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Crawdad Festival set for Saturday

Parade, 5K Run/Obstacle Course


Photo Credit: PIONEER FILE PHOTO - An attendee fills a plate at last year's event.Whether you call them crawdads, as the locals do, crayfish, mudbugs or freshwater lobsters, Culver is the place to get a plateful of the colorful crustaceans on Saturday, at the fifth annual Culver Crawdad Festival.

At least 70 vendors will set up on the grounds of the Culver Veterans Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the real draw is the Authentic Cajun Crawdad Feed, which features a pile of crawdads, new potatoes, watermelon, onions, lemons, corn bread and a soft drink for $8 a plate. Since serving begins at 11 a.m., visitors are advised to arrive early to be sure to get the crawdads, since there are no presale tickets.

"We'll sell them until they're gone," said Donna McCormack, Culver city recorder, adding that they've cooked about 1,000 pounds or more every year and have always sold out — a couple times by 3 p.m.

As in the past, the 1,000-plus pounds of crawdads will be caught by local fishermen at Lake Billy Chinook, and cooked for the festival.

The first event of the day will be a benefit for Culver athletics: the Redneck 5K Run/Obstacle Course, which starts at 8 a.m. at the Culver sports field.

With the theme "Honoring Our Area Pioneers," the parade will roll out at 10 a.m. onto Iris Lane. Organizer Barb Frazier said that participants should line up at 9 a.m. at the alley on Iris Lane.

"We probably have at least 35 entries," she said, noting that the entries total doesn't include all the old cars that participate.

Following the parade, the opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m. This year, for the first time, there will be two stages: a larger stage for entertainment on the west side of the park, and a smaller stage next to the vendors and the ball field.

Entertainment on the big stage will include Joe Stoddard's music and comedy from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m., rocker Scott Brockett from 1-3 p.m., and the country rock band SmokinGuns from 3-5 p.m.

On the small stage, there will be historical interviews throughout the day, including a talk about the platting of Culver by Rex Barber Jr., at 11:30 a.m., a historical reading by Gary Dinkel about Deschutes Valley Water District at 12 p.m., a historical interview with the family of the late Herschel Read, a longtime county judge, at 1:30 p.m., and an interview with the Corwin and Lyons families at 3:30 p.m.

The Centennial Players, who have been traveling around the county performing at area events to commemorate the county's 100th anniversary, will perform skits at 2 p.m. on the small stage. The players will be accompanied by historical displays.

So far, six people have signed up for the annual Dutch oven cookoff. Contestants compete in preparing bread, an entrée and dessert in a Dutch oven.

"We would love to have more," said McCormack, adding that there will be cash prizes for first place in each of the categories.

For more information about the Crawdad Festival, call the Culver City Hall at 541-546-6494.



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