OLALLA — The South Kitsap Southern Little League baseball field will be filled with bluegrass musical groups, along with other activities, as the 22nd annual Olalla Bluegrass and Beyond Festival gets under way on Saturday, Aug. 17.
The field is located on Olalla Valley Road and the gates open at 10 a.m. with music following an hour later.
The day-long event is family friendly and will showcase some of the best acoustic bands in the region.
“We always try to live up to our ‘Kick the City off Your Shoes’ motto,” festival founder Charlee Glock-Jackson said. “It’s a lively, fun-filled day with lots of good energy and amazing music.”
There also will be children activities and the famous Berry Pie Contest.
OlallaFest brings together a number of community organizations, all playing a part in the festival’s success.
“The Olalla Elementary School PTA organizes the kids activities,” festival chair Larry Davis said. “And the Gig Harbor Potters Guild will have a potters wheel for kids who want to learn how to make a pot out of clay.”
Davis said the popular “Empty Bowls” project is a collaboration between the Potters Guild and the Peninsula Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) this year.
“We’ll be selling strawberry shortcake and soup in hand-made bowls,” said PUUF’s Hobie Denny, a festival volunteer. “All the proceeds go to FISH, Key Peninsula Food Bank and the South Kitsap Helpline.”
In the afternoon, there’s a ’round-the-ballfield parade that all the children in the audience are invited to join. The second line from the Too Loose Cajun Zydeco Band will add a Mardi Gras theme to the parade and Delta Music Experience, headquartered in Gig Harbor, will provide Mardi Gras beads. Internationally known children’s entertainer Jim Valley of Gig Harbor also will perform.
The famous Berry Pie Contest — a festival tradition — takes place at 1:40 p.m.
People who bring a pie — either for the contest or as a donation to the pie sales — will get $5 off their admission price.
Festival organizers have reprised a popular event from the past — guided nature walks along Olalla Creek led by the Kitsap Watershed Stewardship Program.
“We’ll talk about the plants, insects and wildlife that live along the creek and also about the impact that humans have on the creek environment,” said Renee Johnson of Washington State Unversity Extension.
The festival benefits the Olalla Community Club, local music programs and non-profit organizations in the South Kitsap and Gig Harbor community.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children from 6 to 16 years old and senior citizens and $40 for a family pass. Children younger than 6 years old are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com) and at the gate. Parking is $3 per car, collected by the Little League. Fee for camping is $10 per night with no hook-ups and no dogs allowed.
For information visit www.olallabluegrass.com or phone 253-857-5604.
Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival:
11 a.m. Pickled Okra (Seattle)
Noon Eclectic Cloggers – festival regulars
12:45 p.m. Top String (Gig Harbor and Toppenish)
1 p.m. Guided nature walk along Olalla Creek
1:40 pm Berry Pie Contest & auction of winning pie
2 p.m. North Country
3 p.m. Fern Hill (Portland, and Salem, Ore.)
3 p.m. Guided nature walk along Olalla Creek
4 p.m. Jeff Ramsey & His Good Ol’ Pals (Olympia and Silverdale)
5 p.m. Dodgy Mountain Men (Missoula, Mont.)
6 p.m. Kiddos’ parade (Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band and Jim Valley)
7 p.m. Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band