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Dungeness crab (copy)

Nov. 26, 2014 — Ready for some butter, a Dungeness crab.

Lou Sennick, The World

CHARLESTON — It was bitter sweet move relocating the "Crack Up" annual Charleston Crab Feed from Charleston to the North Bend Community Center but it's worked out great. Now in its 34th year, the Charleston Merchants Association's annual fundraiser supports the Charleston Visitor Center that runs through the financial support of the association only and the tireless effort of volunteers.

This year's fundraiser event will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, and feature "fresh Dungeness crab from Chuck's Seafood who buys directly from our local fleet," said Mel Campbell, founding member of Charleston Merchants Association and Wild Women of Charleston, resident, business owner and advocate of you guessed it, Charleston.

Meals will include beans, pasta salad, garlic bread, a beverage and, a whole crab for $20, or half crab for $16. There will be tasty homemade cake and pie for dessert, a slight rate increase but still affordably priced at $1.50-$2 each, and beer and wine will be available to purchase from Miller's at the Cove. There also will be some great prizes awarded that were donated by area businesses.

Campbell said she got some push back about moving the crab feed to North Bend but "the parking and bathrooms have been wonderful. It's the best thing that happened."

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"We're proud of what we've done, the challenges we meet. This is the only funding we receive for the Charleston Visitor Center. It greets about 10,000 people each season. We have no paid staff, it's staffed by all volunteers."

Those attending won't be able to miss "Big Louie," the Crab Commission's big orange inflatable crab, it'll be out front to remind everyone it's crab feed day. Tim Novotny will be guest speaker on behalf of the commission and likely the emcee for other activities.  

The Charleston Marine Life Center will have a display for the family to enjoy before or after eating. Cards, cash and checks will be accepted.