Manette Fest means friendly fun and community

Scott Smith, of Bremerton, takes a peek inside an antique car that was on display at the Manette Fest on Saturday.  The former shipyard employee loves to look at old cars, especially the Metropolitans.  - Leslie Kelly
Scott Smith, of Bremerton, takes a peek inside an antique car that was on display at the Manette Fest on Saturday. The former shipyard employee loves to look at old cars, especially the Metropolitans.
— image credit: Leslie Kelly

The best part of the Manette Fest is getting to see your neighbors.

Or at least that's what Katherine Adams thinks.

Adams, who considers herself part of the "bridge people" - those who live near the Manette Bridge - was out Saturday at the festival with her grandson, Cole, 5, of Kent.

"We happened out because we love this little festival," Adams said. "The best part is that everything's local and it gives us a chance to see our neighbors and see the kids."

Cole, who proudly told everyone that he's now been to school for five days, just started kindergarten and delighted himself with wearing a balloon animal on his head. He got it from a balloon artist at the festival.

"I think it has only one eye," he said, of the magic marker face painted on the balloon.

Nearby, Sandy Carlson, a retired librarian from the Kitsap Regional Libraries, had a special guest with her - Ms. Goose.

"She's Ms. Goose because she's a liberated gal from the 1970s," Carlson said.

The well-remembered librarian retired sometime ago, along with Ms. Goose. But together they make appearances at the Kitsap County Fair and other festivals, like this one in Manette.

But just as soon as they began to entertain the kids, it was time for them to take their place in the Manette Fest Parade, know to some as the "littlest parade," and to others as the "tiniest parade."

The parade was led by a military honor guard, and included some of the Bremerton High School Marching Band.

"I just got the call a week ago inviting us to be in this parade," said band director Max Karler. "Not everybody could adjust their schedules to be here, but I think we've got about 25 of them here."

Karler explained that the marching band is a volunteer effort and that coming out to events other than sports games and school related things is a "volunteer, volunteer effort," he said.

Following the band was a group of Kitsap pageant queens, some dressed as storybook characters including Snow White.

A handful of kids riding their tricycles followed that. And then there were half-a-dozen dogs on leashes being pulled along the route by friendly and loving owners.

In all, the parade took about five minutes to make its way down the five blocks of East 11th Street.

So, of course, there was time for participants to turn around and walk back down the parade route again.

None of that really interested Pierce Sokolich, however, who was busy chasing big bubbles being made by the Bubble Man, Steve Schultz, of the Manette Community Church. The church sponsored a number of games for kids and offered hula hoops for the adults to try.

Pierce, a first grader at Crosspoint Academy, chased the giant bubbles that the Bubble Man made from a large rod filled with bubble stuff. Once in awhile he'd catch one and make it pop.

His parents, Tara Templeton and Brian Sokolich, live in the area and are a fourth generation Manette family.

"We love this little festival," Templeton said. "We like that its all local. We want to support the local businesses and the local bands."

And, if anyone needed to know anything about Manette, they could stop by the Manette History Club booth, where Myra Brochner and Aladene Harvey were showing historic photographs and answering questions.

"We grew up here," said Harvey, who now lives in Poulsbo. Her sister, however, still lives on the property where they grew up.

"My husband and I even bought our first television in the 1950s from Manette Radio and TV," said Brocher.

Most of the questions they got on Saturday were from folks who wanted to see a photo of a house they knew in the neighborhood, Brocher said.

"And some of them want to know if we know anything about what became of a family who lived here that they once knew," she said.

The sisters said many of the comments they got were about how the festival was larger this year.

"There are just many more vendors," Brocher said. "People really are having fun."



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