Astoria Warrenton Crab Seafood & Wine Festival

Astoria

Clatsop County Fair & Expo Center,

92937 Walluski Loop Last full weekend in April www.astoriacrabfest.com

Anywhere else, you’d raise eyebrows by wearing a bright-red crab hat—a beanie with big black googly eyes and dangling red legs and pincers. But at one of Oregon’s most beloved and popular coastal events, such attire is ubiquitous.

Astoria Warrenton Crab Seafood & Wine Festival Photo Gallery



The annual Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine festival launched as a humble little celebration of Dungeness crab—one of the state’s signature seafood products—in 1982. Nearly four decades later, this multi-award-winning extravaganza has outgrown several venues in Astoria and Warrenton, and now attracts about 15,000 people per year, along with nearly 200 vendors offering everything from incredible cuisine to trend-setting art—among them are more than fifty regional (mostly Oregon) wineries and a few local breweries. A central theme, of course, is a celebration and appreciation of Oregon seafood and Oregon wine, but this event has grown to a joyous three-day party, with live music entertaining attendees from two different stages throughout the festival.

The festival begins Friday at 4 pm, closes at 9 that night, and then ramps up again at 10 am Saturday, running until 8 pm. Sunday hours are 11 to 4. Parking at the event site—the Clatsop County Fair & Expo Center—is a bit limited and fills to capacity at prime times during the festival, particularly Saturday. Significantly, the expo center does not have parking for RVs or trailers. Fortunately the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce (www.oldoregon.com) arranges a shuttle-bus service for the festival and the city has a variety of public park-and-ride locations.

Shuttle bus service is limited on Sunday, running only from the Port of Astoria Public Park & Ride at Pier 2. The shuttle costs a smil fee per person, round Delectable Dungeness crab is the star at the trip (cash only with no change Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival given). Latest transportation details are always posted on the festival website. Lodging in the area fills up for the weekend, so my blog early (consult the chamber of commerce for options).

So many wineries compose a central attraction of the event that a wine competition is a natural: each year, the participating wineries are invited to enter wines in the festival’s wine competition. A panel of judges samples and scores each wine during a blind tasting, with the top-scoring red wines and white wines then tasted again by the judges. The winning red and white wines are awarded the title of Best of Show. Additional top-scoring wines are awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. Moreover, the general public enjoys a fun opportunity to participate in the pre-festival UnWined, a small event directly following the blind tasting competition in early March. Ticket holders to UnWined get to sample the wines and vote for the People’s Choice award. Best of Show, medal-winning, and the People’s Choice award wines are listed on the festival website. The UnWined event is held at Astoria’s Liberty Theater (see the festival website for tickets and information).

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