Participants in the 2016 Bremerton St. Patrick’s Day parade pass out gold coins to spectators. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

Hunt for 1,000 gold coins for St. Paddy’s Day in downtown Bremerton

BREMERTON — This St. Patrick’s Day weekend, gather your kids and hunt around downtown Bremerton for lucky leprechaun gold.

A thousand gold pieces will be hidden in planters, window ledges, bushes and other nooks and crannies along the 26th Street Patrick’s Day parade route.

“The Downtown Bremerton Association has been planning the St. Patrick’s Day parade for (about) the last six years,” said Gina Schulz of Better Properties Kitsap, Inc., and a DBA member. “We’re just a bunch of volunteers who want to get the community (to visit) downtown and plan fun activities for them to do.”

Schulz said that for the parade, she has often handed out gold coins to young spectatorskids.

“It kind of evolved into hiding them downtown, in the planters, in window ledges…” she said. “This year, there was an idea to have a passport where kids can get the coins and go to participating businesses, where they can cash in the gold coins for a prize. A piece of candy, a sticker, etc.”

The passports will be made by Bremerton Letterpress, Co.

Liberty Bay Books is one of the participating businesses. Kate Daniels, an employee at the bookstore, said they were among the first to get involved in the hunt. The DBA approached them due to their Where’s Waldo event in July 2016, which had a similar theme of visiting local participating businesses for prizes.

Daniels said she thinks participating in these events is really good for the community.

“Part of this bringing back of downtown Bremerton is doing fun events that the people actually want to stick around for,” she said. “They can shop anywhere, but they can’t do a hunt for gold coins anywhere. That’s something they can only get in the downtown community.”

Daniels said Liberty Bay Books will be awarding prizes of bookmarks, stickers, coupons and even an advanced reader copy of a book (which are provided to booksellers before the book is published), depending on how many coins are turned in.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade will start at 11 a.m. March 18 at Sixth Street and Pacific Avenue. The route will take the parade from that intersection toward Fourth Street, then from Fourth to Park Avenue.

“All the usual suspects are back,” Shulz said, including the unicyclist club, Shriners, school groups and local businesses. “It’s a lot of fun.”

She said in past years, people have come downtown for the parade but often leave immediately afterward.

“We want to capture their attention,” she said. “We try and focus the parade on highlighting the local community resources we have.

“The DBA, that’s our mission: to create a family friendly, community-oriented downtown.”

To learn more about the Downtown Bremerton Association, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, or the hunt for a thousand gold coins, visit www.downtownbremerton.org.

Michelle Beahm is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at mbeahm@soundpublishing.com.

Girls spectating the 2016 Bremerton St. Patrick’s Day parade receive gold coins from a participant. Michelle Beahm / Kitsap News Group

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