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Classic cars, lots of balls to cruise Bay St.

Bay Street will fill with the familiar sites and sounds of the Festival by the Bay tomorrow morning, with food and craft vendors, live entertainment and merchant sidewalk sales.

But who says the fun has to wait until tomorrow?

Tonight marks the first “Rock Around the Block“ presented by the South Kitsap Rotary, during which a parade of classic cars will wind through town and end at a classic rock dance to celebrate the return of the Festival.

“Between 6 and 7 p.m., anyone who has a classic car they want to parade thorough town should come to the staging at the (former) South Kitsap Mall,” said South Kitsap Rotary Treasurer Kelly Maves.

According to Maves, the cars will be parading from the mall to the Port Orchard Marina where they will park. The dance starts at 7 p.m. with live music from The Relics and a show by comedian Jerry Percio.

The party also features a beer garden and plenty of tasty treats. Tickets are $10 at the party’s admission gate, but the car show is free.

All proceeds benefit the South Kitsap Rotary.

“We’re hoping to make this a big event that we can do every year the night before The CRUZ,” Maves said. “All the money raised will go right back into the community.”

And there will be more cars on Sunday.

The CRUZ features a wide array of classic cars, lining the Port Orchard downtown waterfront from 10 a.m. Sunday until the trophies are presented at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the ninth annual Great Ball Race is also ready to roll tomorrow in conjunction with the Festival By the Bay and The CRUZ.

At 4:30 p.m., hundreds of balls will be released down Cline Street downtown as part of the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce’s annual fundraiser.

According to Chamber Executive Director Melode Sapp, the race starts a little later than usual this year.

“We had folks who said to us that they wanted to watch the (CRUZ) trophy awards at 3 p.m. and we had our race at 3 p.m.,” Sapp said.

A $5 ticket, for sale at the Chamber office, Port Orchard branches of Kitsap Bank, Mail Boxes Etc. at Towne Center and the Gazebo Florist, puts the purchaser’s name in the running for one of this year’s high-end prizes.

The first-prize winner will receive a trip for two to New York City, complete with airfare, tickets to a Broadway show, a Mink coat and spending money.

The second-place winner will enjoy a trip for two to San Diego, including airfare, hotel and trips to Sea World, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and the Animal Park.

The third-place winner wins a trip for two to Reno, Nevada.

Sapp said there are plenty of other prizes to be given away.

“We’ve got some wonderful baskets,” Sapp said. “McCormick Woods and Trophy Lake have donated rounds of golf and we have a fantastic package of goodies from the Seattle Mariners.”

Sapp said all the prizes were donated, including the first three, which were made possible by several cash donations from Chamber members.

“This is our only major fundraiser,” Sapp said. “It has not yet attained its maximum potential, but it has the potential to be about a fifth of our annual budget. A successful fundraiser allows us to keep our current dues structure.”

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