Festival to ‘fall’ into place

The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce strives to make servicemen and women feel at home in Kitsap County, even if their stay is brief.

The fifth annual Military Fall Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion. The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, BECU, Quadrant Homes and Qwest are joining together to host the free event.

The Military Fall Festival is open to anyone with a military ID card including active duty, reserve, retired and dependents. More than 150 vendors from area businesses, social service organizations and service groups will be there helping service members and their families become better acquainted with the area. Various military related services including medical and Moral Welfare and Recreation (MWR) exhibitors also will be on-hand.

“We tried to put together a collection of projects and services of what can be had in Central Kitsap,” said Darla Murker, executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. “We want to show what we have to offer and why it’s a great place to be stationed.”

The Military Fall Festival will showcase businesses and services ranging from massage to home loans. Murker said the event began when the USS John C. Stennis came to Kitsap County and it continues to be a success.

“We want service members and their families to feel welcome in this community,” she said. “We hope to have all their questions answered.”

More than 100 door prizes will be given away throughout the day. Door prizes include an autographed Seattle Seahawks helmet, signed by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, a $500 Costco gift card and various gift baskets.

The Marine security force at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor will host a mini boot camp for children. Children from kindergarten to eighth grade can participate in the boot camp.

Murker said the attendance numbers vary each year, but the Chamber is hoping for high numbers this year because the Stennis is in port.

“We’re hoping to get between 2,000 to 4,000 people this year,” she said. “The Stennis is here this year. That’s why we’re really hoping for these big numbers.”

Murker has received positive feedback from servicemen and women who say they are “so impressed by what this community does for the military.”

In 2005, Naval Base Kitsap received the Commander in Chief’s Award for Installation Excellence for being the Best Base in the Navy. Murker hopes the community spirit and events such as the Military Fall Festival play a role in the base’s success and happiness of the service members and their families.

“We’d like to think that’s a part of what makes it happen,” she said.

For more information about the Military Fall Festival, contact the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce at (360) 692-6800.

Military Fall Festival

Saturday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kitsap County Fairgrounds Pavilion

Military ID card required to enter

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