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 around Sonoma County. In most cases, early purchase of tickets is recommended, as many of these annual events sell out far in advance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
SONOMA VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL BOOSTER CLUB ANNUAL CRAB FEED
Saturday, Feb. 3, 5 p.m.
VIP Tickets include auction, crab dinner and dancing, plus premium wine and dessert included at your table, and premium seating. General Tickets include Auction, Crab Dinner, and Dancing. VIP is $85 per ticket and general seating is $65 per ticket. Purchase early, this event sells out every year. From 5 to 1 p.m. at the Sonoma Veteran’s Building on First Street West. www.svhscrabfeed.org
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 email@example.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.