Get crabbin'

Several peninsula businesses, as well as the city of Port Angeles, have teamed up to celebrate the area's most

famous crustacean: the Dungeness crab.

The seventh annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival or Crabfest, taking place Oct. 11-12 at the Port Angeles City Pier, features an old-fashioned crab feed, cooking demonstrations and the Grab-a-Crab tank derby, where participants can nab a crab from large holding tanks to win prizes.

In the First Federal-sponsored Education Pavilion, regional chefs including Jason Wilson, from Seattle's acclaimed restaurant Crush, will be on hand to give food preparation demonstrations and wine experts will discuss pairing wines with Northwest seafood.

In addition, booths with more than 40 area artists and merchants will feature even more food, drink, marine-related items and artwork.

One Pacific Northwest artist, the late Elton Bennett, is featured in a show and sale inside the Port Angeles Red Lion, one of the sponsors of Crabfest.

Bennett, who died in a 1974 plane crash in the South Pacific, put his artwork in a bank vault where it was locked for nearly 20 years after his death. His widow, Evelyn, now is showing his pieces, which he never sold for more than $15 during his lifetime.

"I want to make good art available for as many people as possible," was Bennett's explanation.

His artwork was hung at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia and was chosen to hang in several American embassies throughout the world. Fifty-five of his pieces will be for sale during Crabfest.

Crabfest takes place from 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Port Angeles City Pier and the adjacent Red Lion Hotel. There is plenty of covered area, so the event will take place rain or shine and admission is free.

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