For more than six decades, the picturesque harbor town of Depoe Bay has staked out its reputation as the place to go for succulent, fire-roasted salmon, served up with a smile during the community’s annual Salmon Bake.
This traditional community event will return for its 63rd year this Saturday, Sept. 21, with wild-caught Chinook salmon fillets roasting to perfection on carefully angled wood stakes and served against a backdrop of entertainment at Depoe Bay City Park.
Preparations begin months before the feast, when volunteers head to the woods to cut 350 six-foot long stakes of alder wood.
Before sunrise on the morning of the event, a huge 80-foot fire line is ignited with six cords of fir and three cords of alder. Thousands of pounds of salmon fillets are positioned on the alder wood stakes over the fire line, imparting rich flavors to the salmon as they bake to perfection.
Each salmon is cooked in a traditional method used for generations by native coastal tribes before it is plated and served with coleslaw, garlic bread and a beverage, plus dessert.
Visitors can choose to enjoy their meals sitting at tables in the sun or under a tent, listening to live music and watching performances by native tribal dancers.
The Salmon Bake is renowned as the Oregon Coast’s signature salmon celebration, drawing salmon lovers from throughout the state and beyond to enjoy the food and fun.
Meals will be served up from 11 am to 4 pm. Salmon meal tickets are available in advance for $23 at www.depoebaychamber.org or at the Depoe Bay Visitor Center. Subject to availability, meal tickets will also be sold at the gate for $25.
Admission to the park, as well as the entertainment is free. There will be courtesy shuttle bus service throughout Depoe Bay and into the park.
Raffle tickets will be on sale at $5 apiece for “Discover Depoe Bay” packages, which include lodging, dining, fishing and whale watching trips. Salmon Bake logo gear and souvenirs will be available for sale before and after the event at the Depoe Bay Visitor Center and during the event at the chamber’s souvenir booth.
A portion of proceeds from the event and raffle will be contributed to the Depoe Bay Chamber Community Fund, which supports needs of local citizens, organizations, visitors and the community at large.
To volunteer for this fun community event, call Michelle at 541-921-0347.