12 Things You Should Know About Poulsbo

Ryan Nickum

May 27

City Profiles


Photo:  Flickr user Andrew Taylor

Poulsbo is known by many nicknames:  The Jewel of Kitsap County, Little Norway, Valhalla on Puget Sound, Paul’s Bow, Dampnessville, Lil’ Lutefisk, Big Dreary, The Lute, and Gateway to Lemolo.  And while this Kitsap County town has many monikers, the rest of the state probably only knows of Poulsbo for its Norwegian heritage, proximity to the Clearwater Casino, and possibly its great breweries. Want to learn a little more about what makes Poulsbo unique? Read on…

Poulsbo has a varied nightlife


Once Poulsbo was known for having the hottest nightlife in all of Kitsap County, but then the Big Bear Drive-In closed down. Luckily, you can still play Bingo at the North Kitsap Fraternal Order of Eagles or eat pancakes down at the Sons of Norway.

Viking Fest is epic


Every May, the residents of Poulsbo gather to celebrate Viking Fest. Once the town grows bored with the parade, clogging, and donut eating contests, the attendees assemble a flotilla of crude boats and venture south to Bainbridge Island. Upon storming the beaches, they pile all the lawn furniture, kayaks, and driftwood into huge piles and burn them. It’s horrific, and the islanders have to hide in the woods and sip unchilled chardonnay until the Poulsbo riffraff finally leaves.

Poulsbo has beef with Franz Bakery


Like some terrible boyfriend that breaks your heart and then comes crawling back promising he’ll change, the coldhearted bread makers at Franz Bakery keep discontinuing production of Poulsbo Bread. For the third time in the past four years they’ve cancelled the multigrain bread’s production. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for Poulsbo’s 9,509 residents.

Lots of ladies in Poulsbo


According to the U.S. Census, 54.7% of Poulsbo’s population are female, which means there is an abundance of women in this fair city. Compare that to the sausage fest that is Bremerton, which is just 46.9% women.

Beware of lutefisk


A common prank pulled by Poulsbo residents is to take some dried cod filets, soak them in water and toxic lye, wait for them to achieve the texture of Jello, and then force other people to eat them by telling them it’s a Norwegian delicacy.

World’s best maple bars



Legend has it that when determining which parent will receive primary custody of the children during a divorce, Kitsap County judges nearly always decide in favor of the parent who most frequently rewards his/her children with pastries from Sluys’ Bakery in Poulsbo.

Do NOT speak ill of Aaron Sele


To this day, local boy Aaron Sele remains a legend in Poulsbo. His ended stellar Major League Baseball career with a 4.61 ERA and 148 wins. Legend has it if anyone says a bad word about Aaron Sele within Poulsbo’s city limits they will be pummeled by former teammate Mo Vaughn.

The origins of Poulsbo’s name


Local legend has it that the small city was originally named Mudge, after the British Royal Naval officer Zachary Mudge, a member of Captain George Vancouver’s 1792 exploration of Puget Sound. In 1986, the town was renamed “Poulsbo” after a popular chain of RV dealerships. Another theory is that was named Paulsbo (Paul’s place in Norwegian), but authorities in Washington D.C. misspelled it.

Poulsbo’s at the center of everything


Poulsbo’s unique location puts it in close proximity to an arsenal dangerous nuclear warheads, one of the finest casinos in Washington, Silverdale’s splendid malls, and an abundance of Dairy Queens.

Poulsbo politician once failed spectacularly at becoming Governor


Poulsbo is represented by Democrats now, but it was once a hotbed of political conservatism. Poulsbo’s most famous political figure was Ellen Craswell, who was absolutely trounced in the 1996 Governor’s race after receiving only 42% of the vote. An outspoken critic of gay rights, Craswell embarrassingly called it “special rights for sodomites.” It’s rumored her homophobia was so crippling she insisted on telling Sven and Ole jokes as Svetlana and Ole jokes, which totally messed up the punchlines.

So many PT Cruisers in Poulsbo


Anyone who’s wandered Poulsbo’s parking lots looking for their car knows PT Cruisers are surprisingly abundant here. Why? Well, one theory is that anyone who purchases a pre-owned car or truck from Liberty Bay Auto Center automatically receives a PT Cruiser for free.

The sun seemingly sets early in Poulsbo


It only feels like night comes early to Poulsbo because the stunning Olympic mountains to the west block out the sun as it sets behind them. Precious minutes of daylight are lost each day, but some say the incredible views make up for it.

Do you have what it takes to live in Poulsbo?


If Poulsbo sounds like your cup of chowder then check out Estately.com or download the Estately App, both of which are incredible tools to use when searching for a home for sale in Poulsbo.




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