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Au g u s t 2 6 -3 0 , 2 01 5

It’s time for all the fun of the fair Exhibits, animals, food, entertainment and rides — it’s all at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

I

t’s the 92nd year for the fair in Kitsap County. And throughout the years, the fair has been a place for local residents to celebrate what makes Kitsap County great. The Kitsap County Fair & Stampede is held annually for the purpose of educating, entertaining and creating a better quality of life for the residents of Kitsap County and surrounding counties, according to members of the fair board. It consists of teaching youth historical lessons so they may better understand what has shaped Kitsap County to become what it is today and what it will become in the future, board members said. It promotes agriculture so that consumers may better understand the source of their food and fiber. It also provides information to consumers so that they may make better choices of products and ideas in their own lives. Competitive exhibits are another one of the tools that it used to educate customers. And there’s always a lot of entertainment, including this year’s headliner, The Marshall Tucker Band. The Marshall Tucker Band will perform on Aug. 26 at the Thunderbird Arena directly after the Xtreme Bulls competition. Other entertainment during the fair includes: n Predators of the Heart, which features animal encounters as an educational and entertaining close-up of nature’s most amazing animals. This crowd-pleasing program incorporates audio, videos and live exhibits. n Karen Quest – Cowgirl Tricks, a unique fun-filled Vaudeville-style western comedy act complete with trick roping,

A night at the fair can be fun because of all the lights on all the rides. The Kitsap County Fair, including a midway of amusement rides opens Wednesday. File photo whip cracking, music and lots of surprises. She also performs on stilts as “Lucky Starr” — an eight-foot tall cowgirl — as she engages audiences with her special brand of Western humor. n Kevin Wolfe Comedy Hypnosis, a fastpaced and funny hypnosis show that will keep everyone laughing. With Wolfe’s special improvisational style, you never know what’s going to happen. There are four entertainment stages including the Center Stage, sponsored this year by West Hills Auto Plex; the Pepsi Stage, which features family entertainment; the Cowboy Corral, which includes the PRCA Rodeo and lots of country music; and the Random Acts stage, a place for “unplugged” entertainment. In all, there will be more than 100 performances to choose from while attending the fair. Many people come to the fair to see the livestock. This year, the barns will be full and there’ll be cows, pigs, lambs, cats, dogs and rabbits to see. And the exotic bird barn will return again this year. According to Cassie O’Hara, the fair’s livestock director, the Kitsap County Fair is the only fair in the state to have exotic birds on display. The Rodeo & Stampede is a highlight for many and will include rodeo events from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Xtreme Bulls competition

will take place on Wednesday. Rodeo events include bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping and barrel racing. The PRCA is the largest and oldest professional rodeo sanctioning body in the world. The recognized leader in Pro Rodeo, the PRCA sanctions more than 600 rodeos annually and showcases the world’s best cowboys in premier events. And, of course, there’ll be hundreds of exhibits to look at, including homemade pies and pickles, and retail vendors selling everything from pots and pans to purses. And the food. What can you say about fair food, other than come hungry? Just don’t eat before you ride the carnival rides!

First fair in 1923

The first recorded Kitsap County Fair took place in 1923 in Port Orchard, some 15 miles from its present location. It was held in Port Orchard from 1923 -29. Then it moved to Roosevelt Field in Bremerton. The fair moved to its present location in 1958. In 1929, exhibitors at the fair totaled 1,000; today, there are more than 6,000, with annual attendance of 80,000. In the late 1950s, what was then the Chief Kitsap Stampede sold stock certificates for $1 and constructed the

