Get an edible education

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

If you’re under the impression the second annual Bellingham SeaFeast is all about the food, you’re only only partially correct.

While it’s true the two-day event offers myriad ways for people to sate their appetites via the ingestion of locally and regionally sourced seafood, the gustatory gatherings taking place Sept. 22-23 by the waterfront and in the downtown core are also bracketed by a number of happenings that pay homage to the hardworking humans involved in the maritime and commercial fishing industries.

On Friday night, for example, “SeaFeed at the Square” will kick things off from 5-8:30pm with a smorgasbord featuring raw and grilled oysters, fresh grilled salmon, a Dungeness crab boil and beyond at the Depot Market Square (tickets are $50 in advance, $60 at the door).

But starting at 7pm, the focus will shift to “Fisherpoets on Bellingham Bay”—where fisher folks from near and far will share their musical and literary talents with the public at Boundary Bay Brewery, Chuckanut Brewery, Honey Moon Mead & Cider and, at 9pm, back at the Depot. For $5, attendees can gain entry to one or all of the venues, and hear the poems, stories, songs and shanties that a life at sea engender.

Come Sat., Sept. 22, edibles and education will once again combine—in a big way. First off, make your way to Squalicum Harbor and Zuanich Point Park and settle in. From 11am-8:30pm, a food court with 17 seafood-focused vendors, a “Brews with a View” beer and wine garden, live music, and Lummi Nation’s Black Hawk Dancers will make the mood a festive one. A salmon barbecue grilling championship, “Taste the Sea: A Sustainable Seafood Experience,” and an oyster shucking and slurping contest will round out the entertainment and menu offerings.

New this year, “SeaFeast Wharf” will feature a maritime-themed art walk from 11am-6pm with more than 100 artists and vendors sharing their creative talents along the harbor.

Meanwhile, commercial fishing will be highlighted with scheduled dock walks, guided tours of active boats, a race of teams swimming in survival suits, harbor boat rides and tours and the sale of fish to take home or pick up later.

“This is the insiders look into the outstanding local resources of the Port of Bellingham and the maritime and marine industry that provide more than 1,700 direct jobs (6,000-plus counting indirect), earning $94.5 million in wages,” organizers say.

If done right, Bellingham SeaFeast will leave you with a few things—a full stomach, an appreciation of what goes into bringing fresh seafood to the table, and background knowledge of the history of an ever-changing industry. In other words, it’s not only about the food.

For more details, go to

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