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The ultimate guide to Petaluma’s crab feed season

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Although several of Petaluma’s crab feed fundraisers have already come and gone, there are still well over a dozen 2020 Dungeness Crab Feeds still on the horizon. Although it seems impossible, rarely is there a ticket left unsold. With so many already on the brink of selling out, I recommend you pick you feed(s) and get tickets as soon as possible. If you end up unable to make it, these are great gifts to hand off to family or friends as nothing quite compares to a Petaluma crab feed for great food and community fun.

So here are Petaluma’s 2020 Dungeness Crab Feeds, presented in chronological order. Read closely, however, as several feeds have changed locations and dates this year. Most feeds have some sort of a social media presence, but if not, contact the listed parties for more information.

Friday, Jan. 10 - Nicasio Parlor #183 Native Sons of the Golden West, at Hermann Sons Hall. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. of cracked crab, pasta, salad, rolls and a cup of Cajun Gumbo, which you won’t find at any other feeds this year. Tickets are $50 in advance and $55 at the door, although reservations are required either way. Jan. 7 is the last day reserve. For tickets, call Larry Schork 486-6897, Dan Foppe 763-1736 or Kristofer Nelson 332-2376.

Saturday, Jan. 11 - Senhor Santo Cristo Society’s Portuguese Crab Feed, at Petaluma Holy Ghost/Portuguese Hall. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. This is one of the rare ones that offers both hot and cold crab, along with salad, pasta, garlic bread, wine and juice. Dancing with Carmencita starts up at 8 p.m. and goes until midnight. This is also one of the rare feeds with a kids’ price – 6-12 year olds are $25 with adults paying $55. For tickets, call Cindy Machado 762-8521.

Saturday, Jan. 18 - Bases Loaded West Coast, at 431 Payran St. This is Bases Loaded’s third crab feed fundraising but the first I have heard of them. Because their name may not be as familiar as the rest on this list, I asked for a bit more information from the organization. Jennifer Casper was kind enough to fill me in on this incredible organization that helps young female athletes follow their dreams. It is run by softball legend Sam Banister, who was born, raised and started her stellar softball career right here in Petaluma. She graduated from Petaluma High School in 2005 with two NCS Titles as well as All-Empire and All-League titles including the 2006 All Empire Athlete of the Year award for Sonoma County. Sam attended college at the University of Arizona where she earned a Pac 10 and two National Championships. She played under two-time gold medalist-coach, Mike Candrea and was a member of the All-Pac-10 team her senior year in college. She finished out her storied career playing for the Akron Racers of the National Pro Fastpitch professional league alongside Olympians Crystal Bustos, Jennie Finch and Jenny Topping. If that wasn’t enough, Sam then teamed up with husband Tommy Collaro, former player for the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies to offer year-round training for girls softball through their Bases Loaded West Coast facility, which is a one-stop shop for expert training in all things softball and baseball. This crab feed is its largest fundraiser and helps make play available to all the young ladies who are interested. As evidence of their hard work and dedication to their craft, BLWC has helped Petalumans India Smith (St. Mary’s College), Regan Lauscher (Cal Lutheran), Katie Machado (Idaho State) and Re Bles (Chico State) secure their recent college commitments. Tickets are $75 and include all-you-can-eat crab, plus a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, Super Bowl Squares and more. basesloadedwestcoast.net

Saturday, Jan. 18 - Petaluma 7-11 Lions Club, at the Petaluma Veterans Hall. Festivities start at 5 p.m. with a no host bar, followed by dinner 6 p.m. and then finishing with a sizable raffle. Petaluma Pete will provide entertainment. No outside alcohol or coolers allowed at this event. The Lions primary purpose is to support local organizations, with a special emphasis on those with sight and hearing problems. Tickets are $50 at brownpapertickets.com or call Ron Hammer (763-0564) or John Clithero (765-1245.)

Saturday, Jan. 25 - Duhnam School, at Hermann Sons Hall. Dinner is either crab or pasta, plus salad, bread and dessert, with drinks available for purchase. There is also a live and silent auction. Proceeds directly benefit all the students at Dunham School and Dunham Charter School by providing enrichment programs, including drama, gardening, music and arts. Tickets are $55 at dunhamsd.org.

Saturday, Jan. 25 - Marin Sonoma Italian Club, at Petaluma Holy Ghost/Portuguese Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a no-host bar, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. that includes crab, pasta, salad, garlic bread, wine and dessert. This dinner benefits the scholarship fund, which amounts to six $1,750 scholarships each year. Tickets are $45 and must be purchased by Jan. 15 through Judy (481-4514).

Saturday, Jan. 25 - Rancho Adobe Firefighters’ Association, at Penngrove Community Clubhouse. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and includes crab, salad and bread – there’s no pasta fillers at this crab feed. Music and dancing will fire up after dinner. A few tickets ($60) are still available at the Rancho Adobe Fire District station in Penngrove.

Friday, Jan. 31 - Petaluma Woman’s Club, at the Petaluma Woman’s Club. Tickets are available for $55 per person and include crab, salad, French bread, wine, beer and sodas, and the ladies’ famous “better-than-sex” cake. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the live auction kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Clubhouse Restoration Fund, which this year includes a new AC unit. It’s going to be a hearty bill, but it will make the PWC one of the best rental facilities in town. petalumawomansclub.com

Saturday, Feb. 1 - Pacific Empire Chorus, at Petaluma Veterans Hall. Along with great cracked crab, guests will enjoy a live a cappella performance, plus great auction items. Tickets are $55 advance ($20 for kids 10 and under); $65 at the door. pacificempire.org

Falling off the radar this year, I was not able to get any information on the PHS Athletic Boosters Club, which held their event during the first weekend of February last year at Hertzog Hall. Most feeds tend to keep their same weekend and venue, so if this weekend works for you and you want to support the PHS Athletic Boosters Club, try to find a member of the organization in order to get more information.

