“Party at the Pier” kicks off summer

Summer officially doesn’t start until Friday, but for students in the Central Kitsap area, summer began Tuesday at the “Party at the Pier.”

Summer officially doesn’t start until Friday, but for students in the Central Kitsap area, summer began Tuesday at the “Party at the Pier.”

Hundreds of students and volumes of volunteers spent Tuesday at the Silverdale Waterfront, in Old Town Silverdale, dancing, playing sports and video games and sitting in the sun.

The party, an annual celebration, is sponsored by a number of local businesses as a way to give students a safe place to enjoy the end of the school year.

“We wanted something fun to do to kick off the summer,” said Natalie Zimmer, who attended the Party at the Pier with her friends on Tuesday. She will be going into 8th grade in the fall.

Each person who attended was asked to register before entering, a task done through the use of smart phones.

The check-in was to provide organizers with an accurate number of people attending the party, as well as to let the Central Kitsap Fire Department know how many people were at the event throughout the day for safety purposes.

The committee planning the party  arranged to have a Kitsap County Sheriff’s officers present and volunteers who to act as security throughout the park, just to keep things in order. Sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that there were no major incidents.

As a part of the program, students received food vouchers for pizza or tacos from Taco Bell. Attendees  had the option of buying snacks from a couple different stands on different sides of the party area.

But for most kids, eating was just a sideshow to all that was happening.

Some took part in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with the help of the Kitsap Admirals. Others decided to dance the day away to the sounds of DJ Scott Fijolek. He hosted the dance contest and he led students in “cheesy dances” to songs like “YMCA” and “Greased Lightning.”

Behind the dancing area were inflatable structures for anyone who wanted to sumo-wrestle, staff-fight or go through obstacle courses, as well as a Go Army football throwing area and a place designated for racing remote-controlled cars.

Some kids spent their party time at the video game truck with options including “Mario Kart” and “Halo.”

Even the weather cooperated for the party.

Because of the waterfront park location, plenty of students just sat in the grass enjoying the sun, playing on the see-saw, swing-set and jungle gym or walking along the beach.

The most popular activity at the party, though, was the music and dancing area.

Kiara Stribinger said that the thing she looked forward to most was dancing. Stribinger was a contestant in the “dance-off.”

The party gave some students time with their friends before they part for summer.

“One of my friends is moving to Virginia,” said Ridgetop Junior High student Jonathan Madamba. “So it’s like my last time to hang out with him.”