Arts and Entertainment

Blackberry Festival offers sweet treats, activities for all

A pilot gives a Young Eagle some instruction before taking to the air. - Courtesy photo
A pilot gives a Young Eagle some instruction before taking to the air.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The 21st annual Blackberry Festival will fill Labor Day weekend with music, airplane rides and blackberry pie.

The festival is a three-day event starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, and the majority of the entertainment is located at the Bremerton Boardwalk, 120 Washington Beach, Bremerton. The event includes food vendors, games and music. Admission is free.

Last year the number of people who attended the event was down from previous years because of the weather, event director Carol Atkinson said. Weather permitting, however, Atkinson expects more people then the event has held.

“Last year the festival was slow for the first few hours, but when it cleared up people flowed down like ants out of an anthill,” Atkinson said.

Despite having a slow start, the majority of the vendors did well and many sold out of their products, Atkinson said.

Attendees should expect to see the usual foods for sale at the festival, including cobblers, maple bars with blackberry topping—also known as slugs—and the popular blackberry wine. There will also be waffles and blackberry syrup.

Along with the bounty of food, live music will play through the weekend.

The Navy Band will kick things off on Saturday, followed by Marylin Kay, Boys of the Greenwood Glen and Sole Purpose headlining Saturday night. Sunday bands include: Next to nothing, All Mixed Up, Independents and HG Fusion.

ng with the entertainment at the boardwalk, airplane rides and a car show will be held at the Bremerton National Airport, 8850 SW, Port Orchard, off State Highway 3. Admission to the event is free and a shuttle will be provided between the boardwalk and airport.

Airplane rides will be provided—weather permitting—by the Rainbirds, Chapter 406 of the Experimental Aircraft Association. The rides are free and available for people ages 8 to 17.

The plane rides are part of the Young Eagles program which began in an effort to provide young people with the opportunity to experience small-plane aviation firsthand.

The aircrafts are either two or three seat planes and pilots will give the young flyers an orientation flight, which will be as gentle as possible, Rainbird member and event coordinator Stanley Mars said.

“Our goal is to provide exposure to those who do not yet have the means to fly themselves,” Mars said.

Mars began flying in 1968 when he joined the Air Force. He had wanted to fly since he was young, but until he joined the Air Force he was never given the opportunity, which is a reason he now helps young people fly at an early age, he said.

Last year the event was delayed for about an hour because of the weather, but that did not discourage anyone. Over 80 people waited indoors for their turn in a plane without any complaints, Mars said.

“I didn’t hear a single objection last year,” Mars said. “Everyone was so excited... when those kids touch down after their plane ride they are grinning from ear to ear.”

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