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Thunderbird Arena. When completed, it held 12,000 spectators. In the late 1970s, portions of the arena were condemned. The covered grandstands were later added. Today, the arena holds 5,000 spectators and is used year-round for various events such as D-derby, draft horse shows, monster trucks and more. The complex has an annual overall attendance at its various events of more than 211,000. Preparation for the fair begins right after the previous year’s fair is over, according to Jim Dunwiddie, director of the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation. And on the Saturday two weeks before the fair, more than 300 volunteers come out for “Super Saturday.” “Volunteers put fresh paint on many of the buildings and clean up the fairgrounds,” he said. “These are the people who make sure we’re ready to open.” He noted, too, that many members of the fair board work full time and take vacation the week of the fair so that they can be there to help. “They’re really very dedicated folks,” he said. Each year, the fair board also looks over a list of suggested themes that have been submitted by fair supporters, he said. “We’ve had lots of suggestions and we keep track of them,” he said. “The board sits down after the last fair and chooses the theme for the coming year.” The theme chosen for this year is “Hay! It’s Kitsap Fair & Stampede Time.” “It represents the old-time agricultural aspect of the fair,” said O’Hara. “It’s selfexplanatory … Hay.” This year’s fair board includes: President Danise Barnes, overseeing admissions; Maaren Stroble, commercial exhibits; Linda Moran, Still Life; Mike Brady, parking; George Serrano, security; Joe Drouin, stampede; Doug Dillion, concessions; Diana Pheasant, entertainment, and O’Hara, livestock. According to fair manager Sunny Saunders, last year’s attendance was 80,000. Attendance and income for the fair has continued to grow in recent years. “The fair did make money last year,” Saunders said. “It was in the black for the last two years. When we took over in 2011, the fair was in the red by over $250,000.”


AUGUST 21, 2015

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

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KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

Rodeo includes the ‘most dangerous eight seconds’ in sports

A rider and horse power out of the chute while onlookers cheer at the Kitsap County Rodeo File photo & Stampede. This year’s events begin Aug. 26. By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

F

or many people, the Kitsap County Fair is all about the stampede and rodeo. This year’s stampede and rodeo will be Joe Drouin’s 30th. Drouin is the rodeo director and has been helping stage the rodeo at the fair for 30 years. “It’s something I really enjoy doing,” Drouin said. “It’s just a lot of fun.” In all, Drouin expects 400 cowboys to show up for the four nights of rodeo and another 40 bull riders to show up for Wednesday’s XTreme Bull riding event. “It’s a full night of bull riding,” he said. “That’s why it’s named Xtreme.” On rodeo nights, there’s seven events (see below) with about 100 cowboys and cowgirls performing each night. Barrel racing is the only event in which women perform during the rodeos. They are all part of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and Drouin said they have six different rodeos to choose from on the weekend of the Kitsap Fair and Rodeo. “We are the favorite -— very much so,” he said. “We get all the top names.” The cowboys sleep over during the fair in campers and trailers on the rodeo grounds. Making sure they have what they need is part of what Drouin and his team do. “We work year-round to make this the best rodeo we can,” he said. “And beginning the first weekend in August, we’re out there about four days a week preparing the grounds and setting up for the rodeo.” During the fair, someone from the rodeo management team is on site 24 hours a day. For newcomers to the Stampede,

Drouin said if horses are your thing, attend a rodeo night. If bulls are what you like, be sure to attend Wednesday and see some extreme bull riding. Here’s a guide to what’s at the rodeo: n Bareback Riding. Each competitor climbs onto a horse, which is held in a small pipe or wooden enclosure called a bucking chute. When the rider is ready, the gate of the bucking chute is opened and the horse bursts out and begins to buck. The rider attempts to stay on the horse for eight seconds without touching the horse with his free hand. On the first jump out of the chute, the rider must “mark the horse out.” This means he must have the heels of his boots in contact with the horse above the point of the shoulders before the horse’s front legs hit the ground. A rider that manages to complete a ride is scored on a scale of 0-50 and the horse is also scored on a scale of 0-50. Scores in the 80s are very good, and in the 90s, are exceptional. A horse who bucks in a spectacular and effective manner will score more points than a horse who bucks in a straight line with no significant changes of direction. n Steer Wrestling. Also known as bull dogging. Rules of steer wrestling include: The bulldogger’s horse must not break the rope barrier in front of it at the beginning of a run, but must wait for the animal escaping from the adjacent chute to release the rope. Breaking the rope barrier early adds a 10-second penalty to the bulldogger’s time. If the steer stumbles or falls before the bulldogger brings it down, he must either wait for it to rise or help it up before wrestling it to the ground. If the bulldogger completely misses the steer on his way See RODEO, Page 5

