Local blackberry enthusiasts flocked to the Bremerton boardwalk over Labor Day weekend to get a taste of the 30th annual Blackberry Festival.
From its early origins three decades ago, the berry-fest has transformed into a prime Labor Day weekend event in Kitsap County.
In 2012, the Rotary Club of Bremerton took over management of the festival, which serves as one of the group’s two annual fundraisers for the Bremerton Rotary Foundation. The foundation provides scholarships for local students and donates thousands of dollars annually to local nonprofits, projects, parks, and events.
Last year nearly 15,000 people attended the Blackberry Festival, where blackberry merchandise, treats, and wine were all available for purchase. The Bremerton Rotary sold blackberry table wine and blackberry dessert wine, both bottled by Pasek Cellars of Mt. Vernon.
A festival favorite made a return as well, the “blackberry slugs,” a maple bar donut filled with blackberry filling and topped with whipped cream. Blackberry scones, pies, shortcakes and cobbler were also offered for hungry patrons to munch on. Blackberry beverages were available for purchase, such as blackberry soda, bubble tea, lemonade, and beer.
The Cloverleaf Sports Bar and Grill hosted a beer and wine garden atop the viewing platform near the marina office. Attendees were able to take in the entertainment, the marina, and the ferries all while sipping on a variety of beer and wine as well as blackberry themed cocktails.
The main stage offered presenters and performers all three days. Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler and Bremerton Rotary President Aaron Leavell gave a brief welcome to the visitors and helped kick off the three-day event Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. A family-area second stage was also available during the event for kids and family-friendly entertainment.