Oregon Coast today. (Lincoln City, OR) 2005-current, February 21, 2020, Page 11, Image 11

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    on the cover
Drop in
to the Newport
Seafood & Wine
Festival this weekend
inter on the coast means the
Newport Seafood & Wine
Festival, quite possibly the most
popular annual event on Oregon’s pristine
shores. Every year since 1977, the city of
Newport draws seafood and wine fans
from California and the Pacific Northwest
to taste, sample and mingle with locals and
visiting enthusiasts.
Now in its 43rd year, the festival
celebrates the ocean’s bounty and the
lush vineyards championed worldwide.
It has become a four-day extravaganza
featuring commercial and amateur wine
competitions, culinary professionals
offering a tasty variety of seafood delights
and regional artisans showcasing their
The festival kicks off at 5 pm on
Thursday, Feb 20, for the traditional
locals’ night, which, while not limited
to locals, typically offers highly spirited
entertainment without the challenge of
weekend crowds. Friday, Saturday and
Sunday’s events include larger audiences,
expanded hours and awards ceremonies.
This year, 134 wines are competing
for the festival’s coveted awards. judges
awarded 34 gold medals, 27 silver medals,
36 bronze medals and one Best of Show,
which went to Spangler Vineyards for
their 2015 Petite Verdot. There are also the
hotly contested amateur wine and booth
decoration competitions, both of which are
decided by a vote of the festival’s guests,
who number between 20,000 and 25,000
every year. This number includes the
hundreds of volunteers and 170 vendors
who comprise almost half of the crowd.
The vendors are the heart of each day’s
activities. Wineries provide tastings and
purchases by the bottle or case. Food
vendors offer a smorgasbord of seafood
delights, including crab melts, oysters,
fish tacos, clam chowder, smoked fishes,
seafood gumbo, crab and shrimp cocktails.
There are multiple eclectic cultural dishes
and non-seafood delicacies such as cured
meats, candies, fudge, jellies and jams, dried
herb blends for cooking, local cheeses,
breads, stuffed olives and an array of
nuts. Beer lovers can enjoy ales, pilsners,
IPAs and stouts. Artisans showcase their
pottery, jewelry, glass art, clothing, beads,
wood crafts and commemorative festival
An organizing committee of community
and chamber members includes multiple
12 • oregoncoastTODAY.com • facebook.com/oregoncoasttoday • February 21, 2020
unsung heroes who donate time and
behind-the-scenes energy to the festival.
The festival is a major fundraising event
for the chamber and the many local non-
profits that benefit by providing contract
services, including parking support,
security, cleaning services, assistance with
food vendors and pouring for the wineries.
The festival organizers work hard to
mitigate congestion by capping daily
attendance and offering daily shuttle bus
service from 23 locations throughout
Newport. Look for the Mid Columbia
school buses to get free transport to and
from the festival site at the Newport
Marina, adjacent to Rogue Brewery. A
map of the shuttle stops and schedules is
available at http://seafoodandwine.com/
Chinook Winds Casino Resort is the
festival’s presenting sponsor and offers
tremendous support to ensure its success.
In addition, there are more than 50
businesses, both local and out-of-area,
who participate with various levels of
For more information, ticket prices,
schedules, maps, shuttles, parking, hotel
and sponsorship information, go to http://
seafoodandwine.com. A festival app is
available on the site. Saturday admission is
by e-ticket only; must be 21 or older with
valid ID.
Ruby Club Membership, available for
$155, offers four-day VIP entrance pass, a
commemorative wine glass, swag bag with
vouchers for wine tasting flights, food and