DennyFest 2013 – A Sunny Success!

DennyFest 2013 – A Sunny Success!

Sunday, September 8th was sunny, warm, and the perfect day for DennyFest—our annual neighborhood appreciation event. A big thank you goes out to the FHNA Events Committee, led by Meg Tally Hunt, countless volunteers, and generous community sponsors who made this event the special day that it was!

There were a variety of events and activities happening throughout the day. Here’s a rundown in case you missed anything. You can also check out  photos from the day.

Dog Show and Parade

The dog show is always a crowd-pleaser, and this year was no exception. We had canine participants ranging in age from 10 weeks to 10+ years! All contestants pranced around the park in a spectacular parade of paws and personality to kick off the dog events. The dog show, emceed by Marc Ackerman, followed the parade with a variety of displays of talent, beauty, and in some cases a little quirkiness. Following is a list of events and the “Top Dog” in each category, as determined by our discerning judges Sherrill Hull, Adam Hull, and Sean Cash:

  • “Superlative Senior” – Osgood and handler Joy
  • “Perkiest Pup” – Parker and handler Hailey. Parker immediately demonstrated an encore performance of his perkiness by racing to the lake following receipt of his blue ribbon!
  •  “Best Young Handler” – Mack’s handler, Talia, age 8
  • “Best Kisser” – Copper and handler Marilyn
  • “Best Costume” – Parker and handler Hailey. Parker dressed as Superman, and Hailey as Supergirl.
  • “Best Trick” – Genevieve and handler Michelle
  • “Dog-Owner Look-Alike” – Tank and handler Sierra
  • “Scavenger Hunt” – Mack

Chili Cookoff
Based on the continuous line winding out from the tent, it’s probably safe to say that everyone enjoyed the Chili Cookoff! We had eight entries this year, each with its own unique recipe. Everyone in attendance had an opportunity to sample the chili and vote for their favorite. The race was close, and in the end the medals were awarded as follows:

  • Gold Medal – awarded to Ken McCumber for his rendition of “Mom’s Chili”
  • Silver Medal – awarded to Janet Baptiste for her Meat Chili
  • Bronze Medal – awarded to Jennifer German for her White Chicken Chili

Pie Contest

As if eight different kinds of chili weren’t enough for the taste buds, we also had a number of delicious pies entered into the pie contest. Judging worked the same way as the chili cookoff, with event attendees tasting and placing their vote for the most delicious pie of the day. The top three vote-getters received medals in honor of their baking prowess:

  • Gold Medal – awarded to Madi Kisker for her Grandma’s Apple Pie. 10-year-old Madi said the secret ingredient in her pie was “love.” How could you not love that?
  • Silver Medal – awarded to Tracie Wilhelm for her Blueberry Peach Pie
  • Bronze Medal – awarded to Jessica Ostfeld for her Apple Pear Almond Pie

Interactive Activities

We had several interactive activities at DennyFest this year. Early in the day, a guided trail walk took hikers along the South Ridge Trail above Denny Creek, where the group enjoyed discussing a variety of related topics including the history of the park, improvements to the creek, and elements of mature and old growth forests. DennyFest attendees also had an opportunity to get a numerology reading with Intuitive Coach Deborah Stelfox to better understand whether they were following their intended life path, living to their full potential, or what their compatibility is with their significant other.

Kids’ Activities
DennyFest made many of us wish we were kids again, given all of the fun activities that were designed just for them! The Arts & Crafts table saw a steady flow of traffic all day, with many “repeat customers.” The kids enjoyed making their own charms and beads, which they could then thread onto a necklace that they could wear home. And to make it even better, nearly half of the materials were upcycled, so they were good for the environment too. In addition to the craft table, kids enjoyed jumping and sliding in the bouncy house, climbing onto and into a fire truck and aid car, having themselves sketched as a wild animal by Wild Child Portraits, and participating in magic tricks, balloon art, and funny pranks with the traveling magician, Ruben Barron.

A variety of local organizations and great partners set up displays that attendees enjoyed perusing. Demonstrations were also on-site to teach us all about important services such as emergency preparedness and fire safety. City of Kirkland departments were also represented, providing everyone with the latest on local issues, including the Juanita Corridor Study, and Fire Station Siting project, which directly impact our neighborhood.


As if all of the interactive displays and activities, warm sunshine, and beauty of O.O. Denny Park weren’t enough, we were also spoiled with a fabulous soundtrack from two live bands throughout the event. Finn Hill Jazz kicked things off with a fabulous set of jazz hits, both old and new, that proved to be the perfect accompaniment to the days’ activities. The quartet is made up of Kay Bailey on vocals, Karin Kajita on piano, Peter Rockas on tenor sax, and Will Stump on stand-up bass. Following their enjoyable performance, we had the treat of listening to The Geoffrey Castle Band with Geoffrey Castle on electric violin, Steve Boyce on guitar, Jonathan Sindelman on keyboard, and Alan White on drums. Their lively performance drew lots of toe-tapping—and even some dancing—out of the crowd.

In all, DennyFest 2013 was a huge success, and proved to be fun for all. We’re already looking forward to next year’s celebration! See you at O.O. Denny Park next September!

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