LONG BEACH — Long Beach is bringing back the Razor Clam Festival, an event originating in the 1940s and successfully promoted by the touring of a giant frying pan throughout the region. The upcoming festival will be held April 27 and 28, in Long Beach, on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula. Randy Dennis, event organizer and owner of the Dennis Company, made the announcement.
“Razor clam digging is something that is always different, always fun,” shared Dennis. “We’re looking forward to celebrating and bringing broader attention to this much-loved Northwest tradition.”
The festival highlight is a Razor Clam Digging Competition, which takes place during an early morning clam tide on Saturday, April 27. For those that choose to show off their clams at the Dennis Company, prizes of a $100 Dennis Company gift card for the biggest clam dug, a stainless steel clam gun for the best looking limit, and a $50 Dennis Company gift card for guessing the correct number of clams will be awarded. Judging will be by representatives from Washington State Fish & Wildlife, who will bring the agency’s Clam Display.
Chefs representing eight or more Peninsula restaurants will participate in a Chowder Cook Off, on April 27, at the Long Beach Elk’s Lodge. The public is invited to stop in, purchase tastes and vote on their favorite clam chowder. The North Coast Blues band will entertain during the cook off, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Over the weekend, chefs will also be featuring razor clam selections on restaurant menus and posting favorite recipes on the festival website: www.longbeachrazorclamfestival.com.
For newbies or those that want to polish their skills, free clam-digging lessons will be offered at 7 a.m. on April 27 and 28. Online registration is at www.longbeachrazorclamfestival.com
For added entertainment, mermaids and pirates will circulate through downtown Long Beach to offer face painting, pose for photos and encourage smiles. As well, the Dennis Company mascot, a duck, will be in full clam digger regalia passing out free tide table booklets both in town and on the beach.
Clam guns, creatively decorated by local school students, will be on display at the Dennis Company store in Long Beach. Public voting is encouraged.
Event t-shirts, commemorative event posters and vintage postcards will be available for purchase throughout the weekend. And, numerous clam digging-related vendors will be at the Dennis Company store from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 27, with giveaways and drawings.
Digging for razor clams is a popular beach activities enjoyed by residents and visitors, alike. With its long and expansive beach, the Long Beach Peninsula is one of the favorite clamming destinations in the state. Note: License required, and limit enforced.
“Razor clam digging is a unique, family, food gathering activity,” adds Andi Day, executive director, Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau. “Whether for subsistence or recreation, clam digging is a cherished part of our beach culture and heritage, something that knits our community together and something that we are happy to share with others.”
On that same Saturday, April 27, the opening day of trout season, children are invited to participate in the Black Lake Fishing Derby, Ilwaco. Pre-registration guarantees an event t-shirt.
This story originally appeared in Coast River Business Journal.