By DANNIE OLIVEAUX
The Olalla Bluegrass and Beyond Festival will celebrate 23 years of music and fun for the whole family on Aug. 16 at the South Kitsap Southern Little League Field.
The all-day event brings together some of the best bluegrass bands in the Northwest, plus food and craft vendors, old time crafts demonstrations, lots of kids activities and homemade berry pies.
For the first time, Harbor WildWatch will bring their saltwater touch tank filled with critters that live in the waters around Olalla and Gig Harbor, according to festival founder Charlee Glock-Jackson,
“Children and grown-ups alike will enjoy learning about the marine environment and sea stars, sea cucumbers, clams, mussels and other local sea life,” said Glock-Jackson.
There will be lots of other “kiddo-related” activities, she said.
The Kitsap County Stream Team will also be on hand to talk about Olalla Creek and other streams that flow through the area.
The popular berry pie contest is always a highlight of the festival.
“It wouldn’t be Olalla without our berry pies,” said Heli Anderson, the festival’s Pie Queen. “Olalla means ‘place with many berries’ and every year we honor that heritage by holding a contest to find the finest berry pie in all the land.”
Entries must be made entirely from scratch from berries of any kind — no other fruits or cream fillings are allowed. Prizes are awarded to the top three pies and the winning pie is auctioned off during the event.
“We have some really good prizes this year,” Anderson said. “And our judges are looking forward to having some especially fine pies to sample, so it will be hard to choose the best one.”
But the main focus of OlallaFest is the music.
The festival attracts some of the best bands from the Northwest and beyond, as word has spread that it’s “the best one-day gig in the Northwest,” according to one band member.
The award-winning Clumsy Lovers, from Vancouver, B.C., will headline this year’s festival.
Also playing at this year’s event is Rural Delivery, a band from Kitsap County, The Cottonwood Cutups and BarleyWine Revue of Tacoma, Jim Faddis and Farmstrong of Sequim, The Dodgy Mountain Men of Missoula, Mont., and Mo Dixon of White Salmon.
Longtime favorites, Eclectic Cloggers with Moonshine and Turpentine, are slated to appear.
Tickets are $12-$50 at the gate and children under age 6 are free. Advance ticket discounts at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com).
Parking is $3 per car and will be collected by the Little League. Camping is $10 per night (no hook-ups) and no dogs are allowed.
For information visit www.olallabluegrass.com or call 253-857-5604.
The Olalla Bluegrass and Beyond Festival benefits the non-profit Olalla Community Club, local music programs and other good-works organizations in the South Kitsap and Gig Harbor community.
10 a.m. Gates open
11 a.m. The Cottonwood Cutups
Noon: Eclectic Cloggers with Moonshine & Turpentine
12:45 p.m. Berry Pie contest and auction
1 p.m. Jim Faddis & Farmstrong
2 p.m. Moe Dixon
3 p.m. Kiddos Parade
3:30 p.m. Rural Delivery
4:30 p.m. BarleyWine Revue
5:30 p.m. The Dodgy Mountain Men
7 p.m. The Clumsy Lovers