Mayor Rob Putaansuu of Port Orchard rifles in a sizzler in an effort to drop the city’s Police Chief Matt Brown into the dunk tank. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Mayor Rob Putaansuu of Port Orchard rifles in a sizzler in an effort to drop the city’s Police Chief Matt Brown into the dunk tank. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

A comeback for the CRUZ

33rd Annual Saints CRUZ Car Show returns to downtown Port Orchard

PORT ORCHARD — For the first time in two years, Bay Street vacated its usual stream of vehicles on a Sunday in favor of hundreds of classic cars parked in every available downtown parking spot — polished and pretty — for the thousands of onlookers at the CRUZ Car Show and Festival By The Bay activities.

The 33rd Annual Saints CRUZ Car Show is one of Kitsap County’s largest entertainment events of the summer, according to organizers, and typically draws up to 10,000 car fanatics to the Port Orchard downtown waterfront. The demand by auto fanciers for a look at hundreds of classic cars was particularly strong this year since the event was canceled last summer due to the pandemic.

Also there to catch the attention of visitors were dozens of arts and crafts booths, food tents and musical entertainment, including Manchester pre-teen Anika, who has gained a measure of attention for her YouTube music video “I Miss You.”

Even Port Orchard and fire district officials got into the act at the dunk tank. Police Chief Matt Brown and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Jeff Faucett donned their uniforms and gamely sat on the hot seat above the tank awaiting a sharp-eyed pitcher to send said official into the water.

One such pitcher was Mayor Rob Putaansuu, who wound up and sent some sizzlers inside the strike zone, sending Brown downward. And where did Putaansuu learn to put the hot sauce and mustard on his fastball? The mayor said his years of pitching practice with his Little League-aged son came in handy on this day, although he admitted his slider was a little rusty after being off the mound for several years.

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Manchester singer Anika (left) is joined by the Fathoms O’ Fun Festival princesses following her performance at the summer festival on Sunday. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

Manchester singer Anika (left) is joined by the Fathoms O’ Fun Festival princesses following her performance at the summer festival on Sunday. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

A couple and their curious dachshund meander along Bay Street in downtown Port Orchard during the CRUZ Car Show and Fathoms Festival By The Bay activities on Sunday. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

A couple and their curious dachshund meander along Bay Street in downtown Port Orchard during the CRUZ Car Show and Fathoms Festival By The Bay activities on Sunday. (Bob Smith | Kitsap Daily News)

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