By Chris Philips, Managing Editor, Fishermen's News
Fall is here, and with the crisp mornings and return of the fleet come the annual festivals.
The Newport Fishermen’s Wives, in Newport, Oregon, are gearing up for their annual Newport Wild Seafood Weekend on Saturday, September 7. This is a fundraising event that benefits local commercial fishing families in times of need. Officially sponsored by Seafood Oregon, the day’s festivities include family fun on the boardwalk with prizes, dock walks, bay cruises, several vendors and coastal educational booths. The event ends in the evening with a soirée held at the newly renovated Maritime & Heritage Museum and includes entertainment, an appetizer competition, fine dining and raffles/auctions.
The bayfront activities are absolutely FREE, and at press time the soirée had sold out, but donations can still be made to the organization (www.newportfishermenswives.com). The monies collected will go to replenish both the Fishermen’s Relief Fund and Fishermen’s Family Relief Fund, and last year more than $10,000 was donated to fishing families whose boats went down.
Activities run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Port Dock 5 and throughout the bayfront. Activities will include dock walks with the opportunity to learn about commercial fishermen by visiting their boats. Fresh seafood will also be available to purchase directly from the docks as well as from the boardwalk. An education booth will be on display by both NOAA and USGS. Bay Cruises will be available for the day of the event. There will be several boardwalk vendors, all highlighting the coastal life, as well as raffles and prize giveaways. Vendors will be participating in a “Passport Adventures” contest that connects the guests and bayfront business owners. Guests fill their passports with participating business stamps, then collect prizes and are included in a raffle.
In Seattle, also on September 7th, the Fishermen’s Fall Festival, Benefitting Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial, celebrates the return of the North Pacific fishing fleet to Fishermen’s Terminal. The festival’s goal is to increase the public’s knowledge of the importance to Seattle of the fishing industry while raising money for the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial Foundation.
The festival provides families with a fun and educational outing on the waterfront as well as an opportunity to learn more about seafood. Hands-on art projects with fishing themes, including the popular wooden boat building and trout pond, are complimentary for all children and admission to the festival is free. Proceeds from the activities within the festival are donated to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial to assist families of fishermen lost at sea.
The following weekend, September 14th and 15th, the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival in Astoria, Oregon offers events and activities geared toward the commercial fisherman, including a survival suit race, crab line coiling contest and crab pot stacking contest. Vendor sponsorships from $100 to $1,000 were still available at press time.
All of these events are worthwhile, and we urge you to show your support for the industry by attending one of the festivals.