POULSBO — After struggling for years with its image, Septemberfest organizers said the event’s return this year has more potential than the past celebration.
The event, created by the Viking Fest Corporation, started in 2000 but was put on hiatus just one year later when organizational and marketing problems scrapped the 2001 festival. Organizer LeOnna Small said Septemberfest floundered, mainly because it failed to find a definite focus.
She feels that’s all going to change this year.
“I really feel like we’ve found our niche with this one,” she added.
Small said her group decided this year that Septemberfest, slated for Sept. 20-22 on the Poulsbo waterfront, should focus on kid-friendly fun. She said bringing Septemberfest back to the community has really been a grass roots effort, which tells her that the direction the event is headed has community support.
The festivities begin with a carnival and booths on the Anderson Parkway from 4-9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Earlier in the summer, Septemberfest organizers challenged kids to read 10 books by Sept. 20. and children who complete a reading form and turn it in by noon get a free-ride coupon for the day.
The festival continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Visitors are invited to fill up on a pancake breakfast at the Sons of Norway from 9 a.m. to noon and then head down to the parkway for safety day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Safety day will feature $5 fitted helmets from Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, fingerprinting and child ID’s from Kitsap Federal Credit Union and a lifeguard water safety by the Red Cross.
Saturday’s events also include a kayak demonstration from Olympic Outdoor Center from 12-12:30 p.m., then kids’ kayak races from 2-2:30 p.m. The Boot Scoot’in Grannies will kick up their heels from 3-3:30 p.m., followed by a demonstration from Liberty Bay Danceworks from 3:30-4:15 p.m. and a swing dance demonstration from 4:15-4:30 p.m. And just in case all of that dancing inspires the audience, there is a chance for everyone to get their feet moving during swing dance lessons from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and then at an open swing dance from 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the festival will showcase many local entertainers who are sure to please children of all ages. The day starts again with pancakes at the Sons of Norway from 9 a.m. to noon. From 11 a.m. to noon, Joe Paris will thrill audiences with his Cajun story-telling capabilities. From 12-1:30 p.m., kids can try their luck on the stage with a talent show. Roller Rita, former state hula hooping champion and her daughter, Karhop Kelsey, will give audiences a blast from the past from 1:30-2 p.m. Cloggers are on the bill from 2-3 p.m. and magical Kevin Wolfe will bring up the rear from 3-4 p.m.
Downtown businesses will also be having sidewalk sales all three days to coincide with the festival.
For more information on Septemberfest or any of its events, go to http://www.localsavingsconnection.com/washington/washingtonstate/poulsbo/septemberfest.htm, or call (360) 779-FEST option #2.