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Seafood Season: Grab Your Bibs!

by Eva Seelye

An array of local delicacies await you this fall

Summer might be officially over, but save your tears and appetite because seafood season is ramping up. The running salmon, albacore, and more are causes for celebration. When it comes to the Pacific Northwest, seafood and celebration go hand in hand, especially as we welcome the season of changing leaves and a cooler breeze. From mollusks to fish and steaming hot chowders to autumn veggies, it’s time to indulge in the best of Pacific Northwest seafood at one (or all) of these mouthwatering food festivals.

Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival

October 5-7: If piles of fresh Dungeness crab aren’t enough to get you in a bib and out the door to Port Angeles, Washington’s waterfront, then maybe its national recognition will give you that extra push you need. The Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival was named one of the Top 100 Events by the American Bus Association and recognized by Coastal Living Magazine, GQ Magazine, Saveur, and others as one of the top seafood festivals in North America.

Join other crab fanatics October 5-7 to celebrate the aquaculture, agriculture, and maritime traditions of the Olympic Peninsula with food, art, music, Native American activities, and children events during this 3-day seafood frenzy. Experience cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, a chowder cook-off, the Grab-A-Crab Derby, local beer and wine, live music, craft vendors, and more for free.

To get the full experience, consider purchasing a Full Crab Dinner and donate an extra $1 per order to benefit the Feiro Marine Life Center on the pier.

Each dinner includes a whole, fresh Dungeness crab (either hot or cold), corn on the cob, and organic coleslaw, or pick up a crab to go! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit crabfestival.org. Dinner prices vary.

Salmon Days

October 6-7: Cue the capers, garlic, and lemon, and enjoy salmon for days at the 49th annual Salmon Days Festival. Mosey on over to Issaquah, Washington October 6-7 for the celebration honoring the return of almost 2 tons of salmon to Issaquah Creek each year. Browse more than 270 on-site artists’ handcrafted work and snack on delicious salmon barbecue and other delectable eats from over 50 vendors.

Dance to live music at one of their three stages, browse their farmers market of over 30 produce booths, or hang out in the beer garden. Of course, you’ll have to take in the spectacular floats of the Grande Parade. There’s also a Field of Fun complete with inflatables, free games, entertainment, Hamster Balls, and a carnival open to the public practically all weekend. If you’d like to learn more about the inspiration behind this festival, stop by the hatchery for free tours and educational salmon talks.

You don’t want to miss this free celebration of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most iconic seafood delicacies. Visit
issaquahchamber.com/salmondays for more information.

Seafood Events in the PNW

Left: Salmon Days in Issaquah, Washington, is a lively affair for the whole family; bouncy houses and giant artistic tributes to salmon included. (photo: City of Issaquah). Right: Folks wait as Oysterfest oysters are expertly shucked. (photo: Oysterfest)


October 6-7: Shuck your heart out and taste the ocean at Oysterfest, Washington’s official seafood festival on October 6-7. This ultimate South Puget Sound festival is home to the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championships and features hands-on water quality exhibits, a massive food pavilion with over 100 unique menu items, the Washington Wine Hall, a Microbrew Garden, four live music stages, and more.

Support local non-profit service clubs and organizations, and fund scholarships and community improvement projects by trying barbecue oysters, spring rolls, garlic shrimp, fritters, and fresh cider; what could be better than that? If you’re truly in it for the long trawl, reserve a campsite or RV space
for the weekend. Admission is
$5, and tickets can be purchased online at oysterfest.org or onsite. Happy shucking!

Savor the San Juans

October 28: The fall feast for the senses, Savor the San Juans is a 2-month-long celebration of food, farms, and film. Eat Island Grown is at the tail end of the festival on October 28 preceded by film festivals, a farm parade, and an Oktoberfest celebration. Here, you’ll be able to taste the San Juan Islands one local chef’s creation at a time.

Farmers supply fresh, quality products and chefs from the San Juan’s combine the ingredients into gourmet meals for a four-hour event that is sure to make your
taste buds swim. Wash it all back with locally produced soft and alcoholic beverages for the full
Eat Island Grown experience. What’s more, all proceeds benefit San Juan County farming initiatives. Tickets start at just $3. Check out islandgrownsj.com/ to purchase tickets or to learn more.

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