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The 64th Tualatin Crawfish Festival comes to town this weekend

Friday, August 1 through Sunday, August 3, enjoy the festival like never before


Photo Credit: TIMES FILE PHOTO - The Tualatin Crawfish Festival is back for the 64th time this weekend with some new events and plently of your recurring favorites.

Last year, we were prepared to bid adieu to the Tualatin Crawfish Festival. But this year it's back for the 64th time, and taking on the theme of "The Wizard of Claws." Most of the classics are back, such as the crawfish eating contest, Atsa My Dawg Show, mystery box chef cook-off and numerous musical performers. One thing missing is the parade, but here's a roundup of some new and improved events to keep you excited all weekend long:

Crawfish Crawl

You know that crawfish-themed “Wizard of Oz” outfit you just haven't found the right time to wear? Well, worry not, because this year's Crawfish Crawl is a costume contest, and your outfit fits the theme.

This year sponsored by Better Series and revamped to include a 5K, 10K and half marathon, the run/walk race encourages participants to dress to the theme of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Tualatin Crawfish Festival.” Better Series expects that participation will be doubled from last year's race.

“The Crawfish Crawl is a fast running and walking course, and this year is no different,” said race director Jude Hubber. “The 10K and half marathon give participants a new opportunity, while maintaing a fast race course and the strong connection to the Crawfish Festival.”

Beginning in Tualatin Community Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 2, the race passes through the intersection of Tualatin, Durham and Tigard, where the city's three mayors will be waiting to cheer racers on. The race then travels through Cook Park in Tigard before returning participants to the Crawfish Festival.

Once finished, racers receive a free pancake breakfast, beer and wine, as well as a finisher's medal and T-shirt.

Oregon Corks & Kegs

Pulling a trick from many other festivals and fairs, a new staple at this year's Tualatin Crawfish Festival is the Corks & Kegs event.

Set up in a similar style to the Oregon Brewers Festival, Corks & Kegs allows guests ages 21 and older to sample some of the microbrews from 16 Pacific Northwest breweries.

True to the name, however, Corks & Kegs isn't only about beer. If you're more of a wino than a brewmaster, revel in the wine from 10 different Northwest wineries, including selections from Willamette Valley Vineyards and Copa Di Vino.

Corks & Kegs will be open starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 2 and Sunday, August 3.

#CrawfishFest

Though the Crawfish Festival has always been family-friendly, this year's event has a special place for teens if, you know, they need to slip away from their parents for just a second. (“I'm coming, MOM!”)

Of course, parents and younger siblings are welcome to #CrawfishFest too, they might just not be hashtagging as much.

A selfie-safe zone, participants are encouraged to snap pictures of themselves to share on Twitter and Instagram using the tag #CrawfishFest.

Run by Mask & Mirror Community Theatre, there's even a photo booth available to add creativity to the photos. Take part in the accessories and props before snapping your photos, and use #CrawfishFest when posting for a chance to win a Mount Hood Meadows lift ticket.

#CrawfishFest also provides crazy candy and novelty soda from Beaverton's Rocket Fizz, as well as carnival game competitions. The Teen Experience Zone will be open starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, and Sunday, Aug. 3.

Pancake Breakfast—proceeds to Maddi Higgins Memorial Scholarship Fund

While the pancake breakfast has been a Tualatin Crawfish Festival tradition, this year's proceeds benefit a cause that hits far too close to home for the festival's executive director, Mike Higgins.

Mike's daughter, Maddi Higgins was only 17 years old when she died on June 9 from injuries sustained in a car crash the day prior. In the fall, Maddi would have been a senior at West Linn High School and continued to play outfield on the softball team. Also killed in the car crash was 18-year-old Hayden Soyk, a 2013 West Linn High School graduate who was attending Clackamas Community College.

In her father's first year as executive director, Maddi was going to be an intern at the festival. Friends described her as funny and full of energy, and hundreds gathered for her June memorial service.

In the young athlete's honor, proceeds from this year's pancake breakfast, sponsored by the Village Inn, will benefit the Maddi Higgins Memorial Scholarship Fund, established by the Northwest Batbusters, her summer college exposure softball team. Maddi dedicated herself to the sport and was a three-year varsity starter for the Lions. She was also a two-time selection to the all-state team as an outfielder.

Beginning with the 2015 school year, the scholarship will assist a student going on to play softball in college. A criteria of selection is that the player must be a left-handed “slap” hitter, just like Maddi.



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