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Dates set, big plans for 2015 Crawfish Festival

Last year's Tualatin Crawfish Festival was record-breaking, and coordinator Mike Higgins has high hopes for this year


The Tualatin Crawfish Festival set all kinds of attendance records last year, and with the recent release of the festival’s 2015 dates, organizer Mike Higgins doesn’t anticipate this summer’s rendition to be any different.

Once again, the festival will span three days, from July 31 to Aug. 2, with Friday night’s activities around the Lake of the Commons for free, while the remaining days move to Tualatin Community Park. All of that mirrors last year’s event, but this year’s will feature one important distinction — crawfish will be present on Friday night.

“We really wanted to support the food cart concept, and maybe naively thought people could get crawfish Saturday and Sunday,” Higgins said. “But not having crawfish on Friday was a ‘miss,’ so we’re adding that in this year.”

Last year, the festival featured a beer and wine garden, Oregon Corks and Kegs, and this year will see an expansion upon the original concept, with more participating breweries and wineries, and more dedicated space.

Other improvements include an earlier start time for the Crawfish Crawl to help runners get out of the heat sooner. Run organizer Better Series is hoping for a 40 percent increase in participation, said Higgins, even after setting attendance records last year. Also new to the agenda this year are pickleball and dodgeball tournaments.

And of course, there can always be more crawfish. In addition to adding crawfish on Friday night, plans are in place to double the crawfish boil area throughout the festival, while still making sure the rest of the food vendors are supported.

“The lines were embarrassingly long. No one complained, but we want to service people faster,” Higgins said. “We set a record with 2,100 pounds of crawfish sold and we know we can break that this year.”

With increased time to plan and one festival down, Higgins is excited to make this year’s festivities better than they’ve ever been.

“Not only do we have a year of experience, but we’ve had a full year to be working on it. That allows us to do much more strategic planning,” he said. “I think everybody looked at it and said it was a success — the numbers were great — but there are certain things you can always make better and we want to keep evolving and listening to input.”

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