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Blackberry blooms in Bremerton

The sun shone, jazz and rock music wafted across the water and according to most longtime Blackberry Festival attendees, the crowds were even thicker than usual.

“It seems really crowded today, more so than in year’s past,” said Tracyton resident Mark Duncun, who goes every year.

The festival included an assortment of booths, many with not-so-obvious goods and services.

Tim Stimac and Don Ward, co-owners of Hair, spent their Labor Day weekend giving 81 haircuts and cracking jokes under a shady booth. They donated all the proceeds — $810 — to the YWCA.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it beats sitting in the shop,” Stimac said.

Fairview Junior High student Ashlie Munson got a free spinal scan, utilizing electrical feedback to gauge muscle tension, to help determine why her back often hurts. The booth was sponsored by chiropractors Dr. Michael Wagner of Silverdale and Dr. Tom Holt of Port Orchard.

“It felt really cool — you could hear echoes,” Munson said.

Pat and Claud Jernigan, of Albany, Ore., sold wooden walking sticks elaborately decorated with leather weaving and gemstones.

“When my husband had his first knee surgery 27 years ago, he decorated the cane. He’s been doing this ever since,” Pat said.

The Bremerton Kiwanis Club blackberry pie and scone booth drew long lines all day.

“This is our major fund-raiser of the year,” said Mike Liebert, one of about 30 volunteers who worked the booth.

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial kick-off of election season — a fact not lost on the numerous candidates and campaign supporters who showed up to stump.

County Coroner Greg Sandstrom handed out stickers and lollipops, as he promoted himself for a second term in office.

“I like (my campaign) to be low-key like this, just talking to people and handing out suckers to the kids,” Sandstrom said.

Terri Adams, a Bremerton resident who attends the festival each year, said she liked the booths which sold incense and essential oils, but there was no question why she really attends.

“The food! I love it. I’m going to order a seafood combo,” Adams said.

First time festival goer Bonnie Bullock, of Albany, N.Y., preferred the music and the beautiful scenery.

“I’m really into music, so it was nice to hear the bands. It’s also a beautiful area, I love all the conifers and the ferry,” she said.

Off the boardwalk, the eye-candy was just as abundant. Results of the chalk-drawing contest decorated the sidewalks, and the Dreams on Wheels car show featured autos in nearly every color of the rainbow.

Just Your Cup O’ Tea owners Pat and Susan Wright said they were pleased some of the pedestrians found their way to downtown businesses Sunday. They noted the car show was a “phenomenal draw and good for business.”

“My hat is off to Tony Perry and the car show committee for putting on a great show,” Pat said.

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