It’s a gastronomic delight that draws 450 people to Yachats every year. The annual Yachats Crab Feed is on Saturday, Jan. 25, and it promises to be a very good time. Sponsored by the Yachats Lions Club, this event has two locations and three different seatings for the enthusiastic crab cracking shellfish lovers.

“We buy 1,500 pounds of locally sourced Dungeness crab from the South Beach Market,” said crab feed co-chairman Kevin Yorks. “They cook and clean it, and we serve until it’s gone.”

Crab lovers come from Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and all parts of Oregon to participate in this much-loved event.

“It is a lot of fun for everyone,” Yorks said, “people wear special hats and aprons, bring their own tablecloths, crab-cracking utensils, it is a great, wonderful event. We actually have a group of 30 people coming again this year.”

People are allowed to bring their own wine and beer, but Yorks says this is definitely a family-friendly occasion.

“With every ticket we provide coleslaw, baked beans, sourdough garlic bread, soda and coffee,” he said. “Plus, all the crab you can eat. We are getting 90 loaves of homemade sourdough from Breadworks. Our volunteers then slice, butter, and put garlic on it. The beans and coleslaw are from Resers; Bigfoot provides the soda.”

This is Yorks’ second year as co-chairman and his fifth year selling tickets. “Some people come year after year. Eighty percent of our ticket sales are to out-of-towners, so this has become a big event for Yachats. The hotels, restaurants and local businesses all benefit from the increased revenue. The greatest benefit is that profits go back to the community by supporting local programs, providing scholarships, donations to the fire department, food bank, as well as eyecare and glasses. Last year we gave $23,000 to the local community which came from the crab feed, thrift store, and pancake breakfasts.”

The crab feed is an all-volunteer effort from the community, Lions Club and the Angell Job Corps.

“The day of the Crab Feed is a long day for us,” he said. “We have a lot of fun but could never do this without the Angell Job Corps. They work so hard to make this a success and a good time for everyone. We maintain a tip jar for the Job Corps so they can make some money.”

Right now, Yorks says there are about 40 volunteers.

“If somebody wants to work this, we never turn anyone away,” he said. To volunteer, call Yorks at 541-563-5629.

The Yachats Lions Club was chartered in 1950 and has provided 70 years of service to the Yachats community. Their ongoing projects include scholarships, eyeglasses and hearing aid support, food for the Yachats Food Pantry, mobile health and vision screening.

“We could use some new members,” Yorks said. “It is harder to recruit these days, as younger people are less involved with service organizations.”

The annual Crab Feed began in 1972. In the early days, the Lions Club members would catch crab, cook and clean it in the Lions Hall parking lot. As the event grew, it became necessary to organize three seating times between the Lions Hall and the Yachats Commons.

A 4 pm group seating at the Commons is already sold out, but there are still tickets available for a 12:30 pm seating at the Commons, located at 441 Hwy. 101 N., and a 4 pm seating at the Lions Hall, located at W 4th and Pontiac streets.

Tickets, $40 apiece, can be purchased at Judith’s Kitchen Tools, 261 Hwy 101 N, or the Lions Thrift Shop, 236 4th Street in Yachats. For will-call tickets, call Yorks at 541-563-5629 or email lionscrabfeed2020@gmail.com.

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