Bremerton Harborside debut a hot ticket

Bremerton’s new conference center produced quite a splash Sunday, Aug. 1.

Pun fully intended.

Both children and adults stood mesmerized by the two centerpiece fountains at an afternoon dedication ceremony to celebrate the opening of the Hampton Inn Hotel, Kitsap Conference Center and the 25,000 square foot plaza.

Both huge buildings jut right up with the waterfront, which Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman said has been neglected for decades.

The mayor, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, other city and county dignitaries as well as more than 3,000 members of the public were on hand between noon and 7 p.m. listening to music on the Boardwalk main stage, and sampling vendor treats.

“It’s great,” said Paul Anderson, who was vending franks at the Hot Dog Shack booth on the Boardwalk. Beside him, Clave Con Jazz blared out tunes that some people were dancing to.

“I didn’t expect the turnout,” Anderson said. “It’s like it is at the Blackberry Festival.”

Water was a big feature at the Conference Center dedication.

There was always a child or two playing at the fountain on the Conference Center steps, which shot water up a series of terraces in two matching jets.

It is designed to resemble salmon climbing a river, and is run by a complicated computer program.

The fountain also makes a really good sprayer for water fights.

Poulsbo residents John Owensby and his 12-year-old daughter Kayla were pushing each other into the streams, making the best of an 80 degree day.

“They’re cool,” said the elder Owensby, glancing at the fountains. “I like how they shoot up. They look like they are in sync.”

Up the steps, people stopped at the fountain in the center of the plaza. Some videotaped the jets.

The other hot spot at the dedication ceremony was the new Starbucks on Washington Street. Hundreds of people filtered in and out of the glass doors sampling pastries, delving into iced-coffee Frappuccinos and lounging

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