Fathoms O’ Fun festival, parade set for June 24-25

We are in need of volunteers as many would like to retire

By Sharron King

For the Port Orchard Independent

It’s Fathoms O’ Fun Summer Festival time, and the 54th annual Grand Parade is coming June 24.

Many activities are taking place June 24-25 in downtown Port Orchard. We are planning for a great Craft & Vendor Show on the waterfront so you can come shop beginning that Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Bremerton Bridge Blast is that Saturday night around 10, and we have invited vendors to stay open up until then, although some may choose to close earlier. Then, on that Sunday, the vendor show opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. See our schedule of events for those days at www.fathomsofun.org

Our parade, sponsored by Kitsap Federal Credit Union, begins at 6 p.m. that Saturday on Bay Street, starting at Port Orchard Boulevard/Highway 166 and ending at the intersection of Bay and Bethel. The parade expects to have up to half a dozen out-of-town floats.

My heartfelt thanks to all the great volunteers and to the board members who work so tirelessly during the parade, as well as the nearly 700-plus folks who are in the parade itself. We are still trying to bring our parade numbers up to pre-COVID numbers of over 1,000 parade participants. Other parades on the Peninsula have experienced low numbers as well. But it’s still a dang good parade, and we love putting it on for you!

Unfortunately, our very own Fathoms O’ Fun Float will be missing from the parade this year because we could not find any indoor area where we could rebuild it for the new theme. We were at the mercy of the outdoor weather elements since November. In addition, our usual float builder is facing serious health issues and is unable to help. We are still hoping an indoor location can be found and a couple more good volunteers to see what we can come up with for the parade. Message information@fathomsofun.org if you are interested.

Concerts by the Bay

Our Concerts by the Bay series started June 1 and will continue each Thursday from 6:30-8 p.m. through Aug. 31. Our concerts are free and will go on through rain or sunshine. Go to our website at www.fathomsofun.org for full the concert listing.

Not only can you enjoy our beautiful waterfront, you also can just kick back and visit with your friends, make new friends, watch the kids play in the park…all as you listen to the great music. Sponsors include the Port of Bremerton, city of Port Orchard, Kitsap Bank, Peninsula Credit Union, Waterman Mitigation Partners, and Edward Jones/Denette Chu.

July 1 activities

Take in the great Vendor Show on the waterfront from 9 a.m. up to the Fireworks Show over Sinclair Inlet around 10 p.m. There will also be three bands playing, beginning at 4 p.m. up until the fireworks. Performing will be the Foundlings, Bonefish and the Tonze.

ASTOUND Broadband for the 15th year is again sponsoring the fireworks. Each year the fireworks show brings a lot of activity to the downtown waterfronts in Port Orchard and Bremerton. If residents in both cities go to our website and click on the “Donate” button, we could put on a larger show next year. We really need community support due to the rising costs of shells and shipping. This show has been free to the public for over 30 years.

Hot rods at high school

On July 16, we will have our 3rd annual Hot Rods at the High School at the South Kitsap north stadium parking lot from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Not only will we feature great custom hot rods and beautiful vehicles, but we will also have a great Vendor Show with food, crafts and more. We will also feature “Hat Full of rain” playing for you all day. Vendors and car show applications are available on our website.

The work of Fathoms

Fathoms O’ Fun’s purpose is to present family recreational activities for the community and to encourage leadership skills and scholarship among our youth.

We are technically 57 years old but had to miss two parades and events due to COVID.

It is hard to imagine all the hours that go into making these events happen. Our Fathoms O’ Fun Royal Court puts in many public appearances, and they can be seen at all of our events and many more community events. Thank you to the Royal Court members and their families for their dedication.

In November, Fathoms will host the 10th annual “Breakfast with Santa” at the Eagles Hall on Jackson Street to help raise funds for our Royalty Scholarship Program. Not only will you get to enjoy a great breakfast, but you will also get the opportunity to have a professional photo taken with Santa by Irene’s Photos & Design and take a chance on some great raffle items.

Our Community Easter Egg Hunt in April was a success regardless of the rain, and it did rain. We had 387 kids registered for the hunt, and they came from as far away as Chehalis and Bellingham. Thanks to the Kitsap Live Steamers who reported an awesome turnout of folks who rode their train during Easter Egg Hunt. Sponsors not already mentioned were: Soroptimist International of Port Orchard, Port Orchard Rotary, South Kitsap Rotary, the morning Kiwanis Club, Dana Soyat/Windermere, Trina Knoche/Farmer’s Insurance, Carter’s Chocolates, and the high school’s Navy Junior ROTC.

The events that Fathoms O’ Fun puts on would not happen without sponsorship support, the names of which I’ve already mentioned except for Friends of the Concerts.

My personal thanks and accolades to each volunteer board member: Jon Hohol – vice chair and Concerts by the Bay; Karen Aquino – treasurer and seamstress for the Royal Court; Deloris Mattson – buttons and pins; Larry Lewis – float builder and director; Helene Jensen – pageant director and Fathoms graphics; Erin Hohol, pageant assistant; Bob Morehouse – all vendor shows; Scott Lucke – secretary, Seagull Splat Run and South Kitsap Fire & Rescue volunteers Hot Foot 5K Run chair; Christopher Nitz – Car Show director; Rick Velasco— signs and parking; Amy Bodlorick—royalty assistant.

And, by the way, we are always looking for volunteers who have a heart to serve and are dedicated to a commitment, so don’t hesitate to call 360-871-1805 or email: information@fathomsofun.org. Fathoms has some board members who are looking to retire, including me, so please step up.

Sharron King is chair of the Fathoms O’ Fun Festival