Catching, cracking and learning to cook crabs available at festival in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES – If everyone at this festival gets crabby, no one will complain.

The sixth annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is a time to put on the bibs, get out the crackers, and eat – all the while celebrating the crab that got its name from the small town of Dungeness that once existed between Port Angeles and Sequim.

The festival will be on both today and Sunday the City Pier area in Port Angeles.

From grabbing a crab in the tank derby to tasting delectable dishes by North Olympic Peninsula chefs, the annual festival offers a little adventure with the meals while they satisfy the taste buds.

The popular Grab a Crab Tank Derby, sponsored by Wilder Auto, allows visitors to get their own crustaceans without obtaining a permit and fishing it out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The derby will take place at City Pier, at the north end of Lincoln Street.

“Because you have to have a permit to crab, we have big tanks set up so people can catch their own crab,” said Scott Nagel, producer and operations director of the annual festival.

“If they do catch one, they get their name entered for a prize, and they also get to keep the crab and have it cooked up for them right there.”

Past crab tanks have drawn lines of people vying for the chance to snag a live one from the tanks, Nagel said.

The Windermere Real Estate Crab Central Pavilion – a 7,000-square-foot tent in the parking lot of the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St. – will have food booths with 25 dishes whipped up by North Olympic Peninsula chefs, wine tasting from local wineries, Northwest beer and live music.

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