Arts and Entertainment

Bainbridge, Poulsbo street dances provide music to get you groovin’

Coldnote frontman Caine and crew, a band that
Coldnote frontman Caine and crew, a band that's played numerous Kitsap summer festivals this year, will be one of three bands jammin' the rooftops of Poulsbo for the Dance of the Decades Aug. 16.
— image credit: Staff Photo/Bill Mickelson

Old-fashioned summer street dances take root this weekend in downtown Poulsbo and Bainbridge.


Even though the city turns the ripe old age of 100 this year, that doesn’t mean it can’t still shake it.

The exclamation point of Poulsbo’s centennial celebration is a downtown-encompassing, all-ages, free admission family street dance starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 that will put bands on the roof and dancing in the streets. Not to mention food in people’s bellies as Front Street restaurateurs will be open for an all-encompassing Taste of Poulsbo type of menu accompanying an all-ages beverage garden.

Organizers say it’s looking like Little Norway’s biggest party ever — the event of the century.

Attendees are encouraged to come dressed in the gear of their favorite decade — including dancing shoes — while downtown Poulsbo, itself, will be decked out vintage, with hanging lanterns, checkerboard tablecloths and more.

At the intersection of Front Street and Jensen Way, near the iconic “Velkommen til Poulsbo” mural and entrance to the Anderson Parkway, the roof of the old Landmark building has been transformed into a bandstand by Centennial organizer Bill Austin and crew and will feature the groove of three different bands on the evening — the Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, Soul Siren and Viking Fest regulars Cold Note.

In other news: traffic will be gnarly. Front Street will be closed from 5 p.m. to midnight that night for the festivities. If you’re planning on attending, there will be a steady stream of Kitsap Transit buses from Office Max in Poulsbo’s College Park and Christ Memorial Church on Poulsbo’s 8th Ave.



In 2003, the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council gave a grant to the local Island Music Guild to put on a summer street dance in Town Square. Now it’s a bonafide Bainbridge tradition.

That first year they featured a hot-hot-hot Cuban salsa orchestra in mid July. The next year the street dance, scheduled for Sept. 17, was rained out and rescheduled for Oct. 23 featuring the South of Kingston trio and the IMG’s own band created for the dance, called Squire Ludwig and the Systems.

A year after that, in 2005, there was no dance was scheduled and it looked as though the fledgling tradition may have burned out.

Then Music Community Resources, a new nonprofit on the island picked up the torch in 2006 featuring another Cajun crew, a Creoloe and Zydeco-style band called Whozyamama. In 2007, the street dance celebrated the 40th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love with a DJ spinning 60s favorites.

This year, Whozyamama is back again, from 6-10 p.m. Aug. 17, playing two-steps and waltzes in the dirty south style, while TaTu BBQ will provide the grub.

Admission is $8, kids free at the Bainbridge Town Square.


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