AUGUST 21, 2015


AUGUST 21, 2015

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

PAGE 4

Fair begins to come together weeks ahead of time By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

L

eota Lewis doesn’t expect to see a lot of blackberry pies at this year’s Kitsap County Fair. “The blackberries are already ripe now,” Lewis said in mid-July. She is superintendent of pies for the fair. “Usually they don’t ripen until mid August. I expect that means fewer blackberry pies, unless they’re made up early and frozen.” Lewis, a long-time resident of Kitsap County who has been a part of the Kitsap County Fair since the current fairgrounds opened in 1958, has many years of fair experience behind her. She was in charge of open class foods for years, while her husband oversaw the rodeo and helped take care of the fairgrounds. “We both helped paint the gates and the stands at the rodeo grounds when the fair first moved to the fairgrounds,” she said. “And some of the display cases they still use in President’s Hall are ones that he made.” This year, Lewis will be watching over the pies. On a normal year, about 30 pies are entered in the competition. Besides blackberry, many are apple. There are two judges and they begin setting up the pies and other foods the Sunday before the fair opens. “The pies are judged on Monday,” Lewis said. “And then we have to re-wrap them for display when the fair opens on Wednesday.” In past years, when she’s overseen all food categories, she’s spend lots of time during the fair checking on the food displays. “Sometimes, things begin to mold and we have to take care of that,” she said. There are divisions based on age and ribbons are awarded in each category. Each pie is judged on it’s own merit and not judged against the other pies in the contest, Lewis said. “The only time the pies are compared are for the Best in Show,” she said. Sometimes the judges are “celebrity” judges, such as local mayors and county commissioners. Other times, they are experienced judges. “Back in the day when I judges pies and canned goods, we’d go to judges’ school and we’d take classes from the WSU Extension Services,” she said. As for strange experiences at the fair, Lewis has had a few.

.

9Th Aug.r o2ur n o s s fo sine e Fair

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Blue-ribbon livestock in the Kitsap County Fair have always been a big draw. This photo shows cows and calves entered in 1923. Courtesy of the Kitsap Historical Museum

Hundreds of residents of Kitsap County participate in the fair by entering their baked goods, canned goods or other home arts. Mike Bay photo “Some years, we’d have people stealing cookies and eating them right there on the spot,” she said. And, back in the day, when her husband worked the rodeo, she learned fast what “heads up” means. “That means a bull is loose,” Lewis said. “It happened in one of the first years I worked at the fair. You don’t know how fast you can jump in the bed of a pickup until someone yells ‘heads up.’” This year, what’s now called the Home Arts is being overseen by Linda Moran, a member of the fair board. While she

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entered her raspberry jam in the fair as a kid, she just joined the fair board two years ago. With the help of a lot of volunteers, she makes sure all the home arts — quilts, all sorts of sewing, knitting, and crocheting, food, horticulture and photography -— are in place, ready to be judged. All, except the food and flowers, begins to be assembled two weeks prior to the fair opening. “So many of the volunteers have been with the fair for years that everything just falls in to place,” Moran said. “The first year, I just sort of stood back and watched

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how things happened. Now I feel like I can really contribute.” Her work includes being at the fair every day from the time it beings to be set up until when it ends. She makes runs to local stores for donuts and buns which are donated for the fair workers daily. “I even take some over to the rodeo area because those cowboys need to be fed,” she said. Sometimes she rides a golf cart around the fairgrounds in order to make better time. Every morning of the fair, she meets with other board members who are in charge of other divisions of the fair. They talk about what’s happening that day and if any problems are coming up. Moran also sets up groups to do demonstrations during the fair. This year, she’s lined up Pacific Fabrics to talk about sewing and the “Knotty Needles,” a group from a retirement home who will demonstrate knitting. A highlight will be the demo of Brazilian embroidery. Weaving will be shown in the sheep barn. And there may be a speed-knitting contest. In the early years, Lewis and her husband slept in their motor home on the fairgrounds during the fair. “It was what we did because we always wanted to be there if we were needed,” she said. But now she just drops in when she’s needed. She has a couple of assistants to help her too. As for Moran, she’s always on alert and carries a note pad with her to keep on top of questions and issues. “I’m always thinking about the fair,” she said. “But it’s really a well-oiled machine. Fair volunteers are so dedicated.” Both women admit that, while the fair take a lot of work, a sadness comes over them when it’s Sunday at 6 p.m. and it’s over. “We just take a long look around,” said Lewis. “And then they start tearing things down.” Moran added, “It’s like that day-afterChristmas feeling. You’re just running so high for so long and then, nothing.” But they know, there’s always next year and another Kitsap County Fair.


