Kodiak’s annual Crab Festival starts tomorrow and it will be a different one than most folks are used to. Last year Golden Wheel, the long-time vendor for rides, said they would not be returning for this year’s festival. That left folks like Summer Wood, the community relations director for the Chamber of Commerce and Crab Fest Manager, scratching their heads on how to ensure the weekend will be fun and entertaining.
Worry subsided when the Anchorage-based Tons of Fun Entertainment committed to the festival, and Wood said the company will be filling the midway this year with interactive rides and activities.
“They have 13 different things which will include things like a climbing wall, bungee runs, a bucking salmon, a bucking bull – a lot of kind of competition things. And there are some bouncing houses for kids. And if you’ve ever seen the show Wipe Out, some of their interactive activities are kind of based off that show. So there is the Meltdown and I think it’s called the Wrecking Ball. So those are some new activities I think even adults will be excited about.”
Wood said there will also be an inflatable boxing ring and a 30-by-30 pool with two huge hamster balls that people can climb into and roll around. Likewise, over on Near Island there will be the Grizzly Grand Pre for any and all go cart enthusiasts.
“It’s kind of like mini monster trucks. So it’s kind of like go carts on that side. So we hope to encourage people to go across the bridge and definitely check those out too.”
She said the rides and activities will for the most part be open to all ages and require tickets to use. People can purchase ticket packs at the Chamber of Commerce.
Crab Fest is known for its food selections and Wood said there are 20 food vendors signed up for this year’s event. And unlike last year, the festival’s namesake will also be available at one of those food booths.
“So they will have king crab. You can buy it by the plate or you can actually buy it by the boxful. They will have that available too.”
A number of events are planned throughout the weekend and Wood said folks can find the full schedule on the chamber’s website. Traditional events like the survival suit races and Saturday parade will return, as well as new activities like a slippery fish toss and a local seafood chef-off.
Overall, Wood said she thinks this will be a great year for Crab Fest, and the lack of rides opened up more opportunities to try different things and spice things up. Golden Wheel hasn’t completely closed the door on Kodiak, and Wood said the chamber is actually set to have a meeting with the company next month.
“They want to talk about the contracts and that kind of thing. But you know some of our new vendors are kind of asking the same question – what’s that hold for them for next year. So hopefully after June we’ll have more answers for both.”
Crab Fest begins Thursday at noon and will run daily until it wraps up Monday evening.