Calling all SK seagulls

Anyone who’s ever seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” knows a large flock of gulls flying about is not necessarily cause for celebration.

But today, 30 of Port Orchard’s bravest residents will step up to the shoreline, calls and costumes perfected, in an attempt to incite the seagulls of Sinclair Inlet into a noisy, Hitchcock-esque, wind-whipping frenzy.

The annual day-long Seagull Calling Festival will kick off Port Orchard’s summertime festivities as it has for the past 15 years.

The event begins a 10 a.m. when a trained naturalist will lead a guided beach walk at low tide in front of the city’s Marina Park.

“The pace is leisurely, allowing persons of all ages time to explore the richly varied ecosystem living just below the waters of Puget Sound,” said Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee Chairwoman Ruthanne Devlin.

After a kazoo parade that begins around 10:30 a.m. and trails through and around the downtown Farmer’s Market, registration for the free seagull-calling competition begins at 11 a.m.

The first 30 entries of any age will be competing for the best costume, judges’ award, junior contestants award, best commercial entry, most seagulls called successfully and, of course, most authentic call.

“It’s a wonderful way to welcome spring,” said Chamber Executive Director Melode Sapp. “Everybody who’s got cabin fever should come down to the water and enjoy the beach walk.”

And Sapp added that being a participant in the calling competition is a way to act like a kid again.

“To be a participant is so much fun,” she said.

According to Sapp, last’s years winner for most authentic call was Christina Williams. The winner for the most seagulls landing was Aaron Clark, who lured the birds down with a secret formula food.

A woman named Connie won last year’s costume competition when she arrived dressed as a “beach,” complete with a sand platform across her shoulders.

“It’s exciting and it’s fun,” Sapp said.

For more information call the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce at (360) 876-3505.

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