Fairgrounds neighbors plan EndFest survival tactics
June 11, 2008 · Updated 11:34 AM
"The residents of Fairgrounds-area neighborhoods don't necessarily plan to sit on their lawns with shotguns to guard their property during this weekend's EndFest concert.Some of them would like to not be there at all.The majority just plan to tough it out and hope the noise, litter and traffic won't get too unbearable. Tom Williams, who lives near Nels Nelson Road, said he'll be busy helping his wife, Lindsy Ingram - who is Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's public information officer - prepare an informational video.But at first he joked, I'm going to stick around the house and make sure it doesn't get vandalized.Seriously, though, he said, he can understand the other side of the problem.I think kids should have an outlet, but I just don't think one on this scale, and not in this area. It's such a tight area.With the amount of money the county is coming in there with, they want to build a stage. They should not have big concerts like Endfest, but more family oriented events, Williams said.Residents of the Fairgrounds neighborhoods on Nels Nelson and Central Valley roads and others have clashed with Fairgrounds planners over activities such as EndFest, which bring thousands of young people into an area not equipped to handle the influx.Homeowners voiced their opinions at recent public meetings about county Parks and Recreation Department efforts to create a concept plan for the Fairgrounds. Several of the plans included adding a festival stage and more concert-type events.Said Rainey Kay Stolp in an April 16 letter to the Fairgrounds concept meeting: The impact of concerts is huge. My neighborhood becomes like a ghost town. Houses are shut tight and children or adults are nowhere to be seen.We do not feel safe, and we do not want to hear the obscenities frequently emitting from the stage. ... There has also been incidents where all sorts of items, from food to people, have been thrown at the cars (attempting to leave the neighborhood) as well as attempts made to pull off mirrors and antennas, Stolp said.When EndFest comes to town, our best bet is to get out of town, said Steve Jennings of the Fairwood Ranch subdivision near the Fairgrounds. It's like having your neighbor in the backyard playing his stereo as loud as possible, said Jennings in a phone interview.But his 14-year old daughter, Annie, yelled in the background, EndFest is cool!My biggest plan (for EndFest) is to keep my two daughters from going, said Diane Jennings. My 17-year old really wants to go. She doesn't think I'm cool.The couple said they really haven't made EndFest avoidance plans yet.I had hoped to stay home and work in the yard and garage, but that may not be very pleasant, said Steve.Diane mentioned being around to protect the place.Last year neighbors had some problems with people urinating on their fence, she said. She added that the line to get into the event ran pretty much through the neighborhood. It's a little intimidating when you have that many people. "