SUQUAMISH — Fans of 1950s “hot rod” culture and memorabilia will celebrate Rockit Roost’s fifth annual Kustom Kulture Festival, June 1, 10 a.m., at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.
The festival features performances by 10 rockabilly bands, a Pinup Pageant, a classic car show, vendor booths, a kids’ zone, food and a beer garden. At 9 p.m. the party moves to the casino’s Beach Rock Lounge for live performances by Levi Dexter and Deke Dickerson. The festival is produced by Rockit Roost Productions of Kitsap County.
“My love for Kustom Kulture, a combination of 1950s rockabilly and hot rod counter culture, derived from my father’s love for hot rods and my mom’s 1950s fashion sense,” said Chuck Mitchell, Rockit Roost co-owner.
“Together with my wife, Hanah Reed, I opened the Rockit Roost store in the Kitsap Mall to sell clothing and accessories reminiscent of this era. We ran a pinup pageant in 2009 at the Silverdale Beach Hotel to promote the store, and this pageant has evolved into the Kustom Kulture Festival.”
Over the past five years, the festival has grown to include vintage car and motorcycle clubs from around the region, vendor booths and live music, drawing crowds of more than 2,500 festival enthusiasts and employing numerous local suppliers.
In 2012, Reed was honored with the Wowee Award by the Kitsap Visitors and Convention Bureau in recognition of her unique local event and its ability to attract out of area visitors.
Each year, Mitchell and Reed select a charity as a major event beneficiary, to receive proceeds from festival events. This year’s charity of choice is the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports wounded servicemen and women and their families.
The Pinup Pageant is a highlight of the festival. Pageant entrants are introduced on stage and mingle with the crowd throughout the day. Four winners are selected, three by judges and one by the audience. The Rockit Roost Queen, selected by Mitchell and Reed, will act as spokesmodel for the Rockit Roost store over the next year.
Pinups Against Cancer, a charitable group from Seattle, will crown a second winner. A third winner, “Tattooed Beauty,” will be selected by the Diamond Dolls pinup group of California.
The final winner will be a “People’s Choice.” Festival goers are invited to vote for their favorite pinup at the Clearwater Casino voting booth.
You can preview pinup contestants in a Facebook contest hosted by the Clearwater Casino. Go to www.facebook.com/ClearwaterCasino and click on the pinup contest icon to cast a vote for your favorite pinup photo.
Festival tickets are $20 and can be purchased at www.clearwatercasino.com. Children 12 and younger get in for free.