Record turnout likely for Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival; ferry from Victoria at capacity
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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“We planned for an expansion, and we beat the expectation,” said Scott Nagel, executive director of the festival.
Nagel hesitated to make an estimate for attendance, saying it would take a few days to review receipts before he could give a number.
Several Coho runs were sold out — the 341-foot ferry has a 1,000-passenger capacity — and “it was completely filled with people,” Nagel said.
“We could have used another Coho,” he said.
The response from north of the border was largely credited to heavy marketing in the Victoria area by Black Ball Ferry Line, the Coho’s owner, Nagel said.
Also helping was the three-day Thanksgiving Day weekend in Canada.
The Crab Fest crowd overflowed the parking lot where the festival is held, and into Lincoln Street and Railroad Avenue at City Pier and the Red Lion Hotel parking lot — and still needed more room.
Nagel said a larger venue is going to be needed if the festival is to continue to expand.
The 12-year-old event has been growing steadily each year, and has really come into its own in the past six years, he said.
He said vendors were reporting good receipts, too.
A new event, the chowder cookoff, was a major success for popularity and for quality of food, and Nagel added that the cook-off earned a profit in its first year.
“It has become an international festival,” Nagel said.
By far the most common international visitors were from Canada via the MV Coho.
“It was completely filled with people,” Nagel said.
However, he said many of guests came from farther distances.
Nagel said he met guests from Japan, Scotland and other overseas locations who made Port Angeles a stop on their travel itineraries.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 13. 2013 6:53PM