Editor’s note: This story appeared in Sound Publishing’s special section, Military Appreciation Day 2016, edited by Leslie Kelly. Kitsap County’s Military Appreciation Day celebration is planned for April 16 in the Kitsap Pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The event is free and open to the public.
Welcome to Military Appreciation Day 2016! For more than 12 years, Kitsap County has honored the military personnel in our communities by presenting this local Military Appreciation Day celebration.
Kitsap County is the home of several military installations under the Navy Region Northwest designation. According to the Navy Region NW Public Affairs Office, there are 25,000 active duty, 6,000 reserve and 35,000 retirees in the Kitsap area. This is in addition to the more than 50,000 military family members that live and work in the area, including the newest from the USS Nimitz, which is now at the Puget Sound Naval Yard for maintenance.
Service men and women live and work and take part in leisure activities here. The contribution they make to our local economy is substantial. Their children attend local schools.
Military Appreciation Day 2016 will be fun and educational for all who attend. Local businesses have generously provided free and discounted items for our local service men and women.
Military Appreciation Day 2016 will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 16 in the Kitsap Pavilion at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. The event is free and open to the public.
More than 100 commercial booths in the pavilion will provide a huge “thank you” to our military members. Every booth will donate prizes. Winners will be announced throughout the day from the main stage area. Prizes are given to local active duty, reservists and retirees who must show their military identification in order to claim their winnings.
There also will be free food and non-alcoholic beverages from vendors such as the USO Mobile Canteen, McClouds Grill House and others.
Activities and events will appeal to the entire family. The doors of the pavilion will open at 11 a.m. Door prizes will be awarded beginning at 12:15 p.m. The Marine Corps Color Guard will present the flags of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
At noon, the Naval Base Kitsap Color Guard will post the colors and the National Anthem will be sung. Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and state Rep. Jesse Young will make remarks to the crowd.
The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee will then honor the Service Members of the Quarter and the Year from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines and the Coast Guard.
Entertainment options will appeal to all ages as well, with performances by Galletta School of Dance, Northwest School of Dance, and the LukasRose Band.
Military Appreciation Day always features fun kid-specific activities. This year, there will be a bounce house, a show and tell game, military vehicles, a U.S. Coast Guard boat, weapons display by the Marines, as well as visits from McGruff the Crime Dog and Central Kitsap Fire Department’s mascot, Sparky the Fire Dog.
A mini boot camp will be set up for children so they can get a feel for the training exercises the Marines conduct while on a military installation. Face painting will be available for participants, including special camo paint.
This annual event is organized by the Military Affairs Committee of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce and made possible through donations of time and prizes from local merchants and Kitsap community members including the following sponsors: First Command Financial Services, The Shane McGraw Team, Kitsap Credit Union, Priority One Realty, Inc., Sound Publishing Inc., Stars & Stripes, Braces Inc. (Dr. Elizabeth Sheldon and Dr. Troy Okunami), Dentistry for Children Bremerton and Port Orchard, The Point Casino & Hotel, Vincennes University, US Family Health Plan at PacMed, Express Employment Professionals, Olympic College, USAA, Good Property Management Inc., Miller Woodlawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Silverdale Pediatric Dentistry (Dr. John Gibbons), Navy Federal Credit Union, Wave, and West Hills Auto Plex.
MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
11 a.m.: Doors open to the public.
Noon: Presentation of the colors.
12:05 p.m.: National Anthem performed by MA1 Nicole McDonald.
12:10 p.m.: Welcome from Tricia Reece, MAC Committee.
12:15 p.m.: Remarks by Kitsap County Commissioner Ed Wolfe.
12:20 p.m.: Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent greets the military.
12:25 p.m.: Remarks by state Rep. Jesse Young.
12:30 p.m.: Service Member of the Quarter and Year awards to each branch of the military represented at the event.
Entertainment will begin at 12:45 p.m. on Center Stage
12:45 and 1:15 p.m.: Galletta School of Dance dancers will perform.
1:50 and 2:20 p.m.: Northwest School of Dance performs.
2:50 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.: The LukasRose Band performs.
4 p.m.: Event ends.