Around The Island | June 19

Strawberry festival blooms Saturday

The 2009 Strawberry Festival kicks off at 11. a.m. Saturday at the Filipino American Community Hall on High School Road.

The event celebrates and honors island farmers, particularly Filipino immigrants who arrived to work on island farms in the 1920s.

“It’s part of our heritage here,” said Fatima Wallin, Secretary for the Filipino American Community of Bainbridge Island & Vicinity. “You don’t see this kind of a thing in a lot of other communities, it’s a nice tradition to hold on to.”

The Strawberry Festival began in 1948 – a time when Bainbridge Island farmers grew the famous Marshall and Northwest strawberries.

The festival died off in the 1970s but was revived in the 1990s after renewed interest by the local Filipino community.

This year’s festival will include Filipino-American food, music and Philippine dance performances.

As always, the Strawberry Festival King and Queen will be crowned. This year’s royal court includes Matias Miguel and Jocelyn Jones (king and queen), Christopher Bucsit and June Moore (first prince and princess), and Deangelo Rapada and Jaela Cruz (second prince and princess).

Lunch and beverages will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets for the lunch are $10 per person or $35 per family of four or more.

The coronation and cultural programming will be held from 2 to 4 p.m.

As the festival’s name suggests, there will be plenty of “strawberry delight” to go around.

Events pay off for schools campaign

Schools took center stage in Winslow, Friday and Saturday, with a steady march of “Save Our Teachers” fundraisers.

On Friday, a benefit car wash and dance raised $2,000.

On Saturday morning, a crowd of parents, children and educators met at the High School Road roundabout for a march to Waterfront Park.

Meanwhile, Wilkes hosted an all-day rummage sale. Used items filled the floor of the school’s covered basketball courts and stretched down walkways to the front entrance. The sale raised $22,000.

Proceeds from all the events are being collected by the Bainbridge Schools Foundation, a nonprofit group that has organized the Save Our Teachers campaign. Money from the campaign will be used exclusively to support staff retention at Bainbridge Island public schools.

According to BSF Executive Director Vicky Marsing, $35,000 was raised between June 12 and June 15. The campaign has raised more than $145,000 in donations.

Donations will be collected through June 30. See information.

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