“Pickled Willys will be doing the crab,” said Summer Wood, community relations director for the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival set for May 22-27
In recent years the crab concession was run as a fundraiser for St. Mary’s Catholic School with crab donated by a local fisherman, Wood said. But the generous fisherman recently retired and some people worried the festival might have to go ahead without the eponymous delicacy.
Fairgoers with delicate stomachs might want to wait until after they try one of the fair’s new attractions before getting their crab: an earthquake simulator, brought in by the Kodiak Island Borough.
In place of the traditional rides brought by Golden Wheel Amusements, the Chamber has contracted with Anchorage-based Tons of Fun Entertainment, which specializes in interactive games.
Wood said they will set up 13 games on the downtown spit, including a climbing wall, a bungee run, a mechanical bull, and a mechanical salmon.
“Some of their games are like the TV show ‘Wipe Out,’” she said, mentioning Meltdown and Wrecking Ball. “And of course they will bring some bouncy houses.”
At 6 p.m. Saturday, May 24, the popular Anchorage group Pamyua will perform a free outdoor concert featuring its unique modern take on traditional Alaskan Native music.
Wood said he expects more than 50 booths to line the downtown waterfront with both local and off-island vendors. That will include many familiar and expanded offerings from previous Crab Festivals, “But we have a lot of new booths as well,” she said.
The Chamber is still working with vendors for other possible activities, including remote control cars and a wax hand booth.
The schedule includes the usual CrabFest attractions such as bed races and the survival suit. The fish toss and scavenger hunt are sponsored by local businesses and organizations.
Wood said there is still time for interested groups to contact the chamber if they want to stage an activity, although it is getting late to rent a booth. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber and area businesses.