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Port Orchard, Bremerton join forces for Harbor Festival
With gas prices creeping up and the economy still lagging, this might be a good Memorial Day weekend to stick close to home. Or, if the organizers of the Kitsap Harbor Festival have their way, the water.
“Let us be your stay-cation,” said Brian Sauer, who manages the Port Orchard Marina, which is hosting events all weekend with its counterpart across the water, the Bremerton Marina.
Sauer said the idea for the festival sprang from the success of the Bremerton Marina’s grand opening last year.
“It was such a we thought it would be great to make it a community event and include both sides of the water,” Sauer said. “We support both our Port Orchard and Bremerton communities.”
In the spirit of cooperation, Sauer said both cities and the Port of Bremerton joined forces to have the foot ferry between Port Orchard and Bremerton running not only later into the evening than normal, but on both Sunday and Monday, when it normally would not be. Passengers will be charged the normal fare, which is now $2.00.
The events begin Friday, May 22, when the Tall Ships arrive, some in both marinas, and will be on display beginning at 12 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Historic Orchard Theater on Bay Street will play “The Hunt for Red October,” while also at 7 p.m. the Admiral Theater on Pacific Avenue will play “From Russia With Love.” Both films feature Sean Connery.
The foot ferry that runs between Port Orchard and Bremerton will have extended hours Friday night (and the remainder of the weekend), with the last ferry leaving Bremerton May 22 at 9:45 p.m.
Saturday, May 23, kicks off with a pancake breakfast (8 - 10 a.m.) on the Bremerton Boardwalk, and hosted by the Bremerton Central Lions Club. At 9 a.m., the Port Orchard Farmers Market begins as usual, along with the “Big Show for Small Boats.”
From 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., all manner of boats, from “Vintage Classics to Classy Yachts,” will be on display at the Port Orchard Marina, along with the Tall Ships, vendor booths and entertainment along the Bremerton Boardwalk, and vintage military vehicles will be on display in Bremerton, as well.
Also beginning at 10 a.m. is the “Kitsap Cup,” which features a sailboat race in Bremerton and a Laser Race in Port Orchard, the Kitsap Car Cruz on Pacific Avenue, the Fourth Street Market, and the “Boats Afloat” in Bremerton.
Beginning at noon, free shuttles will begin heading to the Clearwater Casino in Suquamish, and from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the Bremerton Breakwater, port officials will hold a dedication ceremony for its “Lone Sailor” statue.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the Navy Band “Passage” will play on the Bremerton Boardwalk, and from 8 p.m. until 11 p.m., the Kitsap Harbor Party will be held at the Kitsap Conference Center, featuring “heavy hors d’oeuvres” and music by the Jimmy-Buffett-inspired band “Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads.” Tickets for the party are $40 a person and can be ordered by phone at 360-475-7120.
The last foot ferry will leave Bremerton Saturday night at 10:45 p.m.
On Sunday, Port Orchard will host a pancake breakfast at Amy’s on the Bay from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. which will benefit the South Kitsap Helpline food bank.
Many of the events on Saturday will continue Sunday, including the PO Farmers Market, the Tall Ship, the “Vintage Classics to CLassy Yachts” in Port Orchard, the Boats Afloat in Bremerton, and the Kitsap Cup continues with the “Power Boat Poker Run.”
Starting at 3 p.m., the Port Orchard Rotary Club will host a beer garden near Peninsula Feed on Bay Street, and the “Taste of Port Orchard” will begin just beyond the farmers market near Marina Park.
Sauer said several restaurants will be on hand offering “tastes,” including Amy’s on the Bay, Gino’s, Morningside Bakery, Cosmo’s Deli, Juwapa’s vegetarian restaurant and juice bar, Rosa Coffee Roasters, Carter’s Chocolates, Purple Fig Catering, Capriccio Catering, and Essence of the Thymes catering.
Free shuttles to the Clearwater Casino will also begin Sunday at noon, and the last foot ferry will leave Bremerton for Port Orchard at 9:45 p.m.
On Monday, the the Navy League will hold a memorial service on the USS Turner Joy along the Bremerton Waterfront at 10 a.m., the “Vintage Classics to Classy Yachts” will be on display in Port Orchard from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and vendor booths and entertainment will be on the Bremerton boardwalk from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For a full schedule of events and more information, visit www.kitsapharborfestval.com.