Celebrating the red, white and blue
By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
July 2, 2009 · Updated 1:49 PM
Bright, booming fireworks aren’t the only Fourth of July show in town.
Keyport and Bremerton will host July 4th festivities tomorrow, giving folks another way to celebrate Independence Day besides watching the traditional fireworks.
Keyport has hosted a Fourth of July event since 1976 and the small town really gets into the spirit of the event.
“It’s certainly not the biggest festival around, but it’s a lot of fun,” Keyport Improvement Club member Karol Stevens said.
Stevens said only 220 households make up Keyport and everyone turns out for the day-long festivities.
“It’s just very homegrown and small town,” Stevens said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Keyport’s Fourth of July celebration kicks off at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at Keyport Bible Church. Money raised at the breakfast benefits the Keyport Improvement Club.
The centerpiece of Keyport’s celebration is the town parade at 1 p.m. and everyone is invited to participate.
Stevens said people wear patriotic costumes, ride bicycles and even bring their pets to participate in the town parade.
“We had a goat on a leash one year,” Stevens said.
Stevens said the parade is “certainly the loudest part” of Keyport’s celebration and something many locals look forward to each year.
“I’ve named it the ‘town swarm,’” Stevens said.
After the parade, people are invited to enjoy a barbecue and family games at Keyport Bible Church.
For the second consecutive year, Bremerton will be home to an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow along Fourth Street.
“Last year was the first time that we did it and we had about 1,000 people come down,” Kitsap County Historical Society Museum Executive Director Prudence McCabe said. “It was very well received.”
The Kitsap County Historical Society Museum hosted last year’s 1900s-themed event on Fourth Street in downtown Bremerton. People dressed in 1900s-style costumes and played old-fashioned games at last year’s event. Organizers even hosted a program at the Roxy Theater on Fourth Avenue.
The museum has teamed up with Simply Renewed Art & Antique Gallery on Pacific Avenue for this year’s old-fashioned Fourth of July.
“The dynamics have changed,” McCabe said. “It’s a bit different.”
This year’s old-fashioned Fourth includes a magician from the Aurora Valentinetti Puppet Museum, puppet making, the Kitsap Chordsmen, Bub Pratt Entertainment, Kitsap Humane Society and lots of street vendors and food options. Puget Sound Dairy and Costco will offer free ice cream and people are invited to play old-fashioned games, such as hopscotch, jump rope and bean bag toss.
“The Tracyton library is going to be selling books for like 50 cents as well,” McCabe said.
McCabe said they did not have the staff or funds to put on a program at the Roxy Theater this year, but Bremerton’s old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration should still draw a large crowd.
“We hope it’ll be fun,” she said. “We’d like to make it an annual event.”