Arts and Entertainment

Kitsap Harbor Fest: Seafaring in paradise

Life aboard a tall ship. - Courtesy Photo
Life aboard a tall ship.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

Another something new to Kitsap’s Festival docket.

The ports of Bremerton and Port Orchard are teaming up for a celebration of the high seas. Over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-25, the ports are hosting the inaugural Kitsap Harbor Fest, promising festivities for pirates of all ages.

Festival organizer Carol Atkinson with the Bremerton Main Stream Association said the event serves as a welcome for summer.

Bremerton will bookend the summer season beginning with the Kitsap Harbor Fest and ending with the Blackberry Festival, planned for Labor Day weekend.

“It’s going to be a real fun event for the weekend,” Atkinson said of Kitsap Harbor Fest. “We’re trying to do something to start out the summer and end it with the Blackberry Festival.”

During Kitsap Harbor Fest, land lubbers can delight in activities in both Bremerton and Port Orchard while those with active sea legs can test the waters in three boat races in and around the Sinclair Inlet.

The event begins with the Bremerton Central Lions firing up the pancake griddle from 8-10 a.m. May 23 on the Bremerton Boardwalk, which segues into the vendor booths and entertainment on the boardwalk, slated to begin at 10 a.m.

On the Port Orchard side, festival-goers can arrive at the Port Orchard Farmers Market, which opens at 9 a.m.

Both ports will play host to Tall Ships throughout the day.

At 10 a.m., the ships will set sail for the inaugural Kitsap Cup, encompassing three boat races on the inlet: Bremerton to the bridge and back, with a turnaround point at the Agate Pass Bridge; The Port Orchard Round-Tripper race; and the Sinclair Sizzler Competition Laser and Dinghy races.

Entertainment is slated for children and adults alike: classic cars, a knot-tying guru and a Jimmy Buffet tribute band — Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads (8 p.m. May 23, Kitsap Conference Center, tickets $40, ages 21 and older).

On Sunday afternoon, food takes center stage as Port Orchard hosts A Taste of Port Orchard from 3-6 p.m. in the Port Orchard Marina Park.

The single most important detail for Atkinson, of course, is the weather, which she promises “is going to be wonderful.”

For a complete list of events, go to

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