Thursday, April 16, 2009

Springtime means Crab Races

This weekend bring Westport's Annual "World Famous" Crab Races, Crab Feed, and Crab Derby. It also brings a forecast for SUNSHINE! So come on down to the beach and check out the crazy event known as crab races. As I've written in past years, its a wacky event, kids love it, but probably not a favorite of animal rights lovers. It consists of a big tent, a sloped table, and a lot of screaming and pounding, you can't imagine - you just have to come check it out.

Here's the details:

Crab Derby:
8:00 AM Saturday - Noon Sunday
$5 per ticket
You can bring your own crab pot or rent one from one of the many marina-front businesses that rent them. The local crab fishermen will "seed" the marina with crab, so there should be lots of them to catch. I'm not sure how they mark the crabs, but prizes for certain crabs caught will be distributed on Sunday. (The derby goes from ).

Crab Races:
Registration: 11:00 AM Saturday
Races: 1:00 - 5:00 PM Saturday
Entry fees: $2 to Race your own crab, $3 and they will provide a crab for you.
This is in the big parking lot down on the marina district. Drive down to Westhaven, near the Islander and the big Blue Viewing Tower, and look for the white tent ("The Crab Pavilion"). You can't miss it. I believe it actually costs $2 to enter the Crab Pavilion as well.

Crab Feed:
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday
$15 Whole Crab Dinner (includes salad, baked beans, garlic bread & beverage)
$10 Half Crab Dinner (includes salad, baked beans, garlic bread & beverage)
$4 Hot Dog & Pop
$4 Wine or Beer
$4 Shrimp Cocktail

If the idea of mass shellfish dinners doesn't appeal to you (and some people are weird about festival food, I get it), check out the races, and then walk across the street to the Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill (kitty corner to the Blue Tower, in the Islander Hotel), and have a Surf Melt and Clam Chowder to satisfy your seafood craving. Or go crazy and just have a Bloody Mary for lunch, it's Washington's best, after all!

See you at the Beach!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 19: Westport Winery Great Lecture Series: Birds & the Bees

Do you know about the birds and the bees? If not, maybe you should attend Westport Winery’s next Great Lecture called “Learning About The Birds And The Bees”. Although it may not include what you first think, you will garner valuable information. This seminar will feature Dianna Moor and Erin Potter, both longtime gardeners who will teach you about the best habitat to create in your own garden to promote healthy pollinators. This free class will be held at the winery on Sunday, April 19 from 3-5pm.

Dianna Moor has been a Master Gardener since 2006, an avid birder for a decade, and serves on the board of the Grays Harbor Audubon Society. In her portion of the class Moor will talk about gardening with native plants in order to provide food, shelter, and nesting opportunities for birds. “I hope those who attend my talks will go home and look at their gardens through new eyes.” She wants you to ask yourself if your garden is full of plants that look lovely for a few short months, but don't provide anything for the birds, butterflies, or bees.

Moor said the second step in the analysis of your garden is listening. “Do you hear any birds in your yard besides crows, starlings and house sparrows? If that is all you are hearing, you probably have too much lawn.” Moor will teach you what to plant to attract birds, and how to keep them in your yard. You will also learn how you can help rid your space of bugs, mosquitoes, and yes, crane flies! It's all about the plants. She said it’s also critical to use products in your home garden that promote a healthy environment for animals, plants, and people.

Erin Potter, a member of the Organic Beekeeping Society said her instruction will offer a similar view in terms of bees. She will begin with an overview of the conventional hive structure. She will then educate everyone on the cycles and functions of worker bees, drones and queen bees. And she will finish her conversation with details on the natural cycle of a honeybee colony in a temperate (four-season) climate.

Potter has been gardening for eight years and bases many of her organic beekeeping practices on the organic gardening practices she has learned. Potter is a mother and instructor at Grays Harbor Community College. She is also a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard Reserves where she writes emergency plans and practice emergency exercises.

In coordination with the Roberts family, Erin is placing a hive on the winery property on April 26. This is just one strategy implemented by Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea in the Salmon Safe program’s habitat enhancement section.

Westport Winery is open daily between 11am and 6pm. For more information or reservations on this class call the winery at 360-648-2224. Westport Winery is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road (halfway between Aberdeen and the Westport ‘Y’). For early notification on all of Westport Winery’s Great Lectures, Culinary Classes, Concerts, and Festivals email: to have your email address added to their early notification list.