Saturday, Feb. 8 - Sons and Daughters of Italy (Cesare Battisti Lodge #1518), at Lucchesi Park Clubhouse. Dinner runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and includes crab, salad, pasta, bread, dessert and wine with dinner. There is a no-host bar, huge basket raffles and 50/50 boards. Proceeds help support the fight against Alzheimer’s, Cooleys Anemia, birth defects and support the Gary Sinese Foundation for Vets and other charities. Going old-school, tickets need to be purchased by Jan. 26 directly from Ernie Giono at 50 Circulo Puerto, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Send in your $50 per ticket and Ernie will send your tickets back to you by mail. For more info, contact Ernie at erng1624@aol.com or 585-2928.

Saturday, Feb. 15 - Petaluma Holy Ghost Society, at Petaluma Holy Ghost/Portuguese Hall. The no-host bar opens at 3:30 p.m., with two dinner seatings, the first at 4 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m. The meal includes salad, garlic bread, pasta, table wine, punch and cold-marinated cracked crab. This feed also offers the very popular Filhos, which are Portuguese-style donuts and at $6 for a half-dozen, are a bargain. We usually buy a dozen or two to share with our table. Music and dancing starts at 8:30 p.m. For tickets ($50) call Mary Machado (762-4995.) I have to mention that I had an absolutely delightful conversation with Mary when I called to double check my info. Even at an age where she has great grandkids, she is sharp as a tack and was able to tell me all about her and her husband’s homeland of the Azores, which are Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic. Ask any Petaluman Portuguese where they are from and 95% will tell you the Azores. I received a well-rounded, if brief, education on the differences between the various islands in the Azores from Mary, which reminded me just how much fun these community events can be. Don’t be shy – find out more about your table mates and you will surely discover whole new worlds, just as I did in my 10 minute conversation with Mary.

Saturday, Feb. 15 - Shoreline Acres Preschool/Tomales Elementary PTA, at Tomales Town Hall (27150 Maine St., Tomales). This crab feed has two seats, the first from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the second from 7 to 9 p.m. You can also opt for their “drive-thru” option and pick up your crab dinners for home. For those who stay, there will also be a silent auction. Tickets are $50 for adults and drive-thru, and $25 for kids. shorelineacrespreschool@gmail.com or 878-9442.

Saturday, Feb. 15 - Penngrove Social Firemen, at Penngrove Community Clubhouse. The doors are set to open at 5:45 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available soon at JavAmore Café in Penngrove. Keep an eye on penngrovesocialfiremen.org for updates.

Although a fundraiser to help the Petaluma Boys & Girls Club, the feed has moved from Petaluma to the new Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma-Marin Clubhouse in Windsor. If you are up for the drive, the tickets are $80 and are available through bgccsc.org.

Friday, Feb. 21 – Petaluma Elks Lodge 901, at the Elks Lodge (2105 S. McDowell Extension). Tickets are $55 and are available at elks901.org.

Saturday, Feb. 22 – Italian Catholic Federation of Petaluma, at St. James Church. Dinner starts at 6:15 p.m. and proceeds go towards scholarships and local charities. Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance by calling Louise (769-7389).

Friday, Feb. 28 - Rotary Club of Petaluma, at the Petaluma Veterans Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m. and includes crab, pasta, salad and bread with drinks available for purchase. The always popular Super Raffle tickets will be back and on sale for $30 for a chance to win up to $8,000 in cash. There will also be a special life auction to support the new Polly Klaas Community Theater Project. The rest of the proceeds help fund multiple Rotary Club of Petaluma community projects all around town. Tickets are $65 at petalumarotary.org.

Saturday, Feb. 29 - Waugh School, at Herzog Hall. Last, but certainly not least, this one is titled “Visions & Vines Crab Feed 2020” and certainly wins the prize for the most elaborate logo. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The $70 ticket includes crab, pasta, salad, bread and one beverage (adult or otherwise). There will also be live music by the amazing Fat Darby (an ‘80s and ‘90s cover band), as well as silent and live auctions to benefit the art, music, library and tech programs for the Waugh School District. wise4waugh.org/crabfeed/

Heidrun Meadery usually hold the last local crab feed of the season in early March at their Point Reyes Station meadery, but with the departing of manager Carly, I have been told to wait and see if they have a crab feed again this year. heidrunmeadery.com

For those looking for a more regular crab “feed,” the Tides Wharf & Restaurant in Bodega Bay has a regular feed series listed at innatthetides.com. After a short holiday break, the feeds are back on Jan. 17 and 31, Feb. 7 and 28, and March 6 and 20, from 5 to 9 p.m. with the price of $65 (plus tax/gratuity) to include crab, clam chowder, pasta, salad and French bread.

Although nobody local seems to be taking pre-orders, in large part due to the unpredictability of our winter weather, which affects the crab harvest, you can usually pick up freshly caught and cooked crab at Petaluma Market and Anna’s Seafood. You can also get live crabs at both Anna’s Seafood and the bait shop at 849 Bodega Ave., which recently changed owners so I am not sure of their current name.

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