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STEPPING OUT: Petaluma Crustacean Celebrations

Crab-feeds are to Californians what clambakes are to New Englanders, what a Fish Fry is to upstate New Yorkers at Lent, what an Oyster Bake is to Texans from San Antonio, and what a good old fashioned southern Crawfish Boil is to folks from Louisiana. In all cases, the particular fish, crustacean or bivalve being consumed en masse is less important than the mass itself. A crab-feed is, above all else, a community event, one in which hundreds of neighbors gather to enjoy quantities of food, bask in each other’s company, and — in the majority of cases — raise money for a good cause.

Here is a list of upcoming crab-feeds in and around Petaluma. In most cases, early purchase of tickets is recommended, as many of these annual events sell out far in advance.

PORTUGUESE CRAB FEED & DANCE

Saturday, Jan. 13, 6 p.m.

A fundraiser for the Senhor Santo Cristo Society, this benefit feast features a choice of cold crab, or warm crab, with after-dinner dancing till midnight. Adults $50, Children $25. Petaluma Holy Ghost Hall, 4649 Bodega Ave. (707) 304-2819 or (510) 604-7746.

PETALUMA 7-11 LION’S CLUB CRAB-FEED

Saturday, Jan. 20, 5 p.m.

Supporting the Lions Club’s tireless efforts to assist those with hearing and sight problems, this annual event includes an array of raffle items, and all the crab you can eat. $50 per person. Petaluma Vets Hall, 1094 S. Petaluma Blvd. RSVP at 711lions@gmail.com.

PACIFIC EMPIRE CHORUS CRAB-FEED, CONCERT AND AUCTION

Saturday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m.

Powered by the motto “Crack crab with the ones you love,” this is always a popular one. Along with the traditional crab, pastas, and side dishes, this features a live acapella show, and V.I.P. (Captain’s Table) seating. $50 advance; $60 at the door; $20 for children 10 and under; $560 for “Captain’s Table.” Petaluma Vets Hall, 1094 S. Petaluma Blvd. Purchase tickets at www.pacificempire.org.

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB CRAB-FEED, DANCE & AUCTION

Saturday, Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.

Loads of food and drink, grand auction items and raffle activities, and dancing to a DJ. $95 per person (hosted bar included). Boys and Girls Club Lucchesi Park Clubhouse, Purchase tickets at 528-7977, or at Bgccsc.org/petaluma-crab.

DUNHAM SCHOOL CRAB-FEED

Saturday, Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m.

Crab and other items, auctions and raffles, all benefiting the students of Dunham School. Hermann Sons Hall, 860 Western Ave. $55 per person. Purchase tickets at www.dunhamsd.org.

RANCHO ADOBE FIREFIGHTER’S ASSOCIATION

Saturday, Jan. 27, 6 p.m.

Hot crab and all the fixings, plus entertainment and, of course, FIREFIGHTERS! This annual event takes place at the Penngrove Community Club House, 385 Woodward Ave. $60 per person. Buy tickets in person at the Penngrove Fire Station, Main St, and Old Redwoon Hwy.

PHS TROJAN ATHLETIC BOOSTERS CLUB CRAB-FEED

Saturday, Feb. 3, 6 p.m.

This over-21 event includes a full crab dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and benefits the Petaluma High School Athletic Boosters Club. $70 per person or $650 per table of eight (which includes two bottles of wine). For tickets, reservations contact Antoinette Burns, abutts7@yahoo.com. The event takes place at Herzog Hall, at the Petaluma Fairgrounds.

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ITALY CRAB-FEED

Saturday, Feb. 3, 5 p.m.

All-you-can-eat crab and pasta, sides of all kinds, wine on the table, and a no-host bar for harder stuff, plus raffle items and a fifty-/fifty raffle, too. Advance only, and space is limited. Petaluma Community Center at Lucchesi Park, 320 N. McDowell Blvd. $50 per person. Information and tickets by writing erng1624@aol.com.

PETALUMA WOMEN’S CLUB’S ‘BEST LITTLE CRAB-FEED

Friday, Feb. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Mountains of cracked crab, rivers of libation, and the legendary “Better Than Sex” cake for desert, all supporting Petaluma’s beloved Women’s Club and efforts to restore and refurbish the iconic building. In fact, I like the club so much, that whenever they ask, I am more than happy to cry the auctions and raffles at their various fundraisers. Hopefully, I will be back at it again this year. $50, www.petalumawomansclub.com.

CRAB-FEED BENEFIT FOR PENNGROVE SOCIAL FIREMEN

Saturday, Feb. 10, 5:45 p.m. (Dinner at 7 p.m.)

All proceeds from this benefit support improvements to Penngrove Park and the Penngrove Clubhouse, which is where the event is held. $50 per person. 385 Woodward St. Penngrove. Tickets available at JavAmore Cafe, 10101 Main St., Penngrove. Details: (707) 794-1516.

SHORELINE ACRES PRESCHOOL CRAB-FEED

Saturday, Feb. 17, 5 p.m.

In addition two dinner seatings (the early on from 5-6:30 p.m, the late seating from 7-8:30 p.m.), this may be the only crab-feed to offer a “take-out” option, so you can pick your crab and sides up at the location and take them more, or wherever you prefer to consume your crab. This is the tiny rural school’s primary annual fundraiser, helping to provide bilingual education to preschool stu-dents in the largely rural community. $25 for kids, $45 for adults. Tomales Town Hall, 27150 Maine St., Tomales. Reserve tickets by calling (707) 878-9442 or writing to shorelineacres@yahoo.com.

ROTARY CLUB OF PETALUMA CRAB-FEED & SUPER-RAFFLE

Friday, Feb. 23, 6 p.m.

With 500 available seats, this is one of the largest crab-feeds of the season. All proceeds benefit the Rotary Club’s community and international project fund. $65 per person. Petaluma Veterans Hall, 1094 S. Petaluma Blvd. Petalumarotary.org.