BRINNON — More than 1,700 pounds of fresh-frozen Hood Canal Spot Shrimp — which many say are the sweetest, tastiest shrimp around — will be available for purchase at this weekend’s Brinnon ShrimpFest.
The Memorial Day weekend festival, an annual event since 1993, was on hiatus for the past two years because of concerns over COVID-19 and, in 2021, a problem with the freezer for the shrimp.
But it resumes today and will continue through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, at 251 Hjelvicks Road, north of the Yelvik General Store and south of the Cove RV Park and Country Store on U.S. Highway 101. The site is where Highway 101 meets the north end of the Hood Canal. People are asked not to bring pets.
“We expect between 5,000 and 7,000 people” over the weekend, said Belinda Graham, president of the Emerald Towns Alliance, the nonprofit that hosts the festival.
Admission is $5 per person per day, with children under 12 admitted free with a paying parent, and active military and veterans also admitted free with ID.
Shrimp will be sold for $20 per 16-ounce container.
“They went from sea to freezer in about two hours,” Graham said.
Also, serendipitously, Saturday will be one of four state-designated shrimping days, Graham noted. State Fish and Wildlife regulations allowed Hood Canal shrimping on Wednesday and will again on Saturday, as well as on June 9 and June 23 — all between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition, the Hood Canal tides are usually low enough during this weekend for easy harvest of clams and oysters on the public beaches near the festival; licenses are required, festival organizers said.
Seafood is hardly all the festival offers.
Entertainment will include a giant slide, a Kids Zone with arts and crafts — such as the making of ShrimpFest pirate hats — and live music.
Performing today will be The Shift, a folk rock group based in Quilene, and Lowire, a Port Townsend funk-infused jam band. On Sunday an Elvis impersonator is expected, along with Me and the Boys, a bluegrass band from Kingston, Graham said.
VFW Post 10706 will sponsor the Brinnon ShrimpFest Beer and Wine Garden.
The Brinnon Fire Department will bring a trailer that simulates the feeling of being in an earthquake, Graham said.
Emerald Towns Alliance donates proceeds to a variety of groups. Among them in years past have been the Brinnon School, the Brinnon Volunteer Ambulance & Firefighters Association, Brinnon and Quilcene community centers and area food banks as well as many other community projects.
For more information, and to purchase tickets, see www.brinnonshrimpfest.org/.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at email@example.com.