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Friendly competition fills S’Klallam Days

LITTLE BOSTON — For being one of the smaller festivals of the summer, last weekend’s S’Klallam Days was certainly as busy as the larger events that took place over the past three months.

Members of the North Kitsap community and area tribes came together on the Little Boston Reservation on Friday and Saturday to take part in the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s competition-filled celebration.

The event started off with the S’Klallam Days Princess Pageant on Friday night and four girls walking away with new sashes to parade for the next year. Ashley Seachord was awarded the Miss S’Klallam Days Princess title, with Cheryl Archambautt as Lil’ Miss S’Klallam Days Princess. The titles of Senior Princess went to Courtney Sullivan and Junior Princess went to Angelina Ives.

Saturday’s competitions started off early with the kids’ fishing derby and some pretty nifty awards to boot. The top winner (based on size) was Brad Ives, who caught the biggest salmon and walked away with a new CD player. Mikole Hendricks took second place, catching the biggest bullhead and winning a brand new TV. Third place went to Chris Sullivan, who was awarded a brand new bike for the large bullhead he caught. J.C. Fulton came in fourth place with his bullhead and won a fishing pole and tackle box and Gregory Hillier took fifth place for his bullhead and received a set of sports balls.

As the morning began to pull its sleepy blankets off, life in front of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Center did, too. The kids’ bike parade officially kicked off the day’s activities in town and was followed by an endless list of competitions including children’s games, men’s horseshoes and the candy scramble.

Youngsters couldn’t get involved in enough events and there always seemed to be something going on for them. If children weren’t pawing through the leftover pile of cedar chips for candy and quarters from the morning’s candy scramble, they were in line at the castle bouncer, waiting to jump around the large inflatable bounce house. Kids also hung out with the “Truth” anti-drug reps, receiving bags of freebies while listening to today’s hip-hop hits that were competing against the oldie-but-goodie tunes.

Of all the events, most people agreed the cake walk in the early afternoon was the best. Just about everyone from every age group scrambled into the tribal center to hop on the bright red numbered circles to try and win a cake. And with such a large selection of goodies, it took cake-walk winners like Sharmane Seachord more than a few minutes to pick the perfect prize.

But Dennis Jones, a Port Gamble Tribe member, said the strong man/woman competition was his favorite event of the day.

“The log toss is the best part of the strong man contest, but I can’t compete with all the young guys!” Jones said with a laugh, noting that it was great to see everyone come out and see other people from other reservations too.

“It’s good for the community to come to a drug-and-alcohol free environment,” added tribal member Misty Ives. “You interact with people you normally can’t. I look forward to it every year.”

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