In 2019, Hayden Fuller of Seabeck gives a wary look as Robert Rohner of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, gives the youngster a close up view of the crab he just caught during Saturday’s crab derby at Port Angeles City Pier, a featured event of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

In 2019, Hayden Fuller of Seabeck gives a wary look as Robert Rohner of Sequim, a member of the North Olympic Peninsula Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, gives the youngster a close up view of the crab he just caught during Saturday’s crab derby at Port Angeles City Pier, a featured event of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

CrabFest makes its return

The Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is back this year, promising a delicious and COVID-safe event.

The festivities run Friday through Sunday, Oct. 8-10, at the Port Angeles City Pier, The Gateway center and the Red Lion Hotel parking lot. All three areas are at the northern foot of Linclon Street near Railroad Avenue.

Festival hours are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with dinner served beginning at 11 a.m.

Admission to the festival is free, but tickets are needed for crab dinners and cooked crabs.

Tickets are on sale now at crabfestival.org/food-2. A whole crab dinner is $39 or $34 for active military and family with ID. A half-crab dinner is available for $20. All are served with fresh corn and coleslaw.

Curbside pickup also is offered for the crab dinners as well as cleaned, cooked and wrapped chilled Dungeness crabs for $32.

“We even have a crab kit with bibs and crab crackers,” CrabFest Executive Director Scott Nagel said; that crab-to-g0 kit is $5.

Crabfest, like many festival events, was canceled last year because of COVID-19 safety concerns. It has been modified to be as safe as possible this year, Nagel said, with a varietry of sponsors.

“We’ve made changes and accommodations for COVID-19,” Nagel said.

“With guidance from local health leaders, we have made changes for this year that include reducing the scale of the crab festival complex to spread everything out to use our three-acre site,” he said.

”There will be plenty of seating, outdoors and under canopies. There will be no walls for maximum natural airflow, spread out tables for four to six people for less crowding … hand sanitizers will be on every table with additional handwash stations and line management.

The central tent is cut to 50 percent capacity.

“Masks are required by order of the governor, but vaccinations are not required,” because event spaces are outdoors, Nagel said.

All of these plans have been approved by the Clallam County Health Department, Nagel said.

Some traditional events have been canceled because of space and sanitation issues.

Among them are the welcoming ceremony by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Crab Derby event, a favorite for families with children, because of the inability to assure sanitization and spacing, especially among the young participants, many of whom cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 yet.

However, many other activities remain. More than 70 vendors will attend. Among them will be booths manned by 11 local restaurants serving up everything from crab cakes to clam chowder along with local dessert, beer and wine.

Arts and crafts booths are open from noon-6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Entertainment is planned at the Air-Flo Heating Stage Main Stage in the central tent in the evenings and on Sunday afternoon, and on the Windemere Pier Stage from about 1-5 p.m. each day.

On Saturday, Peninsula College will benefit from a fun run at 11 a.m. on Olympic Discovery Trail. To register for the all-ages run, go to athletics.pencol.edu/pc-athletics/event-tickets.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to perform a search and rescue demonstration; if it has to be postponed, the demonstration will be at the same time on Sunday.

New this year is The Claw, First Fed’s Gateway Bistro, conducted in the open air with food and a wine and beer garden.

Crabfest typically draws in a crowd of 20,000 each year but because of COVID-19 Nagel expects attendance to be down by 30-40 percent.

“Generally, festival attendance is down, often 30-40 percent, so we’re assuming that attendance will drop by about that much and have adjusted our budget accordingly,” Nagel said.

Some of this attendance loss will be due to the closure of the U.S.-Canadian border. In a typical year, over 3,000 of the attendee’s come over on the Coho Ferry from Victoria, B.C. .

That won’t happen this year. But that could open up the festival to more of the region’s residents, Nagel believes.

“ What this does is create a great opportunity for local folks, because typically it’s so crowded that a lot of people just stay out of downtown,” Nagel said.

‘We hope for a great crowd, but it won’t be as crowded as a typical year.”

While the hope is for increased local turnout, Nagel understands that are still people who cannot attend the festival and therefore a curbside option is being offered as well.

Curbside pickup

“Crab-lovers who are unable to eat at the festival can savor the most important part of CrabFest at home with curbside pickup,” Nagel said.

Pickups will be made in the Transit Center bus lanes next to the The Gateway.

In addition to the whole chilled Dungeness Crab dinner for $39 or a half for $20 ,

It is highly recommended that the crab dinners be ordered ahead of time at crabfestival.org for those attending or participating in curbside pickup.

Curbside pickup will be available from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will be offered on Sunday.

Crab festival attendees line up for crab dinners while others dine on a variety of sea food available in the main tent in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Crab festival attendees line up for crab dinners while others dine on a variety of sea food available in the main tent in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Crab festival attendees line up for crab dinners while others dine on a variety of sea food available in the main tent in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Crab festival attendees line up for crab dinners while others dine on a variety of sea food available in the main tent in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Crab preparer Vanessa Affandy of Port Angeles places freshly-gutted crabs into a container filled with iced saltwater as they wait for cooking for hungry patrons of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Crab preparer Vanessa Affandy of Port Angeles places freshly-gutted crabs into a container filled with iced saltwater as they wait for cooking for hungry patrons of the Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival in 2019. File photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

More in News

Restaurant owners file lawsuit against vaccine proof order

Clallam County and Dr. Allison Berry challenged

COVID-19 outbreak stems from Thanksgiving gathering

Clallam County Public Health officials were tracking on Thursday the first reported… Continue reading

A map from Olympic Disposal's conditional use permit application shows details of the company's proposed waste transfer station and recycling in Carlsborg.
Olympic Disposal proposing transfer station, recycling center in Carlsborg

A proposal to build a transfer station and recycling center in Carlsborg… Continue reading

Visitors to Railroad Bridge Park enjoy the colorfully-lit historic bridge earlier this week. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
A look into Jamestown’s Christmas lights effort

Contractor believes annual project could be biggest in state

Three deaths from COVID reported in Clallam County

Three more Clallam County residents have died from COVID-19, raising the total… Continue reading

Meghan Sullivan
Community news briefs — Dec. 1, 2021

Library hires public services director The North Olympic Library System has hired… Continue reading

tsr
Home Town Holidays: Event brings season’s spirits

A rainy gray day didn’t stop locals and visitors from attending Sequim’s… Continue reading

x
Sequim goes into 2022 with $31.7 balanced budget

No utility or property tax rates passed by city council

Attorney group offers free legal aid in person, by phone

The County Pro Bono Lawyers group presents a legal aid clinic, a… Continue reading

Most Read