Freddie Fest delivers a world of fun in Frederickson


Under darkened and damp skies, the 1st Annual Freddie Fest burst forth with plenty of family fun Saturday, and even ended with sunshine streaming through the racing clouds.

 Hosted by the Frederickson-Clover Creek Community Council, Freddie Fest was a replacement festival for the popular Freddie Fun Run that had to be suspended this year due to ubiquitous road construction. 

Nevertheless, the fete had a strong boost from area businesses, especially LeMay Refuse, who donated their spacious headquarters’ parking lot as the site of the festivities.

 Several dozens companies, governmental agencies and local entrepreneurs set-up shop on two sides of the festival’s huge perimeter, with a mobile stage on a third side and the food court on the fourth.

Brandy Bargelt of Thunder Fireworks of Frederickson, graced her company's booth at Freddie Fest and also coordinated the corporate component of the festival.

 Gracing the stage first were the Pioneer Valley Elementary Singers and the Paula Battle 911 dancers.

Jonathan Harris, the Graham-based country singer performed at Freddie Fest, Saturday.

 After their performances, the festivities were further enhanced by a lengthy and very catchy musical set by the Jonathan Harris Band.  Jonathan, once a bulldozer operator for LeMay and now a Nashville recording artist, entertained the crowd with a crisp set of honky-tonk standards and country ballads that had people sash-shaying across the macadam.

 As for the vendors, one of the most popular draws was the mobile pet clinic operated by the combined forces of the Pierce County Humane Society and the VCA Vet Clinic located on Pacific Highway in Spanaway.  Hundreds of pet owners waited up to one hour to have their dogs and cats receive a free distemper and Parvo vaccination, or pay $10 for a rabies shot.  Some families also opted for the $25 microchip identification implant for their pets.

The Millers, Eve, Nathan and child, brought their pets in carriers to Freddie Fest for shots -"Ricky Bob," a Russian Blue, and "Hank" a sweet little dog who was nevertheless terrified of all the dogs around him.

 “There’s been an outbreak of distemper going back and forth between the local raccoon population and many dogs,” said Nancy Murikami, an employee of the Mountain Mist water company and one of the many Freddie Fest volunteers helping throughout the festival.

 However, the clear crowd favorite of Freddie Fest was the Corporate Chili Cook-Off that was replete with celebrity judges and a hugely successful People Choice Award.

These three young women from the Boys and Girls Club of Spanaway Lake High School were part of a team prepping chilies for the Freddie Fest competition.

 Eight chili-cooking teams – two from culinary programs in Bethel schools and the remainder drawing from local business – completed in two categories:  traditional and alternative, with “traditional” being all-beef chili without beans, and “alternative” being basically anything goes as long as it has some form of animal protein and tongue-searing spices. 

 Casting judgment was a celebrity panel composed of Tom Seigel, Superintendent of the Bethel School District; Kathleen Merryman, noted columnist from the Tacoma News Tribune; Mark Lindquist, the Pierce County Prosecutor; Ed Troyer, renown spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department; and local grilling aficionado Art Davila, who is reportedly a certified BBQ and chili judge from the Northwest BBQ Association and the Kansas City BBQ Association.

Celebrity chili judges, from l-r, Mark Lindquist, Kathleen Merryman, Ed Troyer, Tom Seigel and Art Davila.

 “All the samples we’ve tasted are very good,” said Detective Troyer, while Mr. Davila simply said, “I’m enjoying every bite.”

 Overall, the judges found the variety and quality of chili to be superb, and their judgments were largely confirmed up by the hundreds of folks who ponied-up five bucks to sample cupfuls of chili from each of the eight contestants and thereby participate in the People Choice selection.

 As for winning chilies, the judges awarded ties in both the tradition and alternative categories.  The team from Bethel’s Challenger High School captured top honors in both categories, and shared the laurels in the traditional spot with the team from Carlson Paving Equipment, while in the alternative category, Ricky J’s Tavern was co-winner for their fabulous chicken chili concoction .

