Salmon derby feeds the masses

September 06, 2007 12:00 am
The salmon dinner at the Salm'n Salmon Ocean Derby, held in Brookings, was served by volunteers. (Wescom news photo).
The salmon dinner at the Salm'n Salmon Ocean Derby, held in Brookings, was served by volunteers. (Wescom news photo).

By Bill Schlichting

Wescom News Service

BROOKINGS — People from sea to shining sea converged upon Brookings for the fourth annual Slam'n Salmon Ocean Derby not only to catch a trophy salmon, but to feast on the pink fish.

The derby participant who came the furthest was from Yonkers, N.Y., said Jim Relaford, lead coordinator the event. People came from Colorado, Missouri and many other places. It is believed every RV space from Gold Beach, Ore. to Crescent City was filled. Motels were filled as well.

The boardwalk at the Port of Brookings Harbor was jammed Friday and Saturday, but "there were not as many as on Sunday," Relaford said.

Sunday was the final day of the festivities and the day of the salmon barbecue.

Relaford said it was estimated 1,480 people feasted on salmon, bread, coleslaw, corn on the cob and watermelon. Countless others dined at food booths—hosted by the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce and Civil Air Patrol and other groups—and local restaurants.

It took about 100 volunteers to make the event possible, including approximately 20 who shucked the 750 ears of corn. Corn shuckers ranged in age from 2 to the oldest "who probably wouldn't want to tell his age," Relaford said.

Figuring the number of people who ate, that meant there were about 10 full ears of corn that remained. In addition, there were maybe a couple of pans of salmon left over and a small amount of coleslaw. The leftover food was donated to Oasis Shelter Home, Relaford said.

About 25 vendor booths were on the boardwalk Friday and Saturday—10 of those were nonprofit groups. On Sunday, the number of vendors was reduced to make way for the approximately 1,200 chairs placed around tables for the feast.