Cases of live crab on ice await preparation for cooking at the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in 2021. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Cases of live crab on ice await preparation for cooking at the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in 2021. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Crab dinner orders accepted now for October festival

Music, events and much food set for Oct. 7-9

PORT ANGELES — October’s Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is already taking orders for crab dinners.

“We’re encouraging festival-goers to purchase their crab dinner tickets online at crabfestival.org for the guaranteed price of $40.00, $21.00 for a half crab dinner,” said Scott Nagel, CrabFest executive director.

“Advance tickets aren’t required, and we will be offering crab dinners for on-site purchase at market price. But the high 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.

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

Advance tickets are $40 for whole crab dinners, $21 for half-crab meals.

The 21st-annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is set for Oct. 7-9 at the Port Angeles City Pier, the Gateway Center and Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles Harbor parking lot.

The event, organizers say, celebrates not only the food, aquaculture, agriculture and maritime traditions of Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, but Native American culture, art, music and children’s activities.

Admission will be free, with half- and whole-crab dinners available.

Fresh Dungeness crab pulled from the Strait of Juan de Fuca will be delivered to the plates of festival-goers under a 15,000-square-foot First Fed Crab Central Tent.

Dinners, sponsored by High Tide Seafoods and Platypus Marine, Inc., include locally-grown corn and cole slaw.

Curbside pick-up meals will be available, though only through online purchases and by 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. Chilled dinners will be available for $40 or cleaned/cooked/chilled/wrapped Dungeness crab is $35. Curbside pickup will be noon to 6 p.m. On Oct. 7 and Oct. 8 (there is no curbside service Oct. 9).

Throughout the grounds, 15 local and regional restaurants will be serving up culinary offerings such as fresh Dungeness crab shooters to pan-seared scallops over rice pilaf and Caribbean seafood stew. Meat and vegetarian dishes, and desserts will be available, too, along with wine, hard cider, beer and cocktails — including selections from local wineries and Northwest micro-breweries.

Events

The festival features three live music stages this year, one situated in “The Claw” – First Fed’s Gateway open-air bistro — which also will feature a wine and beer garden.

A second stage will be on City Pier, and the third stage will be in the First Fed Crab Central Tent with wine, beer and cocktails.

The Grab-A-Crab Derby, a family favorite, will be back on City Pier that Friday and Saturday. Additional Saturday activities will include a welcoming ceremony sponsored by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, a U.S. Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstration and a Peninsula College 5k fun run.

On Sunday morning the Crab Gospel Revival will be back. More than 70 juried craftspeople, nonprofit and sponsor booths will exhibit on the pier throughout the festival.

Also open during the festival will be the Feiro Marine Science Center, located on the Port Angeles City Pier, and the NOAA Olympic Coast Discovery Center at The Wharf.

Festival sponsors include platinum sponsors First Fed and Port Angeles Red Lion Hotel/Port Angeles Harbor, and presenting sponsors Peninsula Daily News, Black Ball Ferry Line M.V Coho and Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Volunteer opportunities are available; find out more at crabfestival.org/volunteer.

The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival in Port Angeles served up nine tons of crab in 2019. After a year on hiatus in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival returned in 2021, with festivities spread out among the 3 acres of waterfrtont propety to keep participants COVID-safe.

Find more information and tickets at crabfestival.org. Or, email to info@crabfestival.org or call 360-452-6300.

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