From Westport to Waimea in 3, 2, 1…

This weekend is the 11th Annual Surfrider Foundation’s Clean Water Classic, the largest continuously run Pro/Am surf competition in the Pacific Northwest right here in Westport, Washington. The event is a fundraiser for the Pacific Northwest Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation, a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the worlds oceans, waves and beaches. To learn more about the Surfrider foundation or find a chapter in your area please visit www.surfrider.org.

It’s also a great party, and all weekend long there is live Hawaiian and Reggae music at the Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill. There are a handful of professional surfers from Hawaii that put on an “Expression Session” which is basically an exhibition style surf session on Saturday, and with them and all their guests and the live music, last year it really felt like being at a part on the North Shore of Oahu.

Also, most people don’t know that there is a Kids Surf Camp on Saturday morning, which is completely free and staffed by volunteers. It was started a few years ago by a local kid that thought more local children should be surfing. So any of your little ones that have a curiousity about surfing but no one to take them, this is your big chance! Surfboards and wetsuits are provided, you just need to show up at 9 am to register.

See ya at the beach!

25th Annual Crab Races, Crab Feed & Derby

It’s April in Westport, and that means CRAB RACES!! It brings back memories of my previous life, as a big city dweller, a group of coworkers and I used to go to a place called Brennan’s Pub, in Marina del Rey. Every Thursday night Brennan’s ran Turtle Races, which was a crazy event where for $1 you could choose a “racing turtle” as your own. Each participant would place their racer down in the center of a circle (on the Brennan’s outside patio) and then everyone would yell at their chosen turtle until one of them reached the outside circumference, thus being declared the winner. Prizes were awarded out of a giant trash bag, and were not anything you could discuss in polite company. It was crazy, and the liberal vegan that I was at the time found it really wrong. But the beer was cheap, it was walking distance from my office, so I witnessed a lot more Turtle Races than I care to admit.

The point is that Crab Race weekend is Westport’s version of that event. At the Crab Pavilion, a giant tent set up in the Marina district for this event, anyone can register and borrow a racer crab for $3. When your heat is called, racing human places racer crab on a slanted table and the racing human pounds on the table and yells at his crab and the first crab to slide to the bottom of the table is declared the winner! Again, lots of fun for those who are into it, mixed with possible feelings of conflicted guilt if you’re an animal lover, with any misgivings removed by the time you take your first bite of the fresh Dungeness Crab from the Crab Feed.

If this sounds at all intriguing to you, head to Westport next weekend! Rain or shine, the Westport Grayland Chamber will present 25th Annual Westport Crab Races and Crab Feed on Saturday, April 21, 2012.

Festivities are centered at the Crab Pavilion, with admission just $2 per person for live music by Catch of the Day, and the main attraction – “World Class Crab Races!” Then dig into the tastiest, freshest local Dungeness Crab dinner you’ll ever have, with all the trimmings (just $12 for half or $17 for a whole portion).
Enter the Crab Pavilion for the event – Westport’s World Class Crab Races run from 1pm to 5pm – sign up starts at 11am. Select a racer from one of our field of draft picks ($3 registration gets you a crab that’s been training since their last molt), or you can bring your own fresh racing crab if you prefer. Racing registation begins at 11am and the heats start at 1pm. Lots of prices donated by local merchants are up for grabs in this annual fun event.

The crab feed will go from 11am to 5pm. The dinner ($12 for half a crab/$17 for a whole crab) includes assorted salads, baked beans, and garlic bread, plus coffee or a soft drink. Hot dogs and other beverages, including beer & wine will also be available for sale.

If you prefer to catch your own, take part in sport crabbing right off the docks or the fisherman’s boardwalk any time during the season. On Saturday & Sunday, there will be a Crab Derby presented by the Washington Dungeness Crab Fisherman’s Association, with 10 Cash Crab prizes ($1,000 Cash Prize!). You can sign up at the derby booth on the marina. Westport is home to the most delicious Dungeness Crab you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Plan Fourth of July at the Beach

One of our favorite times at the Beach is the Fourth of July. We are usually just getting used to the summer days, Westport is finally bright and noisy with visitors and fishermen, and everyday the giant American flag flies proudly over the Maritime Museum visible from our house miles away.

We love to dress the kids in their matching red, white & blue and head down to the presentation of the colors by the U.S. Coast Guard Grays Harbor at the Maritime Museum. The Old Fashioned Fourth of July is one of those events that makes me thankful as a parent to live in a small town.