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KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

Rodeo

Continued from page 3 down, he will receive a “no time.” Typical professional times will be in the range of 3.0 to 10 seconds from the gates opening to the waving of the flag. The steers used today are generally Corriente cattle or longhorns, which weigh between 450–650 pounds, and the human steer wrestlers typically weigh 180–300 pounds. n Team Roping. Team roping, also known as heading and heeling, is a rodeo event that features a steer and two mounted riders. The first roper is referred to as the “header”, the person who ropes the front of the steer, usually around the horns, but it is also legal for the rope to go around the neck, or go around one horn and the nose resulting in what they call a “half head”. Once the steer is caught by one of the three legal head catches, the header must dally (wrap the rope around the rubber covered saddle horn) and use his horse to turn the steer to the left. The second is the “heeler”, who ropes the steer by its hind feet after the “header” has turned the steer, with a five second penalty assessed to the end time if only one leg is caught. Team roping is the only rodeo event where men and women compete equally together in professionally sanctioned competition, in both single-gender or mixed-gender teams. n Saddle Bronc Riding. Bronc riding, either bareback bronc or saddle bronc, is a rodeo event that involves a rodeo participant riding on a horse (sometimes called a bronc or bronco), that attempts to throw or buck off the rider. Originally based on the neces-

sary horse-breaking skills of a working cowboy, the event is now a highly stylized competition that utilizes horses that often are specially bred for strength, agility and bucking ability. n Tie-Down Roping. Also known as calf roping. Calf roping is a rodeo event that features a calf and a rider mounted on a horse. The goal of this timed event is for the rider to catch the calf by throwing a loop of rope from a lariat around its neck, dismount from the horse, run to the calf, and restrain it by tying three legs together, in as short a time as possible. n Barrel Racing. Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Though both boys and girls compete at the youth level and men compete in some amateur venues and jackpots, in collegiate and professional ranks, it is primarily a rodeo event for women. It combines the horse’s athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse in a pattern around three barrels (typically three 55- gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena. n Bull Riding. Bull riding refers to rodeo sports that involve a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal attempts to buck off the rider. In the American tradition, the rider must stay atop the bucking bull for eight seconds. The rider tightly fastens one hand to the bull with a long braided rope. It is a risky sport and has been called the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.

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is an annual publication of Sound Publishing. For information about upcoming special publications, call 360-779-4464.

Publisher: Lori Maxim Specialty publications editor: Leslie Kelly Writer: Leslie Kelly Advertising director: Donna Etchey Sales representative: Priscilla Wakefield Production manager: Bryon Kempf Production artists: Kelsey Thomas, Mark Gillespie, John Rodriguez, Vanessa Calverley

August 26-30, 2015

It’s time for all the fun of the fair Exhibits, animals, food, entertainment and rides — it’s all at the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

I

t’s the 92nd year for the fair in Kitsap County. And throughout the years, the fair has been a place for local residents to celebrate what makes Kitsap County great. The Kitsap County Fair & Stampede is held annually for the purpose of educating, entertaining and creating a better quality of life for the residents of Kitsap County and surrounding counties, according to members of the fair board. It consists of teaching youth historical lessons so they may better understand what has shaped Kitsap County to become what it is today and what it will become in the future, board members said. It promotes agriculture so that consumers may better understand the source of their food and fiber. It also provides information to consumers so that they may make better choices of products and ideas in their own lives. Competitive exhibits are another one of the tools that it used to educate customers. And there’s always a lot of entertainment, including this year’s headliner, The Marshall Tucker Band. The Marshall Tucker Band will perform on Aug. 26 at the Thunderbird Arena directly after the Xtreme Bulls competition. Other entertainment during the fair includes: ■ Predators of the Heart, which features animal encounters as an educational and entertaining close-up of nature’s most amazing animals. This crowd-pleasing program incorporates audio, videos and live exhibits. ■ Karen Quest – Cowgirl Tricks, a unique fun-filled Vaudeville-style western comedy act complete with trick roping,

