Letter: Thanks to those who helped make Musselfest a success


It’s been several weekends since we celebrated the 2024 Penn Cove Musselfest in Coupeville. As the chair of Musselfest, I pay attention to the weather before and after the festival… and during. This year’s festivities included tent-relocating winds, black skies and so much hail! It was a bit of a boon for our shopkeepers as everyone scrambled for shelter!

So, why have our event the first full weekend in March? That is the No. 1 question people ask me when it’s cold. It’s very intentional. The festival was started as a way to bring visitors to the area after a slow January and February and a time to educate people about mussels. It’s a celebration of the end of winter and the beginning of spring, and there aren’t many other festivals competing for awesome food vendors, fun bands, tents and volunteers that weekend.

We have the very best people volunteering at Musselfest. Many of them are from the Navy and we couldn’t do it without them. I know many other festival organizers feel the same way I do. We also appreciate our community members and students who step up — no matter the weather — to make new friends and enjoy the festival in a different way for a couple of hours of volunteering. I highly recommend volunteering at an event near you.

But back to Musselfest. Thanks for the excellent support from the Town of Coupeville, Port of Coupeville, our partners and sponsors and to everyone who came out to enjoy a boat tour of the Penn Cove Mussel Farm, watch a chef demo, enjoy some Mussel Chowder, hang out with the mermaids, visit with a nonprofit vendor, do the treasure hunt or kids’ fishing or crafts, or enjoy a beverage while listening to some great local music.

There were 1,100 people who sampled chowder from 11 restaurants and after the votes were counted, the top three were Gordon’s Fusion, Callen’s and Captain Whidbey. It was a close competition! All 11 participating restaurants are featured on our website.

Special thanks if you hopped into a shop or restaurant and bought something local. On behalf of the Penn Cove Musselfest team, the Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association and Penn Cove Shellfish, we appreciate all of you. Join us in 2025 — first full weekend of March — 7, 8 and 9. To see all of our sponsors and details from 2024, visit www.PennCoveMusselfest.com, Facebook and Instagram. Mussel On!

Kellie Sites

Musselfest chair