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Rain, seagulls fill sky along PO waterfront

Nicole Schillereff, visiting from Germany, laughs as her daughter Kylie Faith, 4, admits she bought her winning costume at “the dollar store.” - Justine Frederiksen/Staff Photo
Nicole Schillereff, visiting from Germany, laughs as her daughter Kylie Faith, 4, admits she bought her winning costume at “the dollar store.”
— image credit: Justine Frederiksen/Staff Photo

More than 50 people came out Saturday in the gray to try their luck at calling the most birds to the Port Orchard waterfront for the 20th annual Seagull Calling Festival.

And while french fries were still a throwing favorite, this year onion rings made a strong showing as well. Of course, there were also contestants bucking the trend of fried foods and choosing sweets instead, such as 2-year-old Jasmine Swainson.

“You want to throw them more cookies?” coaxed her grandfather, Tom McCabe of Port Angeles, as the toddler eagerly grabbed another handful of cookies, but never quite threw them.

No matter. When you’re the very last contestant at the Seagull Calling Contest, it’s nearly impossible to attract the full-bellied birds, no matter how tasty your treats are.

Which is why, perhaps, Kylie Schillereff, 4, and her mom, Nicole, chose instead to woo the judges with matching bird masks.

The strategy worked, earning the visitors from Germany the “best costume” award. When asked by emcee Bryan Petro where she had gotten her costume, Kylie cheerfully announced, “the dollar store.”

Her mother laughed, then explained that the pair were officially residents of Germany, but had adopted Port Orchard as their hometown because, “It’s more fun.”

As for the other winners Saturday, 14-year-old Nick Finney of Olalla won the Most Authentic Call award, Callie and Caden Cucciardi of Port Orchard won the Judges’ award, and Crystal Bozarth of Port Orchard, who threw multi-grain crackers, won the award for Most Seagulls Landing.

Best group was the Serka family, and the winner of the Cinco de mayo Ward was Ron Tom.

The judges were Mayor Lary Coppola, POPD Chief Al Townsend, Jeanne Foster, Sharon Mosley, Junay Johanson and Shawn Cucciardi.

The winners of the newest contest this year — the Seagull Wings wing Cook-off — were Amy’s by the Bay in first place, Purple Fig Catering in second place and Family Inn of Manchester in third.

The judges for that were Cathy Hall, Jim Civilla, Sonnie Selbig, Mallory Jackson and Al Mahaney.

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