Fathoms Festival’s summer events confirmed for 2021

Organizers picking up where COVID restrictions end

By Mike De Felice

Special to Kitsap Daily News

PORT ORCHARD – With the COVID-19 pandemic slowly fading in our collective rear window, the capstone grand parade along Port Orchard’s Bay Street, an assortment of car shows and weekly concerts at the waterfront are returning this summer as part of planned events for the 2021 Fathoms O’ Fun Festival season.

“We are really excited about bringing events back,” said Sharron King, who is the chair of the Fathoms O’ Fun Festival, a responsibility she has held for 10 years. “Everyone is chomping at the bit to get out and take them in.”

Here is a rundown of events that have been slated to take place this summer:

July 18: Wheels on the Waterfront car show

The inaugural Fathoms ‘O Fun car show is planned for 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sunday, July 18. The display will be at South Kitsap High School’s stadium parking lot.

Bouncy toys and food and craft vendors will be featured. Fathoms Royalty princesses will be there to paint sand dollars with the kids.

Originally, the car show was to have been at Port Orchard’s waterfront but that location was scratched due to receiving late approval during the pandemic by officials, planners said. Next year, the car show is expected to be held near the Port Orchard Marina. The advance entry fee for the car show is $20 per vehicle. Twenty-five specialty awards will be given and the first 150 entries will earn dash plaques. Entry applications are available at fathomsofun.org.

Aug. 8: Cruz Car Show, Festival by the Bay

The 33rd annual Cruz car show, featuring a sparkling array of transportation, will take place on the Port Orchard waterfront. Hot rods, street rods — from custom to stock — bicycles, motorcycles and trucks will be showcased. The display will run from Port Orchard City Hall to the waterfront’s gazebo. Spectator admission is free.

Trophies will be awarded in 60 categories and dash plaques will be given to all entrants, Roger Jensen, director of the Saints Car Club, said. The car club, a mainstay in the area, was formed in the early 1950s.

Registration for entrants begins from 7 a.m. to noon on the morning of the show. The cost is $20.

In past years, the event has featured up to 600 entries. Vehicles from out-of-state and around Washington have been displayed. The primary sponsor of the Cruz event is Kitsap Bank. Proceeds from the event go primarily to nonprofits in South Kitsap, Jensen said.

The Festival by the Bay, a Fathoms ‘O Fun event that brings food and craft vendors to Bay Street, will be held in conjunction with the car show. A dunk tank will also be part of the festival. Port Orchard Police Chief Matt Brown volunteered to be a dunk tank victim, according to organizers. The dunk tank is a fundraiser for Fathoms royalty. Proceeds will go to provide college scholarships to royalty members.

The Fathoms ‘O Fun festival float will be on display. The nautical-themed float titled, “Making Waves,” features an octopus ready to serve at a soda bar in a Tiki Hut. The float was designed by Larry Lewis and his crew.

Every Thursday evening: Concerts by the Bay

Music lovers can enjoy a wide variety of music Thursdays at the Fathoms ‘O Fun’s Concerts by the Bay event. Music provided by classic rock, jazz and blues bands, as well as from an Elvis impersonator, take to the stage Thursdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m., through Sept. 2. Groups perform at the Port of Bremerton’s Port Orchard Waterfront Park gazebo.

Concerts take place rain or shine; admission and parking are free. Some bands attract audiences of up to 700. For details, visit fathomsofun.org.

Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 4-6: Grand Parade, 5-K Run, Fun Follies

The traditional Fathoms Grand Parade and companion 5-K race highlight the Fathoms O’ Fun Labor Day weekend festival (all Labor Day weekend events are tentative pending city approval, according to King).

The Grand Parade is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4. It will wind down Bay Street in Port Orchard. The annual event has featured upwards of 1,200 participants. Nurses are being sought to be the grand marshals for the 54th annual parade. Applications to be a marshal are available at fathomsofun.org.

The Fall Follies craft and vendor show is planned for the Sept. 4-6 weekend along the Port Orchard waterfront.

Sept. 5: Seagull Splat 5-K Run/Walk

The Seagull Splat 5-K Run/Walk is set to start at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 5. Registration will take place at Marina Park.

Sept. 5: South Kitsap Chamber of Commerce’s Seagull Calling Contest

Rounding out the holiday week will be the Chamber of Commerce annual Seagull calling contest near the gazebo. Time is to be determined.