Kitsap offers all the fun of a staycation this weekend, with a salute to our Armed Forces, a celebration of Norwegian heritage, and carnivals, parades, garden tours, and farmers markets.
If you’re not having fun, check your pulse. Here’s a look at the weekend.
Poulsbo’s Viking Fest (www.vikingfest.org) coincides with Norway’s Constitution Day and celebrates the Norwegian heritage of the city’s founders. But it’s a multi-cultural event, with artists from the Suquamish Tribe — the First People of the region — as well as Irish and Middle East dancers and Viking reenactors.
Viking Fest is May 16-18 in downtown Poulsbo. The three-day festival includes a carnival, food vendors and live entertainment. On May 17, Miss Washington Reina Almon will reign as grand marshal of the 45th annual Viking Fest Parade, which begins at 2 p.m.
On May 18, you can watch (or flex your own muscle in) stand-up paddleboard races, or go for gustatorial glory in the donut-, oyster-, and lutefisk-eating contests. Other contests: Kupcake Krigen (or cupcake war), a Murder Mystery, and a Message-In-A-Bottle Race.
Regarding the carnival: On May 18, bring three non-perishable food items for North Kitsap Fishline and get a $5 discount on your family package of tickets. Show your military ID that day and get the same discount.
ARMED FORCES DAY
Bremerton hosts a weekend of events saluting our Armed Forces (www.bremertonchamber.org/pages/ArmedForcesDayParade). The 66th annual Armed Forces Day Parade is May 17, 10 a.m., in downtown Bremerton. A barbecue — free to active duty, reservists, veterans and their families — follows. The Puget Sound Navy Museum is open all weekend for free; active-duty military ID get in free at the USS Turner Joy. The Navy League Armed Forces Day Gala is May 17 at 6 p.m. in the Admiral Theatre.
HERONSWOOD PLANT SALE & GARDEN OPEN
Heronswood, the famed gardens now owned by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, will be open to the public May 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is one of only three garden opens this year; others are planned July 12 and Sept. 6.
Heronswood founder Dan Hinkley, who is now on staff, will be joined by rhody expert Steve Hootman for presentations on gardening. The S’Klallam Singers will offer traditional songs during the day. Meet S’Klallam artists and try some traditional foods.
Admission and presentations are free; tours of the gardens are $10, with proceeds benefiting the restoration.
Featured nurseries include Celestial Dream, Chimacum Woods, Cistus Nursery, Colvos Creek, Dancing Oaks, The Desert Northwest, Dragonfly Farms Nursery, Fancy Fronds, Far Reaches Farm, Foxglove Greenhouses, Friendly Natives, Keeping It Green, Naylor Creek, Rhododendron Species Foundation, Sundquist Nursery, Windcliff.
UNLEASH THE BEAST
The Unleash the Beast Adventure Race (www.unleashthebeastnw.com) is May 17 in Port Gamble. Unleash the Beast includes paddling, mountain biking and trail runs with 20K and 40K courses, for ages 13 and older. Register to compete as an individual competitor or register your team. Or just watch the action.
Bainbridge Island Farmers Market is open May 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the town square, and features herbs, native plants, vegetables, food and live music. www.bainbridgefarmersmarket.org.
Bremerton Farmers Market is open May 18, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Bremerton Ferry Terminal, and features 14 farms, eight food vendors and 12 crafters. www.bremertonmarket.wordpress.com.
Lynwood Community Market is open May 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the corner of Lynwood Center Road and Point White Drive on Bainbridge Island. Vendors include farmers, arts and crafts, antiques, food and jewelry. The market raises funds with the local parks and recreation district to build children’s playgrounds. Facebook.com/Lynwood Community Market.
Port Orchard Farmers Market is open May 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Port Orchard waterfront, and features farmers, crafters, music, and food vendors. www.pofarmersmarket.org.
Poulsbo Farmers Market is open May 17, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of 7th Avenue and Iverson Street. It’s the largest market in Kitsap, with more than 70 vendors — farmers, growers, artists, crafters, harvesters — and live music. www.poulsbofarmersmarket.org.
ONLINE: For more events in your community, pick up your local Sound Publishing newspaper or go to BainbridgeReview.com, BremertonPatriot.com, CentralKitsapHerald.com, NorthKitsapHerald.com, and PortOrchard Independent.com.