A night at the fair can be fun because of all the lights on all the rides. The Kitsap County File photo Fair, including a midway of amusement rides opens Wednesday. whip cracking, music and lots of surprises. She also performs on stilts as “Lucky Starr” — an eight-foot tall cowgirl — as she engages audiences with her special brand of Western humor. ■ Kevin Wolfe Comedy Hypnosis, a fastpaced and funny hypnosis show that will keep everyone laughing. With Wolfe’s special improvisational style, you never know what’s going to happen. There are four entertainment stages including the Center Stage, sponsored this year by West Hills Auto Plex; the Pepsi Stage, which features family entertainment; the Cowboy Corral, which includes the PRCA Rodeo and lots of country music; and the Random Acts stage, a place for “unplugged” entertainment. In all, there will be more than 100 performances to choose from while attending the fair. Many people come to the fair to see the livestock. This year, the barns will be full and there’ll be cows, pigs, lambs, cats, dogs and rabbits to see. And the exotic bird barn will return again this year. According to Cassie O’Hara, the fair’s livestock director, the Kitsap County Fair is the only fair in the state to have exotic birds on display. The Rodeo & Stampede is a highlight for many and will include rodeo events from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Xtreme Bulls competition

will take place on Wednesday. Rodeo events include bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, calf roping and barrel racing. The PRCA is the largest and oldest professional rodeo sanctioning body in the world. The recognized leader in Pro Rodeo, the PRCA sanctions more than 600 rodeos annually and showcases the world’s best cowboys in premier events. And, of course, there’ll be hundreds of exhibits to look at, including homemade pies and pickles, and retail vendors selling everything from pots and pans to purses. And the food. What can you say about fair food, other than come hungry? Just don’t eat before you ride the carnival rides!

First fair in 1923

The first recorded Kitsap County Fair took place in 1923 in Port Orchard, some 15 miles from its present location. It was held in Port Orchard from 1923 -29. Then it moved to Roosevelt Field in Bremerton. The fair moved to its present location in 1958. In 1929, exhibitors at the fair totaled 1,000; today, there are more than 6,000, with annual attendance of 80,000. In the late 1950s, what was then the Chief Kitsap Stampede sold stock certificates for $1 and constructed the

Thunderbird Arena. When completed, it held 12,000 spectators. In the late 1970s, portions of the arena were condemned. The covered grandstands were later added. Today, the arena holds 5,000 spectators and is used year-round for various events such as D-derby, draft horse shows, monster trucks and more. The complex has an annual overall attendance at its various events of more than 211,000. Preparation for the fair begins right after the previous year’s fair is over, according to Jim Dunwiddie, director of the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation. And on the Saturday two weeks before the fair, more than 300 volunteers come out for “Super Saturday.” “Volunteers put fresh paint on many of the buildings and clean up the fairgrounds,” he said. “These are the people who make sure we’re ready to open.” He noted, too, that many members of the fair board work full time and take vacation the week of the fair so that they can be there to help. “They’re really very dedicated folks,” he said. Each year, the fair board also looks over a list of suggested themes that have been submitted by fair supporters, he said. “We’ve had lots of suggestions and we keep track of them,” he said. “The board sits down after the last fair and chooses the theme for the coming year.” The theme chosen for this year is “Hay! It’s Kitsap Fair & Stampede Time.” “It represents the old-time agricultural aspect of the fair,” said O’Hara. “It’s selfexplanatory … Hay.” This year’s fair board includes: President Danise Barnes, overseeing admissions; Maaren Stroble, commercial exhibits; Linda Moran, Still Life; Mike Brady, parking; George Serrano, security; Joe Drouin, stampede; Doug Dillion, concessions; Diana Pheasant, entertainment, and O’Hara, livestock. According to fair manager Sunny Saunders, last year’s attendance was 80,000. Attendance and income for the fair has continued to grow in recent years. “The fair did make money last year,” Saunders said. “It was in the black for the last two years. When we took over in 2011, the fair was in the red by over $250,000.”

