Tenmile Lake County Park
Mother’s Day weekend in early May
Lots and lots of boiled crawfish, loads of cooked shrimp, maybe some alligator sausage; throw in some pirates and their wenches, and all kinds of great live music—yes, Lakeside is a bit of a drive for most Oregonians, but the annual Lakeside Crawdad Festival is a frolicking good time that makes the perfect
Lakeside Crawdad Festival – Top USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Newport Paper & my blog Arts Festival spotlights the amazing talents of paper artists from around the region capstone for a Mother’s Day weekend spent on the south coast.
Aptly named Lakeside, the close-knit community on the shores of sprawling, sinuous Tenmile and North Tenmile Lakes, about equidistant between Reedsport and North Bend, throws out the welcome mat for one of only two festivals in the state dedicated to the crayfish—aka crawdad—a freshwater shellfish especially popular in Southern cuisine. Annually the Lakeside Crawdad Festival burns through, or rather boils through, some 300 pounds of crawfish shipped in from Louisiana, the heartland of Cajun and Creole cooking, and anyone who waits until Sunday midday risks sadly discovering that the fest has run out of this scrumptious delicacy. Alongside the crawdad tails and claws, shrimp and alligator are on the menu. Bring an appetite because crawdad and shrimp are available in both half-pound and full one-pound meals, and alligator is available in both two-piece and three-piece meals as well as on a stick. Samplers are available for anyone who has never tried these three delicacies. Prices are very reasonable and you can wash down these rare treats with a beer or wine in the beer garden.
Throughout the three-day event, some of the region’s top musicians entertain the ebullient crowds, and a variety of vendors offers arts, crafts, foods, and others wares at the extensive street fair running alongside the crawfish festivities. Friday evening, the fun kicks off with a crawdad-eating contest, and throughout the weekend chefs compete in cooking contests, while kids get to catch live crawfish for the crawdad races and revel in the kids carnival.
Since its inception in 2007, the Lakeside Crawdad Festival has continued to gain attention throughout the state—to the tune of more than 10,000 attendees by its second year. So leave nothing to chance: my blog lodging or reserve a nearby campsite well in advance and make a weekend of it.