 In a bit of an award mix-up, it was unclear who won the People Choice award and perhaps festival goers simply voted with their spoons and bowls as the Ricky J’s traditional chili was gone within minutes, along with similar circumstances at the Carlson booth and Award Wood Working of Frederickson.

Mike the Pirate, at Goodell's chili station. Pix by Karelina Resnick

 Nevertheless, the People’s Choice Award for worst chili was given – for the second year in a row – to Mike Goodell and his combined team drawn from his high-end Goodell Wood Furnishings shop and the next-door Bikini Bottom Baristas drive-through coffee hut.  Nevertheless, Mike and his carpenters – and the lassies from the 3 B’s – looked pretty sharp in their pirate outfits and certainly added lots of color to the proceedings.

 Bracketing the award ceremony was the ever-entertaining drum line from Graham-Kapowsin High School under the tutelage of Drum Master Randy Harris.

 Finally, as festivarians digested their chilies, the extraction team from the Central Pierce Fire Department used their reciprocating saws, hydraulic jacks, and the famously powerful Jaws of Life to remove doors and the roof assembly from a totaled Dodge sedan in a demonstration of the expertise, training and equipment that a modern fire and rescue department maintains.

 Throughout the day festival goers voiced how much fun they were having.

 “This is a lot of fun,” said Graham chiropractor Doug Berry in the chili line at Carlson’s.  “I’m having a great time.”

A set of "Kimono Barbies," made from remnants of authentic kimonos and garage sale Barbie dolls, was one of the gems on display by local artisan Marioko Maita at Freddie Fest.

 “What a great way to spend a Saturday,” celebrity judge Mark Lindquist echoed.

 “I think every thing is going really well,” F-CCCC president Amy Pivetta Hoffman said glowingly.  “Jonathan Harris was great, and the crowd has been fantastic – did you see that people had to park on both sides of the street!  And the weather looked so iffy this morning, too – it’s all turned out great.”

 ©  2011  The Mountain News – WA

Freddie Fest Photo Gallery: 

Below, scenes of Freddie Fest, including Heidi Smith and her collection of restored Christmas decorations that she and her husband find at grage sales and bring back to life in their wood-working shop.  Also, other views of the day, courtesy of photographer Karelina Resnick.


Carlson Paving Co.'s chili booth.

The dog line at Freddie Fest, waiting for a free distemper shot:  (Pix below are provided by the courtesy of Karelina Resnick.)

Amy Pivetta Hoffman, president of the F-CCCC, giving out chili awards at Freddie Fest, Saturday.

The CPF&R extraction team put on a demonstration of their Jaws of Life and other life-saving apparatus at Freddie Fest.. Pix courtesy of Karelina Resnick.

The G-K Drum Line put on a fine show at Freddie Fest. Pix courtesy of Karelina Resnick.

The hard-working Shannon Sciaciotti led the FCCCC effort to produce the 1st Annual Freddie Fest on Saturday. Pix courtesy of Karelina Resnick.

Charlie Maxwell, head of public relations for LeMay, was of vital help in organizing Freddie Fest.



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This entry was posted in Business, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Frederickson, Pets and livestock. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Freddie Fest delivers a world of fun in Frederickson

  1. John Marshall says:

    Fantastic article Bruce. Thanks!

    • brucesmith49 says:

      Thanks, John. I had a great time and I hope the F-CCCC does Freddie Fest again next year. Kudos to the Freddie team, especially Shannonn Sciacciotti, your fearlesss and imcomparable leader.

  2. Art Davila says:

    Yes, definitely a great article. Thanks Bruce and a big thanks to Shannon and the FCCCC team. For the second year of judging this chile contest, I enjoyed a gerat variety of fantastic and good hot chile. Thank God for TUMS. Hope you and the rest of the community will join us next year.

    Art Davila

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