Septemberfest learns merit of being for kids

POULSBO — After weeks of waiting and worrying, Septemberfest organizers were all smiles about the festival’s return to Little Norway last weekend.

“There was a lot of hard work this year,” said Septemberfest Chair Kathi Foresee. “It was a lot of time and it was an uphill battle to get this back again.”

Septemberfest kicked off in 2000, but the second-annual event failed to materialize under the weight of organizational and promotional problems.

This year, supporters were ready to give it another try with a three-day event aimed toward children and families.

Foresee said the theme was a hit with the steady stream of festival-goers that came to the Poulsbo waterfront for things like $5 bicycle helmets, a talent show, arts and crafts, carnival rides and games, and the chance to sink Miss Viking Fest and her court in the dunk tank.

“I feel that we’ve finally found our niche. We finally found what our goal is,” said Foresee, adding that organizers intend to continue with an emphasis on safety and literacy for future Septemberfests.

Parents were equally pleased with the event’s kid-friendly fare.

Katherine Wood of Kingston and her daughter Cora White sat together at the craft tables sponsored in part by Home Depot and strung colorful macaroni for a necklace. Wood said she hadn’t been to the previous Septemberfest, but was impressed with the number of free activities this year.

“I didn’t realize there would be so many crafts,” Wood remarked. “This is so great. She can do stuff like this instead of eating cotton candy and other fair things.”

But even the carnival rides and games were geared toward younger kids.

Gail Chafe of Local Savings Connection, who volunteered to create the web site for the event, brought her two kids to the celebration for two full days and said they never got bored.

“I think it’s been great for the kids. The promoters really went out of their way to make it kid friendly and family friendly,” Chafe said.

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