Port Orchard prepares for 'Extreme Macomber'

Jane Moe of Bayside Nail Salon in Port Orchard greets author Debbie Macomber during a tour of downtown shops - Charlie Bermant
Jane Moe of Bayside Nail Salon in Port Orchard greets author Debbie Macomber during a tour of downtown shops
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

A combination literary festival and fan conclave in honor of local author Debbie Macomber is on track for its August debut, and has already exceeded organizer’s expectations.

And to make it a real success, they are recruiting volunteers.

“This is a wonderful image changing opportunity for our town,” said Port Orchard City Councilman Jerry Childs. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we all need to grasp it by helping out and participating in any way we can, whether volunteering or just coming out for the events and greeting our guests.

“Company is coming, and it our intent to roll out the red carpet,” he said. “We want you to be in the loop as this historic event winds its way to fruition.”

On April 8, Macomber toured downtown businesses, visiting several stores and talking about plans for the event, which is scheduled for Aug. 26-30. Even if she is a best-selling author, she impressed everyone she met with her down-to-earth qualities.

As of last week, about 500 people had committed to attend one of the planned teas or the banquet/cruise.

Childs said this did not include any local attendees, which could number in the thousands.

Macomber has sold more than 60 million copies of about 150 books, with eight installments in the Cedar Cove series — which is based loosely on Port Orchard.

The ninth will be published concurrent with Cedar Cove Days, giving attendees something of a tangible weekend souvenir.

Another local connection will fall into place, as local talk show host Delilah is scheduled to read the audio version of the new book for its CD format.

The idea for Cedar Cove Days began in 2007, when Childs and his neighbor, Cindy Lucarelli, were both running for Port Orchard City Council. She lost, and he won, but both pursued the creation of a festival, and contacted Macomber with the idea.

The author, whose success is partially attributable to a proactive interaction with fans, jumped aboard and donated her 100,000-member e-mail list to drum up interest.

Many Macomber fans already come to Port Orchard on their own, to get close to Debbie. Cedar Cove Days is intended to harness this, and turn it into a financial and perceptual benefit.

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