This year, according to Westport-South Beach Historical Society president Peggy Coverdale, visitors can enjoy musical entertainment with Captain Pete’s Lollapalooza (Pete Darrah of the Wilapa Seaport Museum & percussionist for the Grays Harbor Banjo Band), a magic show (amazing tricks and outrageous fun with magician Jeff Evans) a cake walk, clowns, children’s games, face painting, vendors, a plant sale, silent auction, hot dogs, strawberry shortcake and root beer floats at the former Coast Guard Lifeboat Station.

The 4th will also mark the opening of a special exhibit of limited edition Lighthouses by Harbour Lights. The collection was recently donated by Gretchen and John Lamb of Aberdeen and is valued at more than $10,000. The Destruction Island Lens Building will be open, providing visitors an opportunity to examine a first order Fresnel lens up close. The museum itself will also be open from 10AM until 4PM on July 4.

The Maritime Museum is located in Westport’s Marina District. The Westport-South Beach Historical Society operates the museum and is presenting its 17th annual “Old Fashioned Fourth.” Museum admission will be $5 for adults and $2 for children under age 12. There is no charge for admission onto the grounds and access to the events.

When the Maritime Museum’s Old Fashioned Fourth is over at 4PM, visitors can enjoy a dinner in one of Westport’s many restaurants or stroll on the waterfront, until the Shoalwater Bay Casino presents the South Beach community’s spectacular fireworks demonstration. The exhibition will beginning at 10PM in Tokeland—where the fireworks will light up the skies.

We will probably hit the beach after dark, and watch the amateur pyrotechnics go wild with their fireworks, make a fire, and have too many smores. The boys love to eat food they cooked on sticks :) The beach on the 4th, with all the families, the campfires, the fireworks, is quite a sight. Somehow, the next day, it all gets cleaned back up.

Where ever you go on the 4th, have a great one! See ya at the beach!

Rusty Scupper Pirate Daze 2011 – Tentative Schedule

If you’ve not visited Westport for the Rusty Scupper Pirate Daze festival, you need to make plans now to come down to the beach from June 24 – 26 and check out this event. It’s entertaining, family friendly, and really a one-of-a-kind festival. Particularly with this year’s launch of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it should be a great event.

New for this year will be the Pirates Breakfast at Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill and an inflatable bounce house amusement area near Scallywag Alley (Scallywag alley is an area for kids games. All games are $0.50 each).

Also, during this weekend, the Maritime Museum and Washington’s Tallest Lighthouse are charging reduced admission of $2 to enter either attraction! That’s half the normal price!

Here is the tentative schedule, updates will be posted as they are available:

Friday, June 24, 2011

12:00 Noon Festival opens with pirates, vendors, games in Scallywag Alley, inflatable amusements for children, train rides, Sword Balloons,.

1:00 PM Northwest Gypsy Quest Belly dancers perform on the street by the Main Stage; Rusty Scupper Pirate Band performs on the Buccaneer Stage; Captain Arr performs next to the Islander

1:30 PM Mini Brig Battle – Jade Dragon Pirates

2:00 PM Boom Pirates Black Powder Demonstrations (definitely worth watching)

4:30 PM Jade Dragon Pirates – Swordfights with Children

6:00 PM Pirates of the Caribbean Characters Contest.

7:00 PM Pirate After Party @ Viking Bowl

Saturday, June 25, 2011 (Entertainment on various stages goes on all day)

8:00 – 11:00AM Pirate Breakfast at Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill ($5/person if dressed in pirate garb; $8/person if dressed in street clothes)

10:00 AM Pirate Daze street fair opens

10:45 AM Pirates invade Westport

11:15 Pirates & Scallywag costume contest/Boom Pirates Black Powder Demonstration

11:30 Jade Dragon Swordfights

11:45 Treasure Chest Drawings

2:00 Folk Style Belly Dancers on Main Stage

3:15 Mini Brigs Demonstration & Play Comedy Pirates in Red Pants Performance

4:00 Hops Ahoy Belly Dancers

4:30 Vintage Costume Contest

6:30 Jade Pirates Wedding Vow Renewal

7:00 Pirate Potluck @ Viking Bowl

Sunday, June 26, 2011 (Entertainment on various stages goes on all day)

8:00 – 11:00AM Pirate Breakfast at Half Moon Bay Bar & Grill ($5/person if dressed in pirate garb; $8/person if dressed in street clothes)

10:00 AM Pirate Daze street fair opens

10:30 AM Belly Dancers Performance

10:45 Professional Pirate and Scallywags Contest

11:30 Treasure Chest Drawings

11:45 Salty Dog Costume Contest

12;00 Mini Brig Battle

2:00 Pirates on Parade!

4:00 Closing Announcements