is set for Saturday in Bremerton. This year’s event will focus on the community’s healing from two shootings that took place in February. The parade will include a tribute to Trooper Tony Radulescu, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop Feb. 23. Amina Kocer-Bowman, 9, will be the civilian grand marshal. Amina suffered critical gunshot wounds Feb. 22 when a gun a fellow student brought to school went off. She is healing slowly.

And mark you calendars. Kitsap Harbor Festival runs May 26 and 27 (Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend), with multiple events on both the Bremerton and Port Orchard waterfronts.