Arts and Entertainment

The Armed Viking Pin-Up Festival | An Amalgamation of Celebrations

Expect a weekend full of retro style, Viking warriors and American flags as Kitsap hosts its annual Armed Forces Day Festival in Bremerton (right), Viking Fest in Poulsbo (middle) and, new this year, the Secrets of a Starlet pinup contest and rockabilly festival in Silverdale (Chuck and Hanah of the RockIt Roost, left)  - Courtesy Photos
Expect a weekend full of retro style, Viking warriors and American flags as Kitsap hosts its annual Armed Forces Day Festival in Bremerton (right), Viking Fest in Poulsbo (middle) and, new this year, the Secrets of a Starlet pinup contest and rockabilly festival in Silverdale (Chuck and Hanah of the RockIt Roost, left)
— image credit: Courtesy Photos

Musing on the thought of Armed Viking Pin-Up girls taking over the county this weekend.

It gets a little bit weirder every year.

Last year around this time, as the county’s festival season ramped up, we were musing on what it might be like if two of Kitsap’s largest and longest running festivals — Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day and Poulsbo’s Viking Fest, which happen annually on the same weekend in May — were to combine forces, to create one giant “Armed Viking Festival.”

The story was rife with countywide chaos and fusion — American and Norwegian, hamburgers and lutefisk, Viking and Marine — all together for one big barbecue and parade. Festival-goers could sport souvenir kevlar helmets adorned with Viking horns.

The parade, we surmised, would snake through the Highway 3 and Highway 303 corridors with its 300-some participants — tanks and long ships, service men and women, berserk Vikings and Shriner mobiles.

Add to that this year, almost 50 aspiring pin-up girls along with a couple hundred classic cars and a handful of rockabilly bands, and the massive countywide festival morphs into something of an “Armed Viking Pin-Up Festival.”

One of a few new festivals added to the Kitsap docket this summer, Silverdale merchant The RockIt Roost, a shop specializing in rockabilly and pin-up culture, hosts Kitsap’s first-ever Pin-Up and Rockabilly Festival — Secrets of a Starlet — the same weekend as Armed Forces Day and Viking Fest, May 16 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel.


With a film noir theme, a day full of rockabilly and classic cars and a red carpet entrance to the contest that night, this event aims to be something the county has never seen before.

Giving a nod to the original pinups and women of the 1950s, the RockIt Roost has wrangled nearly 50 pin-up contestants, competing in age brackets — 16-20 and 21+ — to become the next RockIt Roost Pinup Vixen.

It’s kind of like a beauty contest, only not really.

“It’s more who’s got the best pinup style,” contestant Hilary Blanchard, AKA greaser pinup Dixie Jane said. “I know a lot of the girls, including myself, have put a lot of time and effort into our outfits and creating a fun theme, and making sure we know how to walk in 5-inch heels.”

Each of the pinups are themed and have created an entire persona around the theme.

Following a full day of rockabilly bands, merchant vendors and the classic car show outdoors, the age 16-20 pinups will compete for the judges’ affection starting at 5 p.m., then the 21+ contests will be chauffeured to the red carpet in vintage cars and into the ballroom with their contest beginning as soon as they set foot on the red carpet.

Celebrity judges and a few very special events are also slated on the evening. Tickets are $15 for an all-day outdoor pass, $30 for the day-long festival and the ballroom competition. For tickets, go to For more info, contact Chuck or Hanah at the RockIt Roost, (360) 698-2579.


The longest-running Armed Forces Day Parade will be galavanting through downtown Bremerton again this weekend.

This year’s theme is “The Legacy of Freedom.” It all kicks off with the traditional pancake breakfast, starting at 7 a.m. downtown May 16, courtesy of the Bremerton Central Lions.

The parade will follow through the streets of downtown Bremerton at 10 a.m., featuring a host of marching bands and military fair, followed again by the Heroes’ Barbecue, a free barbecue lunch for Military personnel, dependents, retirees and the entire community.

Radio personalities Ron and Don from KIRO 97.3 will host the military culinary competition at the Olympic College student center.

And to follow it all up, Kitsap Hydro Fest, a festival of personal watercraft races on Kitsap Lake will commence May 17.

For more on Armed Forces Day, contact the Bremerton Chamber at (360) 479-3579 or


It’s somehow comforting to know that if you can’t make it to one of the three days of madness that is Poulsbo’s Viking Fest, that at least you can stream it live online.

For decades, Little Norway has celebrated its Norwegian heritage by shutting down the near entire downtown core for a festival for all things Viking, bunad and lutefisk.

The festival’s mainstays continue to be the carnival, the Miss Viking Fest contest, live music, the lutefisk eating contest, and now the Iron Chef competition.

It all goes down over three days, starting at 4 p.m. tonight in downtown Poulsbo. Special this year, Hellvik Mannskor, a male choir from Egersund, Norway will help ring in the opening that night along with the Poulsbo Sons of Norway Men’s Chorus.

Saturday starts with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by the Viking Fest road race at 9 a.m., with the parade to follow that afternoon.

For a full list of events, see the schedule at

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 14
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates