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Have a berry good time this weekend

The Bremerton Kiwanis served up hundreds of blackberry pie slices at last year’s festival. Among the berry laden items is blackberry wine and various pastries. - Tracey Cooper
The Bremerton Kiwanis served up hundreds of blackberry pie slices at last year’s festival. Among the berry laden items is blackberry wine and various pastries.
— image credit: Tracey Cooper

There is one reward to be had in these dwindling days of summer; compensation for the knowledge that fall and the start of school is just around the corner. Wild blackberries by the bushel-full are rapidly ripening on the vine, ready to be plucked and placed into waiting pie shells, ice cream and open mouths.

What better way to celebrate these juicy gifts from nature than with a festival?

Labor Day weekend marks the return of the annual Blackberry Festival in Bremerton, centered on the waterfront boardwalk with events spread through town and beyond.

The festival, sponsored by the Bremerton Main Stream Association, takes place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The boardwalk with be lined with more than 100 booths selling a variety of arts, crafts and foods.

Tops on the food list are all things blackberry, from the famous blackberry slugs to scones, shortcakes, sodas, ice cream, sundaes, syrups, jams and wine. And of course pie, served up by the Bremerton Kiwanis Club.

Festival-goers can eat to the beat, with nearly continuous acts on the main stage adjacent to the food area.

The musical menu features something for every taste, from children’s entertainer Alley Oop to the rockin’ Freddy Pink.

A children’s area adjacent to the boardwalk features pony rides, a bounce castle tent, face painting and other kid-friendly activities.

Uptown, kids of all ages can grab a hunk of sidewalk chalk and release their inner graffiti artist. It’s OK — the sidewalk chalk art contest is sanctioned by the sponsors, and there are even prizes for best art.

Older “kids” will be busy drooling over the classy classic car show along Pacific Avenue. The weekend also features a Berry Fun Run, a fly-in at the Bremerton Airport and a golf tournament.

For details about the Blackberry Festival check out the official Web site at: www.blackberryfestival.org, or call the Bremerton Main Stream Association at (360) 377-3041.

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