Bainbridge city council offered a pétanque play date with city officials in Edmonds

The Bainbridge Island City Council got more than an informational update on Waterfront Park at a recent meeting — it was offered a date.

City planner Heather Beckman briefed the council earlier this month about three recent public meetings to gauge islanders’ inclinations for Waterfront Park. City staff collected ideas for the project, ranging from improvements to the city dock to building a mini amphitheater.

But one group of islanders wanted to bring their idea to the council in person. Roughly 15 people showed up at city hall on July 17 to support their initiative to build a pétanque court.

“It’s popular among seniors and kids can play,” said Gary Bailey.

“It’s a community building game for all ages and social strata. Pétanque really builds community,” Bailey said.

The game is a form of boules, similar to bocce ball. Enthusiasts often form clubs around the game and gatherings are held throughout the region.

While showing a video on the game, Bailey noted that the city of Edmonds has built a series of courts for its own community, and that 56 people recently paid to play at a pétanque event there.

To really drive his sales pitch home, Bailey came with an offer for the city council.

“Edmonds’ mayor, Edmonds’ city council and Edmond’s port commissioner, and other port officials would like to invite the city council out to Edmonds to play pétanque with them and show you what they’ve done out there,” he said.

The offer included curb service, as well.

“The senior center has offered to transport you all out there,” Bailey added.

The play date has been proposed for Saturday, Sept. 7.

Bailey suggested that a pétanque court could easily and cheaply be constructed at the north end of Waterfront Park. A court consists of compressed rock or gravel on a flat, rectangular surface.

An online survey continues to gather input on what islanders would prefer at the park. Pétanque is included on it.

The survey can be found on the city’s website and will remain active until Aug. 12.

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