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KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

AUGUST 21, 2015

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AUGUST 21, 2015

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

PAGE 8

The Marshall Tucker Band plays on, and on, and on By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

T

hey were just high school friends, playing music, hoping to make enough money to buy beer on the weekend. They went by the name “The New Generation.” But with a bit of dumb luck and a lot of talent, they became The Marshall Tucker Band. And now, more than 40 years later, they’re still drawing in sold-out crowds. The Marshall Tucker Band will be the main entertainment at this year’s Kitsap County Fair. “We were just kids,” said Doug Gray, the only surviving original member of the band. “We had no idea what we were doing.” It was Gray and his buddy Tommy Caldwell who formed The New Generation. After high school, that band merged with members of another local band, The Rants, which included Caldwell’s brother, Toy, Jerry Eubanks and Ross Hanna and became the Toy Factory. They played clubs and small venues near their home in Spartanburg, South Carolina. But it was the mid 1960s and there was a war on. Most of the band members were drafted and went to Vietnam. Gray, who was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, saw combat and was in Vietnam for 13 months, beginning in 1968. When they returned to the U.S. they put the band back together and played under the name of the Toy Factory. In 1972, Gray, the Caldwell brothers, Eubanks, guitarist George McCorkle and drummer Paul T. Riddle formed a new

10

The Marshall Tucker Band, a band that has endured since the 1970s, will perform at the Kitsap County Fair Aug. 26, following the X-Treme Bull Riding. Contributed photo band, The Marshall Tucker Band. As the story goes, they were rehearsing in an old warehouse. They had yet to decide on a name and were discussing what they should call themselves one evening. Someone looked at the tag on the key and it said “Marshall Tucker” and it was suggested they call themselves The Marshall Tucker Band, not knowing it was a real person’s name. Because it was time to go to dinner and everyone was hungry, they said “sounds great” and the rest is history. A few years later they found out that Marshall Tucker was the name of a real

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person who rented the building before them. His name was still on the key tag because the warehouse owner hadn’t changed it yet. Tucker was a blind piano tuner, who, along with his partner, used the building for their piano business. The band signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie and others to national fame. They opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. They toured constantly playing sheds, stadiums, theaters, fairs, and festivals. Along the way, the band has recorded 22 studio albums, three DVDs, three live albums and many compilations. In 1980, Tommy Caldwell died as a result of injuries from an auto accident. In 1984, Toy Caldwell, George McCorkle, and Paul Riddle decided to retire. Gray and Eubanks, with the blessings of the other three, continued to record and perform as The Marshall Tucker Band. In 1993, Toy Caldwell, who wrote the majority of their songs, died, as did McCorkle in 2007. Eubanks retired in 1996 and Gray continues to lead the current band of musicians, BB Borden, Pat Elwood, Marcus James Henderson, Chris Hicks and Rick Willis. It’s hard for Gray to look back. As the remaining member of the original band, he feels the spirit of the original band every time he walks on stage. “The guys I play with now are excellent, talented musicians,” he said. “The band is still all about the music.” The band plays 150 concerts a year, and with travel time, Gray’s away from home about 200 days a year. Between gigs, he makes his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. When the band began, Gray tells, people had a hard time trying to classify their music. “Nobody knew what we were,” he said. “We fit into so many genres. Some called us rock and some called us country. It didn’t really matter because our fans were just coming out to hear us -— like they still do today.” “The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock and roll,” said Gray. “They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played

