A great Crescent City and Del Norte County tradition may come to an end this year.
The Crab Races and Festival, scheduled for this Sunday, needs volunteers to help serve food, supervise the kid's area, sell merchandise for the Chamber, hawk raffle tickets and help purchase crab for the races and to eat. The Crescent City-Del Norte Chamber of Commerce, the event's organizer, is so short on volunteers and sponsors, that some members are concerned this year's event will be severely compromised. Because of the lack of interest, there's been some scuttlebutt that the chamber should seriously discuss canceling the event next year.
That would be a shame. For the past 41 years, the Crab Races have been held in Crescent City. The festival celebrates our long fishing heritage, of which we are an industry leader. Indeed, last year crabbers at the Crescent City harbor accounted for nearly half of California's Dungenes crab catch.
But continuing this and similar events goes beyond celebrating our heritage our very future may depend on it. As we market the area for tourism, local festivals and events will play a vital role in attracting visitors. Rather than allowing our events to falter, the community should look for ways to make them even better.
Without the support of volunteers and sponsors, events like the Crab Races simply can not operate. They would far too expensive to farm out to a private business or for taxpayers to foot.
Besides volunteers and donors, the event also needs entries for a crab recipe contest. As of Tuesday, only one person has expressed interest in the recipe competition.
Volunteers, sponsors and recipe contestants can offer their help by contacting Pilar Stancliff at the chamber. Call 218-4762 (cell), fax 464-9676 or e-mail
Those who don't feel comfortable volunteering, who are unable to contribute monetarily or who just don't have any crab recipes handy still can show their support for the races by attending this weekend's event. The festival runs from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds.
We'll see you at the Crab Races on Sunday and hopefully during mid-February for many years to come.
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