Letters to the Editor

Mussel Festival: Many made mussel history

It’s March 2006, and like the works of a clock, another successful Penn Cove Mussel Festival, the 20th, appeared, is gone, and March marches on. Only the behind-the-scenes generosity of many can make a festival seem an easy, fun experience for attendees each year. There are winners to congratulate, sponsors to acknowledge, and volunteers and contributors to thank for intertwined elements that make the Penn Cove Mussel Festival at Coupeville read like a “welcome to Whidbey” card annually, on the first weekend of March.

With appreciation, here’s our little list:

We congratulate our contest winners:

2006 Mussel Recipe Contest winner, Angelina Marino from Portland, Oregon for Mussels Tarragon.

2006 Mussel Eating Contest winner (Saturday and Sunday), Phil Crawford, Coupeville.

2006 Mussel Chowder Contest winner, The Cove (restaurant at the Captain Whidbey Inn), chef Jim Roberts, Coupeville.

And we offer big thanks to all the following volunteers, contributors and sponsors, who by their labor and donations before, during and after the festival, made it possible for there to be an event to attend, and the above contests to be won! In quasi-alphabetical order:

Marge Bagwell, David Baverman, Joe Biller, Sharon Biller, Dianne and Dave Binder, Sandey Brandon, Jerry Case, Mike Churchill, Joyce Claus, Sandy Gee, Dan Goode, Nic Hallett, Gladys and Mitch Howard, Ian and the Tent Crew, Rawle and the Wednesday Crew, Tim Jones, Dan Karvasek, Gary Kay, John Kohlmann, Karla Mackintosh, Irene Mueller, Linda Noack, Micah Noack, Mike Noack, Martha and Vern Olsen, Ellie Powers, Jose “Chino” Roman and his crew, Bryan Stone, Captain John Colby Stone our founder, Selena Thurier, Mike Tuller, Al Tucker, Richard van Schoick, A Touch of Dutch, Anchorage Inn, Christopher’s Restaurant, Concerts on the Cove, Coupeville Library, the Honey Bear, Inn at Penn Cove, Island County Fair, Magic Bakery Café, Penn Cove Shellfish, RainShadow Public Relations, Saar’s Market/Greg Saar, the Shifty Sailors, Toby’s, Ye Kitchen Shoppe, and all vendors contributing items to our raffle at HQ.

Finally, I would like to extend four special acknowledgements this year. First, to Penn Cove Shellfish LLC, a company that not only sponsors this event, but acts as a volunteer dream team year after year. Second, to the eleven Coupeville restaurants that cumulatively prepared over 200 gallons of mussel chowder for ballot-holders to taste, enabling us to name the Cove Restaurant “People’s Choice” for 2006. Restaurants, you’re all great! Thank you all! Third, to Carol Peralta who passed away last November, but will always be with us in spirit. For years before, and through my nine year commitment to the Penn Cove Mussel Festival, Carol brought smiles to many with her graphics and gusto for fun. This year, many of you may have taken your pictures with your heads showing in the Mr. Mussel Family Photo Board created for us by Carol.

My fourth and final acknowledgement is to Bill Noack. Bill has been a great volunteer for several years. But this year, without being asked, he stepped up to the plate and made sure everything went well operations-wise. I thank Bill, and his family members who also volunteered, as well as graciously coped with circumstance and Bill’s extra hours. This generosity allowed me to spend some time during festival weekend with my mom, who is having a tough time of it near the end of her life. If mom’s hands worked, she would be writing the Noacks a thank-you note right now!

John (Stone), we continue to keep our promise to you . . . that this festival be “lotsa fun” and the food at it be very good! Angelina Marino’s winning recipe, which is seriously delicious, is posted on our website. You can enter your recipe for the 2007 contest anytime between today and January 2007. Visit www.penncovemusselfestival.com or call 360-678-1100. Thanks for attending the festival. See you next year, March 3-4, 2007.

Rita Kuller

Penn Cove Mussel Festival

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