everything from country, jazz, blues, Rock & Roll and all things in-between. As we’ve become older, our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off.” At 67, some might think Gray’s had enough of performing and traveling. But not Gray. “I never thought we’d last this long,” he said. “Now, I’ve been the last remaining guy for the past 25 years. But we have so much fun on stage and when we all get up there we’re a team. Nobody can take that away from us.” The band has had its ups and downs in popularity, but still has a very loyal fan base. “I doubt we’ll ever make it to the top again,” Gray said. “But we’ll always make an impact. People come out because they want to hear good, original music, the way they remember it from 40 years ago.” Easily, “Can’t You See,” is Gray’s favorite song. “I like it because we ask the audience to sing along,” he said. “This song has lasted the test of time. It’s been played in movies including ‘Smokey and the Bandit,’ ‘Blow,’ and ‘Shipwrecked,’ and we just found out its in the new ‘Joe Dirt’ movie.” Their hits include “Heard It In a Love Song,” “Fire On The Mountain,” “Can’t You See,” and “Take The Highway.” The Marshall Tucker Band earned seven gold and three platinum albums while they were on the Capricorn Records label. During the 1990s, they scored four hit singles on Billboard’s country chart and one on Billboard’s gospel chart. The band records on its own Ramblin’ Records Label, distributed by Sony/RED, and continues to release new and previously unreleased material. For their most recent release, the band dug into the vault and emerged with the original live recordings from its biggest show to date. The new “Live! From Englishtown” album was originally performed in 1977 and reportedly drew more than 150,000 fans. That concert, on Sept. 3, 1977, is one Gray will never forget. “We’d been on the road a lot,” he said. “It was about four in the morning when we arrived at our hotel and we didn’t have to be on stage until afternoon. So we we’re expecting to sleep until noon. “But our road manager woke us up at 7 and told us we had to go to the airport. There was already 150,000 people. They weren’t expecting that and so they decided they’d have to helicopter us in. I’d seen the Woodstock movie, and it kind of looked like that. It was people as far as you could see.” Marshall Tucker was the opening band for the Grateful Dead that day, and with the combination of a known band and an up-and-coming band, Gray said it was “the perfect storm.” Last April, the band was asked to play the National Anthem to open the season for the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. They play NASCAR races. They support events for veterans and the Wounded Warriors. Gray said he served in Vietnam because he loves his country and because others served for him. And on a bet from his daughter, he recently tried on his Army uniform, and it still fits.


PAGE 9

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

AUGUST 21, 2015

Our favorite things at the fair include exhibits, animals, food

W

hat’s not to like at the Kitsap County Fair? We asked several local elected officials “What is your favorite thing about the fair?” Here’s how they answered:

“I love seeing lots of smiles as diverse individuals, families and friends explore fun at the Kitsap County Fair — from food and rides to animals, exhibits, performances, and more.” — Charlotte Garrido, Commissioner Kitsap County, District 2

“My favorite part of the fair is peoplewatching … all the families, young children all having a good time. The fair is true ‘Americana’… a slice of who we are as a community.” — Becky Erickson, Mayor of Poulsbo “When I was a county commissioner, we presented Commissioner Award ribbons to our favorite part of the fair and all four years I selected the 4-H barns with the llamas, goats, sheep and lastly, chickens. It was so exciting to see and hear these aspiring young students describe the history, care and feeding and responsibility for their own animals being taught through the Washington State Extension 4-H Program. “As a mayor, I still enjoy wandering through these barns and confess I have participated in the pie-eating contest the past two years. The winner selects the nonprofit organization that will receive a $500 donation provided by Gordon Sound.” — Patty Lent, Mayor of Bremerton

Alissa Weidenheimer and her llama, Pacer, are among the local 4Hers that participate in the Kitsap County Fair. Brian Kelly / 2013 “I would have to say that my favorite part of the fair is the 4-H animal exhibits and auction. Remembering back to my youth when my family and I would go to our county or state fair, I was always drawn to the animals. Having grown up on a small farm, I had an appreciation for the effort that went into caring for the livestock. “I’m repeatedly impressed by the dedica-

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tion, knowledge, involvement, passion and compassion that the 4-H youth have when they participate in the program and the annual fair. Walking through the exhibits, it takes me back to my youth and that’s a wonderful gift to receive each year when I attend.” — Robert Gelder, Commissioner Kitsap County, District 1

“I particularly enjoy and look forward every year to the Norman Rockwell Life magazine-type of Americana hometown feeling we get, and then always make the Xtreme Bulls [competition] and whoever is there doing the country western show. I enjoyed Luke Bryan a few years ago before he was discovered. This year, one of my favorites, The Marshall Tucker Band, is performing.” — Edward E. Wolfe, Commissioner Kitsap County, District 3 “My favorite part of the fair is seeing the results of the hard work that the 4-H groups have done as they exhibit their high-quality animals.” — Axel Strakeljahn, Commissioner Port of Bremerton

