Daniel Johnson / Contributed

Daniel Johnson / Contributed

Pie in the Park represents Kingston community values | Village Green Update

If you attended the ninth annual Pie in the Park event Aug. 10, you experienced Kingston in its purest form.

Throughout the experience, I kept hearing, “Only in Kingston.”

If you are hearing about Pie in the Park for the first time, here it is in a nutshell: it’s a free, come-as-you-are event in the Village Green Park. Families with young children arrive first for pie-themed games like a pie-eating contest and pie walk.

Later, everyone else shows up (many with the family dog) to connect with friends, taste pie and bid on silent auction items. This year, somewhere near 300 people attended.

The pie, ice cream, and food is free — donation only. All is made possible by Mimi Smith-Danielson, The Ale House, and Cup &Muffin.

Then comes the main event — the pie auction.

Local financial manager Clint Boxman serves as auctioneer. Firefighters from North Kitsap Fire &Rescue, in true Vanna White style, exhibit the pies. The top bidder gets to pick their two favorite pies to take home. That honor went for a mere $5,400 — that’s right, $5,400! And so it went, auctioning off 26 pies made by local bakers. The total take was nearly $40,000.

The money raised goes toward paying off the remaining debt of the $9 million community center that houses the Boys &Girls Club, Kingston branch library, and Senior Center. It has all been raised by the community!

If you live in Kingston, this all seems normal, but it is not normal for a rural community to join with their neighbors on a decade-long journey to raise this kind of money with the goal of connecting and strengthening the community.

Some kids who watched as their parents paid $1,000 for a pie might have been thinking it was time to have Dad evaluated for making irrational business decisions. However, I would argue that, in fact, those kids are thinking this is what a community does when there is a need bigger than them.

So, the hundred or so kids playing games at the park are growing up in families and in a community where you roll up your sleeves and do your part. That is Kingston’s pipeline of next-generation leaders.

The 20-year-old friend of my daughters, who came to volunteer, commented, “I didn’t know places like this existed. I want to live here someday!” as she scrolled through Kingston Zillow listings on her smartphone.

Only in Kingston.

— Daniel Johnson is executive director of the Village Green Foundation. Contact him at danielrjohnson4@gmail.com.

Daniel Johnson / Contributed

Daniel Johnson / Contributed

More in Life

.
Pandemic spurs a literary family affair

Banner Forest author, son and daughter team up to produce three fanciful children’s books

x
Best of South Kitsap 2020

The winners of the Best of South Kitsap 2020 contest have been… Continue reading

.
Bobbie Stewart: An unassuming trailblazer

Determination, hard work were keys to her pioneering work as an LPGA Master instructor

x
COMING SOON: Rent or Mortgage for a Year Sweepstakes

Enter for your chance to win $15,000 starting Nov. 16!

x
Best of North Kitsap 2020

The winners of the Best of North Kitsap 2020 contest have been… Continue reading

x
Best of Central Kitsap 2020

The winners of the Best of Central Kitsap 2020 contest have been… Continue reading

z
Best of Bainbridge Island 2020

The winners of the Best of Bainbridge Island 2020 contest have been… Continue reading

x
Winners announced in the Kitsap County Pet Photo Contest!

The winners of the Kitsap County Pet Photo Contest, sponsored by the… Continue reading

x
Vote now in the Kitsap County Pet Photo Contest!

Submit photos through Oct. 18; vote for your favorites Oct. 19-24

Free online jazz festival this month
Free online jazz festival this month

The fourth annual Within/Earshot Jazz Festival dedicated to the traditions and future… Continue reading

Fathoms Royalty Court finding new ways for fun
Fathoms Royalty Court finding new ways for fun

Queen and her court wave to Bay Street motorists

Take part in Fathoms float, Royalty Court drive-by on Saturday
Take part in Fathoms float, Royalty Court drive-by on Saturday

Celebrate team’s efforts for 2020 with a wave