Port Gamble: 160 years young and looking great

Happy birthday, Port Gamble! You look great for being 160 years young.

Happy birthday, Port Gamble! You look great for being 160 years young.

That’s right — Port Gamble is turning 160 on Sept. 4. The charming New England-style town on the shores of Gamble Bay has evolved from a thriving mill town into one of the Northwest’s most distinctive tourist destinations. In honor of the town’s founding on Sept. 4, 1853, the Port Gamble Historical Museum will offer a special admission price of $1.60 from Sept. 1-7.

In addition to celebrating this milestone birthday, Port Gamble will offer plenty of exciting events through September, so plan to come by and squeeze the last bit of summer before settling into the back-to-school routine.

Cruise Port Gamble will continue its weekly meet-ups Thursday evenings throughout September (Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26). Join car buffs from across Kitsap County as they show off their classic, new or unique cars on the lawns beside Mike’s Four Star BBQ and Gamble Bay Coffee. It’s a wonderful setting where owners and onlookers can mingle and chat about cars over BBQ or coffee. This weekly event is free and open to everyone.

And if you’re truly a car fanatic, don’t miss the Doug Barley Memorial Car Show sponsored by Early Irons Car Club. The show, named this year in honor of the late Doug Barley, takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 8, in Port Gamble. This event is open to all cars and motorcycles and benefits the North Kitsap Boys & Girls Club. For information, please call 360- 698-6608.

If you’re in the market for a terrific used kayak, stop by Olympic Outdoor Center Sept. 7-8 for its annual used kayak sale at their store, on Main Street in Port Gamble. Kayaking is the perfect way to enjoy Kitsap County’s unique water trail, one of the best in the nation. For more information, visit Olympic Outdoor Center on Main Street or call 360-297-4659.

Alive After 5, Port Gamble’s free summer concert series, wraps up its awesome second season with The Julie Duke Band from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 12, on the observation deck. Come out early to stake out a good seat, bring a picnic or grab dinner-to-go from one of the delicious restaurants in town.

The Artful Ewe II is offering a class in weaving Sept. 17 at its location in Port Gamble. For details, please call the store at 360-643-0183.

Old Mill Days, one of Port Gamble’s most popular annual events, returns for its ninth year with a slew of new events. This year’s event, Sept. 27-29 in Port Gamble, features chainsaw and ice carving events, a lumberjack competition, an amateur mixed martial arts fight, carnival rides for the kiddies, a car show and loads of live music. For information on events and tickets, please visit www.oldmilldays.com.

Interested in saying “I do” in Port Gamble? Port Gamble Weddings will hold its annual open house from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 28, at the Hood Canal Vista Pavilion. This is a perfect opportunity to tour the wedding facilities at Port Gamble, meet our preferred wedding vendors and get the answer you need to plan your perfect Port Gamble wedding from our experienced staff.

If you think you have what it takes to win the title of the Northwest’s Best Fruitcake, then don’t miss the annual Port Gamble Fruitcake Contest, the oldest and most prestigious contest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Fruitcakes are drenched in history as well as rum. In the Bahamas, for example, all of the candied fruit, walnuts and raisins for the cake are soaked in dark rum for up to three months! When the cake comes out of the oven, the leftover rum is poured onto the top of the piping-hot fruitcake. Now is the time to start preparing your fruitcake for either the professional or amateur division of the annual contest, scheduled Dec. 14 as part of the annual Port Gamble Country Christmas. For information, please visit www.portgamble.com.

And when September comes to Port Gamble, you know it’s nearly Ghost Walk season. If you are interested in learning more about the paranormal and seeing for yourself what goes bump in the night in Port Gamble, join us for one of our Ghost Walks or Special Investigations, or spend the weekend at the fourth annual Port Gamble Ghost Conference. For dates, times and details, please call 360-297-8074.

Interested in hearing more about what’s happening in Port Gamble? Send us an email requesting a subscription to our monthly Port Gamble E-Newsletter. For information, or questions, regarding the events in Port Gamble, please contact the events office at 360-297-8074 or email portgamble@orminc.com.

— Shana Smith is the town manager of Port Gamble, which is owned by Olympic Property Group. Contact her at ssmith@orminc.com.