9th annual Keyport Fest draws in youth and car enthusiasts

All proceeds from festival go toward maintenance of Keyport Parks and North Kitsap High School band

Local car enthusiasts, beer fanatics, and families gathered in Torpedo Town, USA, last Saturday for the ninth Keyport Festival.

The event is put on by the Keyport Improvement Club and it provides a plethora of activities for all walks of life to enjoy. Numerous local vendors lined the streets to offer their goods and services, and all manner of performers played their tunes throughout the six-hour festival. A beer garden was also available for those who wanted to sit back and sip some suds. Some of the performers included the North Kitsap High School Marching Band, Navy Band Northwest, and the Kapana Pu’uwai Dancers.

Another important aspect of the festival is the devotion to kids’ activities. Naval Base Kitsap Divers were on hand to play tic-tac-toe with kids while underwater, the Port of Keyport conducted a fishing derby, and Kitsap County Citizen’s on Patrol set up a spot to interact with the local community.

“Keyport Fest is really geared toward kids and kids activities, which is so much fun,” said Keyport Improvement Club Vice President Claire Ward.

Perhaps the biggest draw among adults is the Classic Car Show. Stock and custom cars spanning the 20th Century were on display up and down the streets with flashy paint schemes and nostalgic designs. Foreign cars, sports cars, and trucks were also available for viewing. Numerous car awards were handed out at the end of the event. In 2018, the car show drew a whopping 74 entries.

Ward said the weather managed to hold up somewhat, which really helped the community response.

“It’s really a deciding factor for how things go,” she said. “A couple of years ago all the tents were blown away.”

Keyport Fest is an all-volunteer fundraising effort with all proceeds going toward maintenance in Keyport’s parks, North Kitsap High School Marching Band program, and other local programs that support the Keyport community. In 2018, the festival earned nearly $6,000 to support those programs.

“It’s not going to be the Puyallup Fair, but I think it’s pretty great for the size of our community,” Ward said.

In terms of goals and ideas going forward for Keyport Fest, Ward said the festival is still in its early stages and the Keyport Improvement Club is considering a couple of things for future events.

“Every year we try something new, so some parts were better this year and some parts were not as good,” she said. “It’s still a pretty young festival so we’re learning that the music and beer garden are things that people really have fun with.”

“I would love to expand the beer garden and have more local breweries because that’s such a Northwest thing to do,” she added.

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