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Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival 2023 On Its Way to N. Oregon Coast

Published 04/21/23 at 5:52 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival 2023 On Its Way to N. Oregon Coast

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(Astoria, Oregon) – Each April for decades now, one festival brings in the masses to the north Oregon coast burgh of Astoria and keeps them coming back for more. Glasses of wine are raised as raucous laughter fills the halls of the Clatsop County Fair & Expo Center, and bellies are filled with various foods from around the region. Not to mention, there's heaps of live music. (Astoria-Warrenton Chamber courtesy photos)

If it all sounds a little Viking-esque, well – it is a maritime town with deep Scandinavian roots that knows how to have fun. And thus erupts the Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival 2023 on April 28 to 30th, bringing in thousands and hosting a massive variety of yummy stuff, over 40 wineries, gobs of artisan items to purchase and loads of festive energy. It's pulled together every year by the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, partially as a fundraiser, but also for various community organizations. Yet it is still a regional event, bringing together vendors, wineries, brewers and foodmakers from not just the Oregon coast but the Washington coast and inland areas.

According to the chamber, hundreds of small businesses take part, including local hotels, restaurants and shops within and around Astoria. The festival can bring in as many as 16,000 to Astoria.

This year is the second year the Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival has been back and in-person, after the pandemic shut things down for a couple of years. This year its sponsor is Fred Meyer, and the chamber said it's a relief to be in full swing agin.

For grub, you'll find everything from garlic pasta with crab, crab mac 'n cheese, crab leek chowder, fried oysters and seafood ramen to smoked brisket, crab cakes shrimp cocktails, corn dogs, Greek cuisine and sausages – and more. Among the big names are DJ Foods and Gifts, Brevin's Fudge and Bell Buoy of Seaside.

Dozens of wineries take part, including Paul O'Brien Winery, Buddha Kat Winery and J Wrigley Vineyards, along with Buoy Beer Co and Fort George Brewery among the sudsy purveyors. There are also some distilled spirits.

Two stages bring you music – often from the Oregon coast and Washington coastline, and there's a huge variety of styles. Locals like Brownsmeade Flats and Bruce Thomas Smith fill the air, along with Scott Brocket Trio, Brothers Still, Peter Benjamin and Jane Doe.

“Stroll through the aisles of more than 100 booths featuring local artists, northwest-made products and more,” the chamber said.

The festival first raised its glasses in 1982, and last year's event would've normally been its 40th year, but it had to skip a couple of years because of COVID. However, it was held in a sort of virtual way for awhile, finally returning to in-person 2022. They had tried to make it as fun as possible those years, but the chamber's executive director David Reid said nothing beat really being there.

Last year's Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival was scheduled with some caveats about what might happen with mask mandates, or for that matter actual last-minute shut-downs. Luckily, the north Oregon coast tradition forged full steam ahead.

Since its beginnings in the early '80s, the festival has changed names and approaches here and there, but it's remained a consistent favorite as it grew to more than 150 vendors.

See [According to Star Trek: 'Astoria. On Earth's Oregon Coast. It's Heaven']

Parking at Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival 2023 will be an issue: the chamber said it is extremely limited. They urge you to take the festival shuttle with pick-ups near all kinds of places and lodgings, or use the park and ride lot at the Port of Astoria. Click here for full information on that.

Festival Tickets will be available through Afton Tickets.

Schedule below. Ticket prices at the door are: Friday or Saturday: $25 each. Sunday: $15 each.

Friday, April 28, 2023
4 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, April 29, 2023
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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