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Seagull Calling Festival returns to Port Orchard on Saturday
As if an event full of costumes, Cheetos and chocolate bird poop wasn’t quirky enough, this year the organizers of the Seagull Calling Contest in Port Orchard decided to add another item to the mix — the “Seagull Squirt.”
Organizer Desiree Steffens said the catchy-yet-possibly-disgusting name is for a non-alcoholic drink that businesses will be creating for the festival. And at this point, the “squirt” could be just about anything.
“People can do whatever they want,” Steffens said, explaining that several local businesses have already signed up to compete, one asking if they could incorporate ice cream. “We don’t care what (people) do; just that they bring enough for people to try.”
Steffens said the Seagull Calling judges will also be judging the drinks, and the crowd will be offered samples of the drinks at no charge.
Chefs will also be cooking up “Seagull Wings” to be judged, an event that was added recently which has local restaurants serving up their best chicken wings.
Last year, Steffens said 10 restaurants were signed up to compete, and eventually they hope to let the public compete and cook wings as well.
Of course, anyone and everyone is invited to call the gulls, the act that is at the heart of the festival.
Every year, contestants young and old dress up, squawk and, above all, bring fried foods to the beach to attract as many of the flying scavengers to surround them as possible.
Fried chicken, onion rings, cookies, Cheetos and crackers have all been used to varying degrees of success, but seagulls seem to have the same taste in junk food as humans, and consistently fly in for french fries.
And even if contestants don’t manage to attract any birds at all, they can still win “best costume,” “cutest contestant,” or “judges’ favorite.”
The time of the contest varies with the tides, and Steffens said since low tide is about 3 p.m., that is when the contest will officially start tomorrow. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Gazebo Park at the east end of the Port Orchard waterfront.