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AUGUST 21, 2015

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

PAGE 10

X-Treme Air Dogs make extreme jumps to entertain

His promotion team travels the west coast throughout the summer months performing at county fairs. On average, 45 to 125 competitors come out to events like the performances at the Kitsap County Fair. “This is our first time in Kitsap County,” Allen said. “The area is a hotbed of my competitors. I’m anticipating anywhere from 75 to 125 dogs and handlers coming out to compete.” Although he had competed with his labs before, he’s not a competitor now. Instead he’s the emcee and running the show.

By LESLIE KELLY

lkelly@soundpublishing.com

I

t’s a new highlight of the Kitsap County Fair. And it’s called X-Treme Air Dogs. The canine sport includes several divisions and is aimed at showing off just how far and how high dogs can jump. The competition will be featured at the Kitsap County Fair each day, with training events in the morning and competition in the afternoon. And the best part about it is anyone can bring their dog out to try it. “We call it the ‘Give it a Try,’ ” said Mike Allen, the show’s producer. “This is something that’s open to anyone and there’s training available. And then there’s the competition categories for novice and all the way up to XPro, which is the top category.” An athlete, Allen, who played football and baseball for Oregon State University, began his competitive promotion career working with world-class lumberjacks. In some of those shows, dogs performed and it was the suggestion of someone at ESPN that Allen promote dog competitions. He started doing so 13 years ago. According to the X-Treme AirDogs website, anyone with a dog and a ball can compete. X-Treme Air is a team dock jumping sport. Teams are made up of one dog and one handler. Handlers are allowed to throw a single, floatable toy into the water for their dog to chase. Each dog gets two attempts. Dogs can use the entire area of the dock (six-foot high and 40-foot long) before jumping into the water. Dogs

“This sport is just growing all the time.” — Mike Allen, producer

At a previous X-Treme Air Dogs competition, Olie, decked out in red, white and blue, attempts to catch a toy thrown by his companion while over water. Contributed photo

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high jump. The dogs land in a pool that holds 27,000 gallons of water. The sport has grown by leaps and bounds since it began in 2003. There are winter and summer competitions and there are hundreds of competitors throughout the U.S., according to Allen. The season ends with the Series Championships which are televised on ESPN.

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are electronically judged on their distance from the edge of the dock to where the base of their tail enters the water. Events include the X-Treme Vertical, which is a high jump off the dock and X-Treme Retrieve which is a timed event where dogs retrieve an object thrown into the water by their handler and return to the dock. Top dogs can jump around 27 feet in the long jump and 29 feet in the

While some people may think it’s all for entertainment, others know it’s a serious competition. “This sport is just growing all the time,” Allen said. “There’s just something about being out there and competing with your four-legged children that people really like.” To find out more, go to www.xTremeairdogs.com, or check out their Facebook page. If you’re planning on bringing your dog out, check the fair schedule for times and dates when the “Give it a Try” will be available.

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KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

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DONATIONS NEEDED AND ACCEPTED AT THE KITSAP COUNTY FAIR:

PLACES TO STAY EAT & DRINK

Christmas doesn’t stop just because you are over 14. In fact, not having the funds to have Christmas can be even more devastating if you factor in teenagers feelings of needing to fit in. All Teens Matter came into being October 2010 and in the short time between October and Christmas enough donations were received to help 180 teens in 2010 and 408 teens in 2011. Our teens received a tree, stocking, dinner that had a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, veggies, olives, cranberry sauce, rolls, pie, and whip cream, Most importantly our teens received 4-6 Christmas presents each! Your gift will send the message that they are worthy and not forgotten by our community.

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AUGUST 21, 2015

KITSAP COUNTY FAIR & STAMPEDE

PAGE 12

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Festivals - 2015 Kitsap County Fair Guide  

i20150820140804501.pdf

Festivals - 2015 Kitsap County Fair Guide  

i20150820140804501.pdf