Hood Canal Fjord Fest spotlights local bounty in food, music

BRINNON — The Memorial Weekend fundraising festival in Brinnon continues this weekend with a new name and new focus.

It will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 251 Hjelvicks Road, Brinnon, off U.S. Highway 101. The gate fee is $10 per day. Children younger than 12 are admitted free with a paying parent. Active military and veterans are admitted free with ID.

ShrimpFest began 30 years ago to celebrate the plentiful Hood Canal Spot Shrimp and raise funds for such local causes as schools, food banks and animal rescues. This year it has a new name: the Hood Canal Fjord Fest.

No spot shrimp will be sold in bulk.

However, the famous shrimp will be part of dishes made by some vendors, along with other seafood and specialty locally sourced dishes, some of which are detailed at https://www.facebook.com/HoodCanalFjordFest.

Between rising shrimp costs and a lack of supply, it’s been increasingly difficult to meet consumer demands, said organizers, who were faced with either changing the name or not having a festival at all.

“Given that Fjord Fest (previously Shrimpfest) is our area’s biggest fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations, we felt strongly about continuing this yearly tradition even if it required a name change,” organizers said.

The board, with input from volunteers, decided that celebrating not only local shrimp but all the bounty of the region would ease the burden of rising shrimp costs while preserving the original spirit and intent of ShrimpFest, organizers said.

“Making this event more inclusive allows us to highlight other local favorites such as oysters, clams, crabs and fish, as well as our local mushrooms and farm fare,” they said.

The festival isn’t just about the food.

In addition to the food vendors will be craft vendors, activities for youth, a beer garden and live entertainment.

Here is the music schedule:

Saturday

• 11 a.m. — The Band LeLe, from Edmonds, which offers a unique indie folk sound with original songs.

• 12:45 p.m. — The Elderberries from Kala Point in Port Townsend, which performs a wide range of classic rock.

• 2:30 p.m. — Buck Ellard Band, a traditional country band voted “Best Live Performer” by readers of the Peninsula Daily News for the years 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He has a song in the movie “Dead in 5 Heartbeats” and has toured Europe, Canada and the U.S., opening for acts such as David Alan Coe and Hank Williams III.

• 4:15 p.m. — Olympic Express Big Band, featuring vocalist Jessie Lee Spicher, seats musicians from Sequim, Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Joyce.

Sunday

• 11 a.m. — The Kimball Superstars is a country band from Tacoma.

• 12:45 p.m. — Sound Advice Band, a Peninsula dance band that plays Motown, classic soul and rock.

• 2:30 p.m. — Chimacum Creek Band’s original music draws on rock, folk and Austin-country influences.

• 4:15 p.m. — Sweater Weather String Band blends old-time, honky-tonk, Celtic and indie rock influences into a dancable sound.

Emerald Towns Alliance organizes the all-volunteer festival and allocates all proceeds to local causes.

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