BREMERTON — Pies, lemonade, scones, wine ... and who could forget the slugs?
The city's annual celebration of all things blackberry takes over the Louis Mentor Boardwalk this holiday weekend, and there's not a lot its organizers haven't paired with the fruit of the bramble.
"Blackberries are in Bremerton everywhere, some places we don't want them," joked John Stockwell, this year's festival manager. "But this is the time when they're in season and we have them in just about everything we do, so let's enjoy them."
That includes the slugs, a sweet maple bar-like doughnut — sans the maple — that is pumped full of blackberry jam.
"That might seem a little interesting to you," said Stockwell, a member of Bremerton Rotary. "But they're actually quite good."
Bremerton Rotary took over running the festival from the Bremerton Main Stream Association in 2012, and it has been running with it since. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Foundation.
Vendors will once again pack the boardwalk on what's expected to be a hot Labor Day weekend, and live music will run just about all day starting at 11 a.m. There's also plenty for the kids to do, including a "chalk the block" at Second Street and Washington Avenue (check-in begins at 12:30 p.m. Sunday).
For those car lovers and aviation geeks, a shuttle will be available to go to the Bremerton National Airport for a showcase of both on Saturday. Kids can even take a free flight as part of the "Young Eagles" program.
"The festival this year is going to be a wonderful time, with music, lots of vendors here, and lots of good food," Stockwell said. "Gonna have sunshine all weekend."
For the adults, there'll be tastings of blackberry wine, produced by Pasek Callars of Mount Vernon. You can take home a bottle of table wine for $11 and dessert wine for $13. One fair warning: while more than 100 cases are procured, they tend to go fast.
On Sunday, festival-goers can get a two-for-one, taking in the Blackberry Festival and the seventh annual Taste of Port Orchard. From noon to 5 p.m., restaurants in Port Orchard and beyond will be offering a sampling of their selections. There will be a beer garden, a kids area, art vendors and live music. The event takes place at Port Orchard's Marina Waterfront Park.
Louis Mentor Boardwalk, Bremerton waterfront
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Labor Day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Live music begins everyday at 11 a.m.
Taste of Port Orchard
Port Orchard Marina Waterfront Park
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.