It’s going to be a busy Saturday in Westport.
After both events took a year off during the pandemic, both the Westport Seafood Festival and the Corvettes of Grays Harbor Corvettes at the Marina show are back this weekend.
Add to that the quick salmon limits and steady bottom fishing of late and you’re looking at one heck of a busy Labor Day Weekend at the Westport Marina.
The COVID pandemic continues, but new Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce executive director Tanya Wood said things have been coming together nicely for the seafood festival and she and her crew of volunteers are doing everything they can to make it safe and fun for everyone.
“I think it’s neat the way everything is coming together, and I think it’s going to be a great turnout,” said Wood.
The seafood feed — the 2021 event is the 74th — starts at noon and goes through 5 p.m. There were some challenges this year, but expect all your seafood favorites come Saturday.
“We got the oyster guys cooking again this year,” said Wood, who mans grills on the museum grounds every year. “We are still having oysters,” but because of the issues with local oyster beds this year and other considerations the oysters needed to be procured from outside the usual local providers.
There will be barbecued salmon, white fish, chowder, salads, hot dogs, corn on the cob and beer and soda pop for sale. An adult dinner this year is $22, senior dinners are $20, reflecting a slight increase in prices to reflect the cost of acquiring some of the items this year.
Wood’s kitchen crew and volunteers are all following state Department of Health safety recommendations to the letter, and more, said Wood.
“We are doing everything above and beyond” what is required, said Wood. “We will all have our masks,” and there will be hand sanitizer at every table at the festival, among other precautions.
Vendors for the crafts show were slow to materialize early in this year’s event planning due to all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, but vendor interest has really picked up of late and more are being added to the lineup as the 10 a.m. vendor opener nears, said Wood.
“We have quite a few vendors, which is kind of surprising,” she said, “and they keep popping up. When we started out we had only like three and now everybody is signing up.” A wide variety of arts and crafts will be on display and for sale on the museum grounds until 5 p.m.
There will still be live music this year as well, but the band featured on the events poster had to cancel, said Wood.
Corvettes at the Marina
The Corvette show starts officially at 10 a.m. and runs through 3 p.m.
Corvettes of Grays Harbor club founder and president Larry Benner expects up to 100 Corvettes — most register the day of the event — lining Westhaven Drive from near the viewing tower down through town.
Benner’s a little concerned about the possibility of rain on Saturday, which is a rarity for the event, but with the good number of entries coming from Oregon, Seattle and along the I-5 corridor he doesn’t expect turnout to be any lighter with a little of the wet stuff.
Putting the show together this year was a challenge, and there were times Benner wasn’t sure it would happen at all. But thanks to the hard work of his club, it’s a go for 2021.
“I’d like to send a special thank you to Rex and Jean Bell,” said Benner. “Rex is my vice president and does all the leg work, and he and his wife just kicked butt to put this show together this year.”
The summer has been kind to Westport, with unusually dry and warm weather, solid salmon fishing and good rock fishing, and this weekend looks to just add to the summer boom.
“All the hotels are booked, the charters are going crazy, downtown is busy and the restaurants are all doing phenomenally,” said Wood.