Rain or shine, culture reigns in park

Despite a last-minute schedule change, a frantic search for a new stage and looming storm clouds, the South Kitsap FolkFest should still be drawing crowds today as the festival reaches the ripe old age of three.

On Wednesday, organizer Melissa Lund said rain or shine the events will be going strong, although at the moment she was still scrambling to find a stage for the performers to shine on.

At the last minute, Lund said organizers discovered the stage donated by Olympic College was “kaput,” and she was “frantically searching around for another one” that could be donated.

Whether a proper stage is found or not, fellow organizer Ruthanne Devlin said the South Kitsap Community Park is the perfect venue to host an event designed to unite the community.

“This year’s event is themed ‘Communities United,’ ” Devlin said, explaining the event will also pay tribute to the victims and heros of Sept. 11 in both music and in actions.

Devlin said headliner Phillip Booker — who will now perform at 3 p.m., rather than 1 p.m., as previously reported — will give a musical tribute to both Jimi Hendrix and Sept. 11, and a large banner will also be available for visitors to sign.

“We have a young man who is scheduled to leave for duty in Iraq, and he will be taking the banner with him,” Devlin said. “It will be a nice little message from home.”

And if the performers, food and even face painting are not enough to attract people, Devlin said the park itself should draw plenty.

“It is this great, 200-acre park in the middle of Port Orchard that a lot of people don’t know about,” Devlin said. “One of the reasons why SK Parks started this festival was not just to introduce people to the diverse culture in the community, but to introduce them to the park. Some of the people are visiting the park, that is right in their backyard, for the first time.”

SK FolkFest schedule

11-11:45 Hula Dancers

11:45-12:15 Old Time Fiddlers

noon-1:15 Steve Stefanowicz

1:30-2:15 Carpenter’s Contraband

2:15-2:45 Lyrica Ladies Chorale

2:45-3 Mayor Kim Abel

3-3:45 RM Philip Booker — Jimi Hendrix Tribute

4-4:45 The Wolf Sisters

5-5:45 Rebecca Helmer

6-6:45 The Landlord Tenant Act

7-7:45 Common Ancestor w/Philip Booker

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