Lokalfest celebrates everything North Kitsap

POULSBO — What’s a community to do when it has great people, great employees, great volunteers, great music and food? Why, of course, celebrate.

And that’s exactly what downtown Poulsbo plans to do on Sept. 9.

As a way of saying “thank you” to everyone who makes the community a great place to live, several sponsors have pulled together and planned Lokalfest, which they hope will become an annual event.

It’s a day of music on the waterfront, and a chance for downtown Poulsbo merchants and restaurants to give back to residents and volunteers, organizer Tammy Mattson said.

“It’s just one big, fat day of ‘Thank you,’ ” she said.

Mattson, who owns Tizley’s EuroPub in downtown Poulsbo, said the day grew out of an effort by the North Kitsap community in April 2016 to save what was then KPLU and make it a public radio station.

“Thirty-two shops worked together to raise the money needed to keep the station from being sold,” Mattson said. “It was just a stellar example of a community coming together to support a cause.”

Because of that work, the station, now known as KNKX, wanted to do something to thank its supporters in this area. They reached out to her and plans got underway.

“At the same time, the Downtown Poulsbo Association wanted to do something to thank its customers,” she said. “We have tourists in the summer and at Christmas time who buy in Poulsbo, but we really live and die by the locals. This is our way to say ‘thank you’ to those who support us all year long.”

Additionally, there was a desire to thank those in the community who give hours of their time volunteering for various causes.

“So much happens here because of volunteers,” Mattson said. “And we have some very special ‘uber volunteers’ who really take care of the community. We want to highlight that also.”

Events begin at 11 a.m. and will continue throughout the day until 11 p.m.

Enjoy your favorite of 17 food establishments, three downtown breweries, wine shops, art galleries, and other local makers of foods, fabrics and fun. Activities are planned for children, and handcrafted works by local artists and artisans will be for sale.

The festive art walk will take place from 5-8 p.m. Buskers will bring Front Street alive, adding their musical touch to the festivities.

A musical evening will offer local roots music (jazz and American culture music) at Austin-Kvelstad Pavilion at Muriel Iverson Williams Waterfront Park. Music will begin at 3 p.m. and will include a lineup of five bands, providing a free evening of fun for all ages.

Among those scheduled to perform: Ranger &The Re-Arrangers, Less Paulish Trio, and the Mark Lewis Quartet. Local indie dream-pop artists Lemolo takes the stage at 7:30 p.m., and the evening tops off with headliner Pearl Django at 9:15 p.m.

“These musicians are local to our area,” Mattson said. “Meagan Grandall, who is part of Lemolo, grew up on the Lemolo Shore, just about a mile from downtown Poulsbo. And those in the Mark Lewis Quartet all live and work near here.”

The radio station will be at the event to say its own thanks.

“We are excited to announce that our community partner, KNKX 88.5 FM, Seattle’s jazz and blues radio station, will be by our side through the evening, with on-air staff Abe Beeson, Robin Lloyd and Ed Ronco,” a chamber spokesman said.

Don’t worry about the crowd. All parking and roads will remain open and accessible. Those attending are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair, and plan on getting to town early to secure a favorite viewing spot in the park for this day of music and fun.

Key event sponsors — Gresham Pump &Drilling, Valley Nursery Inc., Blue Heron Jewelers, Peninsula Paint, Kitsap Printing, and Central Market — are the reason the event is free, Mattson said. Other sponsors are Historic Downtown Poulsbo, VisitKitsap.com, and Kitsap News Group.

— Leslie Kelly is specialty publication editor for Kitsap News Group. Contact her at lkelly@soundpublishing.com.