Island Tidbits: Bainbridge Named Top Small Town, Paws Gala, Crescendo Concert, First Friday Art Walk


Myriah Riedel makes her way along the sidewalk of Bainbridge Island's Winslow Way on a very rainy Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.
Mural that once graced the side of the former Winslow Mall, now being remodeled into the Cove.

As most of us know, the West is home to some of the most charming and scenic small towns in the country, hosting amazing art communities, tons of outdoor adventure opportunities, and top-notch dining options.

Bainbridge Island has been named one of the best small towns in the West in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

USA Today 10 Best, their version of a go-to site for reader-voted and editor-recommended travel guides, solicits nominations from an expert panel to highlight the best small towns across the U.S., then readers vote for their favorites.

These 10 small towns — each with a population of fewer than 25,000 — have been selected by an expert panel and voted by readers as the best in the region for their diverse offerings.

Bainbridge Island, at No. 7, was joined by nearby neighbor to the south, Gig Harbor, at No. 6, on the top ten list announced in April. Rounding out the top 10 were Ashland, OR. (10), Durango, CO. (9), Williams, AZ. (8), Manitou Springs, CO. (5), Cody, Wyoming (4), Grant, N.M. (3), Solvang, CA. (2), and Seward, AK (1).  

The national newspaper said the island is noted for its small-town feel within its proximity of Seattle, and the nomination pointed out several Bainbridge museums and parks as attractions, including the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, KiDiMu children’s museum, and the Bloedel Reserve. The community is also well known for its Main Street – Winslow Way – that is bustling with small shops and local restaurants just blocks from the ferry terminal that leads to Seattle and an easily accessible Waterfront public park. Popular local events dot the calendar through the year, including the Grand Old Fourth. with its array of festivities for July 4, a weekly Farmers Market, monthly Friday Art Walk, and the annual Mochi Tsuki festival that honors the community’s Japanese American heritage each winter.

PAWS ‘May the Fur Be With You’ Gala This Coming Weekend 

PAWS of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap (PAWSBINK) is going out of this world for “May the Fur Be With You,” its  2024 gala fundraiser that will bring together animal lovers from around the region for entertainment, games, and an auction—all to benefit a very worthy cause. The money raised at this annual event helps fund the vital programs that PAWSBINK provides our community, including adoption services, veterinary financial aid, and
spay/neuter assistance.
This year’s event will be emceed by former KING 5 anchorman and journalist Mark Wright. Attendees will enjoy appetizers and drinks, auctions, entertainment, a three-course dinner, and a dessert dash. Cocktail attire or Star Wars costumes are both welcome.
What to expect:
— Silent & live auctions: Bid on an array of exciting prizes, including vacation packages, PAWSBINK 50th Anniversary Spokes pet, “Wine Around the Rock,” private dinner experiences, and dozens of other local goods and services.
— Galaxy Ticket: One lucky raffle winner will receive a custom jewelry-making experience (valued at over
$5,000) with Robin Callahan Designs.
— Fun & games: Spin the wheel, pinball, and ring toss for wine and other prizes.

— Great stories: See the impact of donation dollars with heartwarming “tails” from some of the people and
pets PAWSBINK has supported over the past year.

Date: May 4, 2024, 5:30–9:00 p.m.
Where: Kiana Lodge, Poulsbo, Washington
Tickets: $150-$200 per person;

Crescendo Sings its Songs for the Season at it Monday, May 6 Concert 

Sit back, relax and let the music wash over you as the mostly adult chorus Crescendo performs its season-ending concert, Razzle Dazzle Spring. The music starts at 7 p.m., May 6, at Bethany Lutheran Church, 7968 Finch Road NE, Bainbridge Island.

The concert is free, but donations are appreciated.

This group of 40 sings a joyful mix of pop, Broadway, jazz and standards. Selections include a pop hit by Kansas, “Dust in the Wind”; Sting’s “Every Breath You Take”; “Heart of Stone” from the hit Broadway musical “Six”; “One Day More” from “Les Miserables”; and “Happy Trails,” Roy Rogers and Dale Evans’ cowboy salute.

Wendi Olinger directs Crescendo, with accompaniment by Catherine Benson. Crescendo is part of Ovation! Performing Arts Northwest, a nonprofit theater and
performance group based on Bainbridge Island. For more information, go to


Don’t Miss First Friday Art Walk May 3, Downtown Winslow

This popular event is held along Winslow Way and surrounding area, on the First Friday of every month, 6 to 8 PM

Spend an evening experiencing all that downtown Bainbridge has to offer. Many galleries, shops and businesses will be participating this month showcasing the art of our talented creative community. Afterwards, stop by one of our many restaurants for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, or dinner.

Enjoy an evening with a stroll through downtown visiting your favorite businesses and restaurants, shopping for gifts or items for yourself and your home. The walk begins on Winslow Way (near the ferry terminal) from 6PM to 8PM. A number of galleries – Jeffery Moose, Bainbridge Arts & Crafts, and the Bainbridge Island Art Musuem, along with businesses such as Fletcher Bay Winery provide, food beverages and music.

You’re more than likely than not to run into a neighbor or someone you know going in and out of one of these businesses.

Some information was sourced from the Kitsap Sun News, Sports, Business, Opinion | Kitsap Sun . Photo of Bainbridge Island graphic by Meegan M. Reid of The Sun.

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