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Residents rock out to Concerts by the Bay
Port Orchard's summer concert series have so far gone off without a hitch this year, even if some of the bands have rocked under a cover of clouds earlier on.
Concert's by the Bay, a free, weekly outdoor concert series at Port Orchard Marina's Waterfront Park, began June 7. The outdoor concert series, organized by the local nonprofit Fathoms o'Fun Festival Association, runs every Thursday throughout the summer.
Bands from the area play as concert goers jive to the sound of the music under the sun. That is, if there is sun. So far, a summer of near record breaking rainfall and cloudy days have made sunny evenings hard to come by.
Jesse Turner, Fathoms o'Fun treasurer, said sunny days aren't necessary to have a good time at a concert.
"The weather doesn't have as much of an affect as you might think," Turner said. "The area is covered, we have covered seating. People still come."
The concert series has grown every year since it began nine years ago, Turner said. Hosted for years by the City of Port Orchard, Turner said the Fathoms o'Fun association took over the event four years ago. The event has expanded with Fathoms, Turner said, moving from eight concerts a year to 16, including three performances on Wednesday. Turner said last year, as many as 600 people showed up to Marina Park to watch the concert.
"It's not just a local affair," Turner said. "It's something that draws from all over the county."
The free concert series is supported by Port Orchard's lodging tax revenue and contributions from local businesses, Turner said. Last year, local businesses donated nearly $8,000 to help pay for operating costs of the event.
The Port of Bremerton allows Fathoms to operate the event at no charge, and the City of Port Orchard keeps a police presence.
Year after year the biggest draw is "The Illusion on Elvis," which is an Elvis look-alike act performed by Danny Vernon, Turner said. But other bands are quickly finding Concerts by the Bay as a nice event.
Tom Lucas, whose band Blue Rocket played the event June 21, said the concert series provided a unique setting for concert goers. During Blue Rocket's set, a submarine pulled into Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, setting quite the scene for music.
"It's a great setting," Lucas said.
At the June 21 show, Lucas said the crowd was estimated at around 250 people.
"We lucked out with the weather," he said. "They kept changing the forecast."
Concerts will run once a week through Labor Day weekend in September. For more information, visit www.fathomsofun.org.