Gateway: Living

Fox Island fair sets the standard for small-town gatherings

From left, Kopachuck Middle School eighth-grader Reese Fowler, tenderfoot, KMS seventh-grader D.J. Schwendeman, first class, and Gig Harbor High graduate Colin Rivera, Eagle, wait for their next customer at the Fox Island Boy Scout Troop 27 Chip Toss booth.
From left, Kopachuck Middle School eighth-grader Reese Fowler, tenderfoot, KMS seventh-grader D.J. Schwendeman, first class, and Gig Harbor High graduate Colin Rivera, Eagle, wait for their next customer at the Fox Island Boy Scout Troop 27 Chip Toss booth. Special to the Gateway

I am covered with shame!

Saturday was the first time I’ve attended the Fox Island FICRA Fair. What a huge delightful surprise. I use the word “huge” advisedly. The area surrounding the Island’s Nichols Community Center hosted so many interesting booths, I feared it might sink into the Sound.

Fox Island’s Emergency Preparedness component, the Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Coalition, and Pierce County Department of Emergency Management representatives were at the front gate encouraging everyone to attend the 2017 PEP-C Emergency Preparedness Fair, scheduled for Sept. 30 at Gig Harbor High School.

“Doors open at 9:30 with over 50 presentations and 30 information booths geared to help residents ‘Get Ready for the Big One,’ the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake,” said PEP-C chair Curt Scott.

There was musical entertainment from an outdoor stage augmented with scads of seats and surrounded by vendors of hotdogs, soft drinks, hamburgers, chips, and even a beer garden shaded from the blistering sun.

Catherine Peprich, a great face painter, delighted kids. Fox Island Alliance Church preschooler Anna Shaffer told her mom, Heidi, “she doesn’t want to have her face paint washed off; she’d like to wake up like a bunny tomorrow.”

There were gunny sack races, three-legged races, and egg tossing contests which engaged kids of all ages. I didn’t want to show off, so I demurred when invited ... and that’s the truth!

Harbor Montessori first-grader Chloe Holt, 6, had her egg break in her hands and, with a smile, headed for the wash bucket to get the slippery stuff off her fingers. Her mom, Wendy Holt, said Chloe told her she “liked the face painting. I liked the giraffe. My favorite part was buying the slime from the two big girls.”

“It was cool being there,” Wendy said. “We loved it.”

Giraffe???

I saw two telescopes pointed skyward and, knowing that the sun would burn a hole through a camera shutter, advised a fair organizer of the peril. She informed me they were both, “sun telescopes and posed no problem.” Ya learn something new every day. Sun telescopes?!

It was very flattering to read in an email from Heidi Shaffer, “We read your column weekly, so you’re a bit of a celebrity to us.” WOW!

She added, “I’m from a small town in Oregon, so a small quaint fair is my favorite kind of fair. We are yard people, so this year not only did the girls, Emmy, 5, and Anna, 3, get their faces painted, they also entered bouquet arrangements in the fair. Emmy was excited to win first place, a blue ribbon, for her arrangement and Anna got third place.”

And I missed it! Rats!

Said mom Heidi, an occupational therapist for MultiCare in Gig Harbor, “Emmy says she looks forward to the fair every year and loves that she can paint rocks, have her face painted and eat ice cream.”

Father Brock Shaffer, a firefighter for Kitsap County, happily shared the day with his family.

Cub Scouts of Fox Island’s Pack 27 and Boy Scouts of Troop 27 were everywhere doing what scouts do best, making sure that everything went well.

Said Troop 27 Scout Reeves Fowler, “The fair was exciting and full of fun and interesting booths with a good band and good concessions.”

Right on, Reeves! I’ll not miss another one.

Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at hughmcm26@gmail.com.

  Comments