Visitors coming into Kingston will do a double-take when they see the dozen giant-sized Adirondack chairs throughout downtown. As part of a local branding effort for Kingston to sit, relax and stay a while, the hope is the brightly colored chairs will encourage people of all ages to stop and enjoy them while taking in the mountain and sound views, beautiful beaches, parks, and marina.
"The chairs are a great visual around the community that will convey fun and excitement, not to mention a reason to come play and stay in Kingston," said Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder, who supports the effort to increase economic development and tourism in North Kitsap. He hopes the chairs will grab the attention of those passing through town and get them to stop and enjoy the community while supporting local businesses and activities.
Commissioner Gelder has been involved in the planning for the big chairs for nearly a year, along with Port of Kingston Executive Director Jim Pivarnik and brainchild of the initiative, Susan Rodgers, owner of Cleo's Landing in downtown Kingston and long-time community advocate. She has had two big chairs in front of her business for years and saw how much they attracted people to climb around on them, sit and chill, take photos and look out over Apple Tree Cove. She worked with Doug Woodside, local builder and owner of Decks & Patio Covers in Kingston, to construct the additional chairs that were put in place earlier this month.
The chairs were paid for by individual and business sponsors, including Commissioner Gelder who purchased four chairs using his discretionary funds and placed them at Kola Kole and Arness county parks downtown. Other chairs are at the Port of Kingston's Mike Wallace Park, Kingston Mercantile & Marine and Cleo's Landing.
As the buzz spreads about the big chairs, Kingston will join other Washington communities known for their oversize attractions like the Frogs on the Rock on Bainbridge Island, the Run of Giant Salmon in Olympia and Hat and Boots in Georgetown.
Doug Woodside said there is already interest in four more chairs and they need four more orders as the chairs are built in blocks of eight. Local Kingston businesses and organizations interested in having chairs of their own can contact the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce at (360) 297-3813.