From Peninsula Spotlight: First Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival this weekend

Forget all those admonishments from your mother. It’s OK to play with your food this weekend. In fact, you can catch it, study it and eat it during the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival which kicks off tonight, Oct. 11.

Feeling like a crab? That’s a good thing this weekend as there will be plenty of them to eat at participating restaurants, beginning tonight with the Kick-off Dinner at 6 p.m. at the 3 Crabs Restaurant, 11 Three Crabs Road, Sequim.

Crab appetizers and wine tasting hosted by Hogue Cellars will start off the event during which participants may select their dinner wine. A commemorative wine glass is included with the dinner price of $34.95.

Dinner is at 7 p.m. and includes crab dip, crab bisque, green salad with crab meat and a choice from the following entrees: crab soufflé, crab cakes, crab-stuffed salmon, a whole cracked crab, 6-ounce top sirloin with half crab or crab cake, and dessert.

Prepaid reservations only will be accepted. Call 360-683-4264 to reserve a table.

Saturday and Sunday festivities at 3 Crabs include outside cooking from noon to 4 p.m. and inside dining from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Restaurants

Other restaurants which will be featuring special Crab Festival entrees and appetizers include:

* Beach House Espresso and Gifts, 20 Three Crabs Road, Sequim

* Bella Italia, 118 E. First St., Port Angeles

* Bonny’s Bakery, 215 S. Lincoln St., Port Angeles

* Bushwhacker, 1527 E. First St., Port Angeles

* C’est Si Bon, 23 Cedar Park Drive, Port Angeles

* Café Garden, 1506 E. First St., Port Angeles

* CrabHouse Restaurant, 221 N. Lincoln St., Port Angeles

* Destiny Seafood Grill and Pub, 1213 Marina Drive, Port Angeles

* Downriggers Restaurant, 115 E. Railroad Ave., port Angeles

* Joshua’s Restaurant and Lounge, 113 Del Guzzi Drive, Port Angeles

* Jupiter Delicatessen and Culinary Studio, 229 W. First St., Port Angeles

* Landing Restaurant and Dockside Lounge, 115 E. Railroad Ave., Port Angeles

* Marina Restaurant, 2577 W. Sequim Bay Road, Sequim

* Michael’s Divine Dining, 117/B E. First St., Port Angeles

* Toga’s International Cuisine, 122 W. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles

While your attitude turns from being crabby to being happy as a clam at high tide during your dining experience, you might just win some tasty prizes. Pick up a map at Crab Central at the Landing Mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., Port Angeles, and get it stamped at a minimum of eight participating restaurants during the festival. After dropping your stamped map off at Crab Central, you will be registered to win a special treasure.

Grab and Crab

In between bites, those of you who never outgrew playing with your food have a chance of winning a prize for doing so. The Port Angeles Harbor will be seeded with 500 tagged Dungeness crabs which, when caught, allow you to enter drawings (at 5 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday) for cash or prizes.

All participants must register at Crab Central on Friday between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday between 7 a.m. and noon.

Participants must pay a $4 entry fee, hold a state recreational shellfish license and provide their own equipment.

The crabs will be planted in several places, including near City Pier, so crabbers without boats can participate.

“Grab a Crab” ends at noon on Sunday.

There are also prizes (not to mention a delicious cook-your-own entree) for anyone who catches a legal but non-tagged crab.

The Port of Port Angeles has waived boat launch fees for those who’ve registered for “Grab a Crab.”

Crab study

On City Pier, there will be displays by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, North Olympic Park Institute and local tribes.

Displays will show the life cycle of the Dungeness Crab and how various groups are working to preserve the water quality in the Northwest to ensure quality fishing and crabbing for generations to come.

Also, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at City Pier, there will be tours aboard the oil spill recovery ship W.C. Park Responder.

Not only can you learn about their lifestyles, you can learn about turning them into tempting treats.

There will be cooking displays Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to noon at the Landing. Local chefs and restaurateurs will show how to clean and cook Dungeness crabs and prepare crab dishes.

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