LAKESIDE -- Eight hundred pounds of crawdads didn't last long at this weekend's fourth annual Lakeside Crawdad Festival.
By 1 p.m. Sunday, the last tasty creature had been served, and pounds of shrimp were being cooked as a replacement. The crawdad were shipped in by Louisiana Crawdad Co. after a Portland supplier had trouble filling the order due to a change in weather.
Festival organizer Sheli Roe said the compliments from both attendees and vendors were numerous.
'There has been real good feedback," she said. 'The weather was fantastic and everybody has been doing really well."
Roe said the crowd was enjoying the shrimp so much that organizers will think about adding it to next year's festival.
This year was about changes for the festival, with more options and variety in crawdad choices and meal sizes. A sampler plate and a half-pound plate were offered this year to go along with the full-pound meal. Corn and potatoes were sold on the side, and the level of spice on the crawdad could be changed.
'Last year we had some people saying they were too hot," Roe said.
This year, people could add Cajun seasoning to the crawdad as they went through the line or get their crawdad plain.
Roe said about half of the 74 vendors who sold everything from earrings and candles to deep fried Twinkies and alcohol were new.
Andrea Munroe from Henry Estate Winery was one of the new vendors who got her chance to show new customers what Umpqua Valley wine is all about.
'This is great. This has the potential to get very big," she said. 'We are getting new customers. It is just a relaxed atmosphere and a good time overall."
Roe said that the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce will make a good profit from the three-day event and that most returning vendors she spoke with will walk away with more money this year than in years past.
'Everybody that came seemed to be having a good time," she said. 'We just want to keep improving every year. It's great for the city of Lakeside."
Lakeside city councilor Elaine Armstrong was very excited about this year's event, even though she was helping with trash duty.
'I have no words to describe how great this is," she said. 'This is just unbelievable. It has strictly been positive."
Reporter Tyler Richardson can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.