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This Weekend on S. Oregon Coast: Messages in Bottles on Beaches, Bandon Crab Fest

Published 3/05/24 at 5:15 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Bandon, Oregon) – As if you really need more than one reason to head to the southern Oregon coast other than scenery, there are now a couple of reasons you might want to hightail it to Bandon this weekend.

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There's an enormous crab feast and festival happening on Saturday and there are messages in glass bottles getting dropped this week there as well.

The Bandon Crab Festival is back after a couple of years of being M.I.A. when COVID hit, happening Saturday, March 9 at the Bandon Fisheries Warehouse Event Center (250 First Avenue SE).

The Bandon Crab Fest officially started in 2019 (though there had been earlier incarnations), and it was such a success that the 2020 Crab Fest went for two days, said Visit Bandon's Margaret Pounder. Then COVID hit.

“Over the years there have been many crab feeds (coastal city and all) - took a couple of years off after COVID and started up again this year,” she told Oregon Coast Beach Connection.

The event happens from 3 p.m to 7 p.m. and includes music from two southern Oregon acts: Jeff Kloetzel and Brothers Reed. Individual tickets are $65 (includes music and whole crab meal), and a table of 8 people can snag the crustacean fun for $480.

Bandon Crab Fest - courtesy photo

On the menu are appetizers of a fresh garden salad and clam chowder (gluten free). Crab is the coveted fresh stuff that comes straight from local boats, according to Visit Bandon. It's served with drawn butter and bread from the area's Empire Bakery, plus coleslaw. There's also locally-made special desserts and a variety of beverages, including a no-host bar.

Other Oregon coast-made goodies will be featured with Bandon's own On the Waterfront Wines and Reedsport's Two Shy Brewing beers.

See the Zeffy webpage for tickets. More information from the Bandon Chamber:

Along these southern Oregon coast beaches, the Bandon Chamber Visitors Center is still doing the Message In A Bottle drops that began in January of 2022.

In fact, it's just about every day.

“Yes, there are numerous drops weekly, depending on weather and tides of course,” Pounder told Oregon Coast Beach Connection. “The bottle faeries are busy year round. In the winter they are more upland, than on the beach.”

These are imaginative bottles made by renowned craftsmen, which – yes, just like the old song – contain a message in the bottle. Even better: these arty little sweeties can win you prizes and get you some interesting swag that will make these light up.

Message In A Bottle works like many of the glass float promotions on the Oregon coast: “bottle faeries” leave these on the sands of Bandon. Once you find one, you'll want to take it into the Creations by the Sea shop or other participating businesses in town and collect the special lights that go inside, allowing you to make something literally luminous out of these glassy lovelies.

Also in the Coos Bay area, this weekend hosts some tasty jams with the Clambake Music Fest: March 7 - 10 Sees South Oregon Coast Clambake Music Fest Blow It Up in North Bend

Bandon Hotels - Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


Bandon, courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts 

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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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