The newest major Bellingham event is expected to offer a little of everything when it comes to the waterfront and fishing.
Organizers of Bellingham SeaFeast 2016 unveiled a variety of expected events, including seafood sampling, boat rides on Bellingham Bay, demonstrations, contests and artwork. The festival, expected to be annual, debuts this year on Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1, at different places along the waterfront.
Much of the event will be focused around seafood, showing what comes from local fishing boats and the many different dishes that can be created. Vendors will show visitors how to fillet fish, crack crabs and shuck oysters as well as share different ways to cook them. Other vendors will include local breweries and chocolate makers.
That kind of hands-on demonstration may help people gain an appreciation for what can be done with seafood, said Cathy Wade, who operates the commercial fishing boat Chief Kwina with Loren Kapp. Wade and Kapp were among the people attending the SeaFeast kick-off event at Zuanich Point Park on Monday, May 16.
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“I think many people don’t know how to prepare (seafood), so they shy away from it,” Wade said.
The free admission event also will have contests and races, from a salmon grilling contest to commercial fishermen survivor suit races. Tours will take place, including of Bellingham Cold Storage’s Ice House and fish processing facility. Artists will present poems, stories and live music.
When we appreciate and understand all of the benefits of our locally produced seafood, we’ll be motivated to ensure that future generations can enjoy them as well
Deb Granger, general manager of SeaFeast
SeaFeast itself was a contest winner. Last year the city selected it as its newest signature event. Organizers were awarded $75,000 from city hotel and motel tax to make it happen.
General Manager Deb Granger said at this point they have more than 50 vendors participating. SeaFeast has set a goal of having 5,000 to 10,000 people attend.
“We want people to eat, play and explore the abundance of our Salish Sea bounty,” Granger said. “When we appreciate and understand all of the benefits of our locally produced seafood, we’ll be motivated to ensure that future generations can enjoy them as well.”