By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Centrum, a nonprofit presenter of music and literary festivals for four decades now, will celebrate this birthday with the first-ever spring Clambake, a dinner and dance starring Mystery Bay Seafood and the Revelers from Louisiana.
The festivities start with the catered dinner at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds' Erickson Building, 4907 Landes St., and progress with dancing from 6:30 p.m. until about 10:30 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for dinner and dance or $10 for just the dance; the children's dinner menu is $10.
“We do Louisiana roots music,” Revelers guitarist Chas Justus promised in an interview this week from his home in Lafayette, La.
That's “the center of Acadiana,” he noted, adding that his six-piece band will bring Cajun, zydeco and what they call swamp pop, a mix of French Cajun and rock 'n' roll music.
“It's so fun. You don't have to know any special steps. You can't help but have a good time; it's natural,” Justus emphasized.
The Revelers are made up of members of two other bands known to Port Townsend: the Pine Leaf Boys and the Red Stick Ramblers.
Those outfits have played Centrum events such as the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, which began in the mid-1970s at Fort Worden State Park.
Since its founding in 1973, Centrum has hosted writing conferences and workshops in dance, blues and jazz, along with Fiddle Tunes and Voice Works, the weeklong set of singing classes and concerts.
This Sept. 11-15, the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival will be a new kid on the Fort Worden block, with workshops for uke players and a pair of public concerts.
The workshops are proving beyond popular, said Centrum program manager Jordan Hartt.
“We had 115 spots,” he said this week, “and only 10 spots are still open.”
Centrum's festivals start in early summer with Voice Works from June 24-30 and carry on with Fiddle Tunes from June 30-July 7, the Port Townsend Writers' Conference from July 7-21, Jazz Port Townsend from July 21-28, the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival from July 28-Aug. 5 and DANCE This from Aug. 5-10.
For Centrum members — those who make an annual donation of $50 or more — tickets to the various concerts go on sale this Monday. For everyone else, the box office opens May 1.
Information about performers, workshops and public events can be found at www.Centrum.org, while tickets to Saturday's Clambake can be purchased at 360-385-3181, ext. 103.
Tickets also will be on sale at the Erickson Building door after 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.