Culver Crawdad Festival on tap Saturday

At Culver Veteran's Memorial Park
The third annual Culver Crawdad Festival will get under way Saturday, with a parade, crawdad feed, music and games at the Culver Veteran's Memorial Park.
   "Every year we've just gotten better and better," said Culver Mayor Shawna Clanton, chairman of the event, who expects more than 1,000 people to attend the popular festival.
   "They come from everywhere," she said. "We've had them come from Maupin, Portland, LaPine. We get a lot of excitement."
   For the third annual event, organizers have purchased 2,000 pounds of crawdads, double the amount from the first year, when they sold out. The crawdads, which come from Lake Billy Chinook, are supplied by Clearwater Crayfish, of Terrebonne.
   "This year, we haven't presold tickets; we're going to start cooking at 10 a.m.," said Clanton. "We'll be cooking until 6 p.m. and it's first come, first served."
   There is no entry fee for the event, but cost of the dinner will remain $7.50, including crawdads, red potatoes, a watermelon slice and a drink.
   The festival kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 18, with a parade at 10 a.m. Participants should line up at 8:30 a.m. at Culver High School's south field at Iris Lane and Fifth Street.
   The parade will travel down Iris Lane, turn left on First Street (Highway 361) to A Street, and loop back to the high school. Barbara Frazier is the parade chairman. Call city hall for more information at 541-546-6494.
   Grand marshals will be Sal and Nancy Nagi, who own Culver Market, which was picked by the Culver community as business of the year.
   "As soon as parade's over, we'll have our opening ceremonies and color guard," said Clanton.
   From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., the festival will feature the music of the Tommy Tucker Band, the Culver High School Rock Band, and a disc jockey on the main stage, who will introduce the groups.
   Besides music, there will be games, including pie-eating and watermelon-eating contests and an egg drop from a cherry-picker truck, and a dunk tank, where Sheriff Jim Adkins will help raise money for Big Brother Big Sister.
   Clanton anticipates about 20 vendors, from Jefferson County, with food -- such as roasted pig and pulled pork sandwiches, and a variety of other items, including jewelry and candles.
   Golf carts will be available at the park to take people from the parking lot to the pavilion.
   Round Butte Inn owners Bill and Berdi Wachter will set up a beer garden, which will be open all day at the park.
   Recalling the beginning of the event in 2010 -- Culver's centennial year, Clanton commented, "I felt that Culver needed a signature event, and with the Chamber of Commerce -- Holli Van Wert -- we came up with the details."
   "The community and our city are just really excited to have this," she said. "We've had a great reception."