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CrabFest 2023


Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival

Port Angeles puts out the welcome mat for the 22 nd year

Affectionately known as CrabFest, this three-day party is a wonderful way to enjoy so many things from the Olympic Peninsula. It's a great celebration of the seafood, agriculture and aquaculture, maritime history, cultural traditions, and the beauty of the area. The big boy, of course, is the Dungeness crab, whose home is just a few miles away at Dungeness Bay.

Each day is devoted to arts and crafts, food, and live music. Along with the First Fed Crab Central Tent where you can enjoy an old-fashioned Dungeness crab dinner, there's also "The Claw," an open-air bistro with food, wine and beer garden, and live music. On Friday evening inside the new Field Hall waterfront theater and events center, you can hear The Ruth Moody Band (folk music). There is a charge for the concert; dinner ticket holders get $5 off each concert ticket. The events center is two blocks from the CrabFest site.

Saturday includes the CrabFest 5K Fun Run, craft booths, always more food, and music. Really interesting is the formal welcome by local officials and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and members. Don't miss the Lower Elwha Song & Drum Group sharing traditional stories and songs. In addition, there will be representation from Joint Base Lewis McChord with the Bigfoot Brass Band playing New Orleans music.

In addition, a US Coast Guard Search & Rescue demonstration takes place at the Port Angeles Harbor City Pier. At 5:30, Field Hall welcomes Sammy Miller & The Congregation with the music of 1973 (again, there's a $5 ticket discount for Crab dinner ticket holders). At 7:30, they perform again, this time playing "stomp your feet dance music."

Sunday starts out with the Crab Gospel Revival and all your other favorite parts of the Festival, which closes at 5 p.m.

Each year, the menu grows as CrabFest is connected directly to local fishermen and suppliers with their own boats. Hama Hama oysters, Alaska Weathervane Scallops company, and more. There is so much more to discover food-wise: crab and shrimp cocktails, steak and prawn kabobs, spinach and artichoke dip with crab, crab poutine, calamari, Dungeness crab grilled cheese, Dungeness crab cake plate, crab pot pie, halibut and chips, seafood gumbo, Dungeness crab tomato fennel cioppino broth (vegan). And that's just a sampling! You really can't eat it all, so pace yourselves! Don't ask us how we know this.

As part of your planning, be aware that there are long lines for the crab dinners at certain times. If you can, avoid those. Like 12:30-1:30 p.m. when the Coho Ferry arrives from Victoria, B.C.

Throughout the weekend you'll be educated (in interesting ways) about environmental issues. The more we know, the more years CrabFest can take place!

The Festival is located at the Port Angeles City Pier and the Red Lion Hotel overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Connie Adams/September 2023

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