2023 CrabFest to offer fresh seafood, entertainment

Tickets on sale now for dinners from Oct. 6-8 festival

Last year’s Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival served up about 8 tons of fresh Dungeness crab. This year’s event is slated for Oct. 6-8. (Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival)

Last year’s Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival served up about 8 tons of fresh Dungeness crab. This year’s event is slated for Oct. 6-8. (Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival)

PORT ANGELES — Advance tickets are on sale for fresh-cooked crab from October’s 22nd annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, which also will collaborate with Field Arts & Events Hall this year.

Organizers say this year’s event — set for Oct. 6-8 in downtown Port Angeles — celebrates not only the food, aquaculture, agriculture and maritime traditions of the Olympic Peninsula, but Native American culture, art, music and children’s activities in a three-day celebration.

The festival takes place at the Port Angeles City Pier, the Gateway Center and Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles Harbor parking lot. Admission is free.

Organizers encourage festival-goers to get their crab dinner tickets online at crabfestival.org for the guaranteed price of $40, or $25 for a half-crab dinner.

Advance tickets aren’t required, and the festival will offer crab dinners for on-site purchase at market price, they said.

“But the cost of seafood has caused changes to our planning, and there’s a chance we won’t have enough crab available for on-site purchases throughout the festival weekend,” said Scott Nagel, CrabFest executive director.

“Advance tickets guarantee your crab. They’re good for any day of the festival and are refundable up to 15 days prior to the start of the event.”

At the 2022 festival, personnel served up 8 tons of fresh Dungeness crab pulled from the Strait of Juan de Fuca by a CrabFest fleet, cleaned and cooked on site.

Crab dinners are served to festival-goers under a 15,000-square-foot First Fed Crab Central Tent at the City Pier, with a la carte-plated crabs and “crabs to go,” as well as curbside pickup.

The Dungeness crab dinners, sponsored by High Tide Seafoods and Platypus Marine, Inc., feature whole crabs that average 2 pounds, and come with fresh corn, cole slaw and a bib.

Curbside pickups must be ordered online by midnight Oct. 5. Pickup will be available between noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 6-7; there will be no curbside service on Oct. 8.

Throughout the grounds, 18 local and regional restaurants will serve everything from fresh Dungeness crab shooters to Pan-seared Alaska Weathervane scallops over rice pilaf to Caribbean Seafood Stew — more than 70 dishes, plus a raw oyster bar. Meat and vegetarian dishes are also on the menu, along with local desserts, wine, hard cider and beer.

New venue

CrabFest also will offer top tunes at a new venue. CrabFest dinner ticket holders will be given an exclusive $5 discount on each ticket purchased for Crab Festival Concerts at the Field Hall at 201 W. Front St.

At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, the Ruth Moody Band will bring folk music of Australian-born, Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Ruth Moody.

At 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Sammy Miller & The Congregation, led by Grammy-nominated drummer Sammy Miller, will perform.

In addition to the special Field Hall performances, there will be three live music stages, one situated in “The Claw” — First Fed Gateway Open-Air Bistro. The second stage will be on City Pier and the main stage will be in the First Fed Crab Central Tent.

In addition, more than 70 juried craftspeople, nonprofit and sponsor booths will be featured on the City Pier throughout the festival.

Additional activities on Oct. 7 will include a welcoming ceremony sponsored by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, a U.S. Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstration, and a special visit by the USCGC Alert, a 210-foot cutter that will be open for public tours, and the Peninsula College 5K Fun Run. On Oct. 8, the Crab Gospel Revival will open the day’s events.

Also, the nearby Feiro Marine Science Center and NOAA Olympic Coast Discovery Center will be open for exploration.

Sponsors for the event include First Fed-Port Angeles, Red Lion Hotel-Port Angeles Harbor (platinum sponsors); and Black Ball Ferry Line M.V. Coho, Peninsula Daily News, Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau, City of Port Angeles, Clallam County and Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce (presenting sponsors).

Volunteers are a key part of making the festival happen, organizers note. View opportunities to volunteer at crabfestival.org.

For more information about CrabFest, call 360-452-6300, email info@crabfestival.org or visit crabfestival.org.

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