PORT GAMBLE — Friendly competitions and races will be taking over the Port Gamble Indian Reservation this weekend, helping end the summer and kicking off the fall season with everything from a fishing derby to a princess pageant.
“It’s always been a very popular event for the community,” said Shannon Harshman, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe wellness program officer manager who is helping organize the festival. The September festival, she added, is a time for the families and community to come together and have fun.
The evening of Friday, Sept. 20 will hold several events, starting off with a salmon dinner at 4:30 p.m. Then local ladies will be getting their sashes ready for the princess pageant at 6 p.m., with tribal members contestants vying for the different titles of S’Klallam Days Princess, Little Miss, Junior and Senior Princess.
Sportman-type competitions kick off an activity-filled Saturday morning with a fishing derby at 7 a.m. at Point Julia. Top fisher will net a trophy as well.
About 10 a.m., the rest of the friendly-competitive day continues, with something for everyone in front of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Center.
Booths will invite the crowds to come play and compete in just about everything, including a home run derby complete with an adjustable level pitcher.
Whoever has the most homeruns wins the competition, said Harshman.
Promote mind-defying human strengths in the strong man/strong woman contest at 11 a.m. or vote on the best clam chowder and homemade bread from the kitchen’s of tribal elders at the Elder Chowder/Bread Cook off at noon.
Folks are invited to bring their most unique skills to show off at the talent show, which hits the amphitheater stage at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Ellen Price of the tribe’s wellness center said it is an alcohol-drug free event and quite appropriate for families.
“It’s just a lot of fun to visit with everyone and to get together and have a good time,” she said.
Information will be available about any event’s whereabouts and vendors will be selling everything from T-shirts and food to artwork. The money raised at the festival will go toward next year’s S’Klallam’s Days Festivities.
“I just hope the weather holds out,” Harshman said with a laugh. “It can rain on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, just not Friday and Saturday.”