Brinnon ShrimpFest offers music, plenty of seafood

BRINNON — The annual Hood Canal ShrimpFest is back for its 24th year with plenty of music, beer and Hood Canal spot shrimp.

The two-day festival, a fundraiser for the Emerald Towns Alliance, will include live music by three bands, a children’s craft station, belt sander races and plenty of local seafood, including shrimp.

The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 251 Hjelvicks Road, between the Yelvik General Store and the Cove RV Park & Country Store in Brinnon.

The entrance fee is $5. Children younger than 12 will be admitted free with a paying parent. Active military and veterans will be admitted free with ID.

Tides this weekend should be low enough to allow festivalgoers to dig up some clams and oysters at some of the public beaches near the festival, though licenses are required.

There will also be plenty of Hood Canal spot shrimp to catch, or, if you’re not up for a day out on the boat, plenty will be available for purchase at the festival.

On both days, arts and crafts booths will be open, children’s activities are planned and food and beer will be for sale.

Saturday festivities

Saturday will start with music by the Old Sidekicks, a Sequim country and bluegrass band.

At noon, the popular belt sander races will kick off.

“It’s an old traditional thing,” said Mindy Berge, a volunteer at the Quilcene Visitor Center. “Everyone gets really into it. It’s really fun.”

The belt sanders are souped-up versions of the power tool and generally decorated for the occasion. In the past, belt sanders have been topped with stuffed animals, toy cars or cartoons to make them stand out.

The power tools race down a custom-built wooden track, which keeps the belt sanders on a straight course, so it’s a race all about speed.

At 1 p.m., Locust Street Taxi will take the stage, followed by the Eric Miller Band at 3 p.m.

Sunday events

On Sunday, the morning will be greeted by the Eric Miller Band. Belt sander races will kick off at noon, followed by music by the Old Sidekicks and Locust Street Taxi.

“It’ll be a good variety of music,” Berge said.

ShrimpFest has been an annual tradition in Brinnon since 1993, with the exception of 2012, when the festival had to take a year off to search for a new location.

Past festivals have been known to draw as many as 12,000 people in one weekend. This year, Berge expects to see about 200 — maybe more if the weather holds. The forecast for Memorial Day weekend is sunny with temperatures in the low 70s.

More information, including campgrounds and lodging options, can be found at www.brinnonshrimpfest.org.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.

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