The ever-popular long-standing traditional family-friendly annual fundraiser that is the Key Peninsula Civic Center crab feed is set to go Saturday, March 12, barring a sudden spike in the price of crab, according to KPCC president Bruce Macdonald.

“I don’t think the price is going to take a quantum leap in the next few weeks, but the potential is there,” he said.

The entire west coast commercial Dungeness crab season was delayed two months until Jan. 1 because health officials detected unsafe levels of domoic acid in crabmeat in California last fall.

The potent neurotoxin is a byproduct of an algae bloom in the Pacific warmed by El Niño and can accumulate in shellfish and other invertebrates and fish that feed on creatures that eat the algae. It can be deadly if consumed in sufficient quantities, and cooking or freezing does not destroy the toxin in shellfish.

The crabs in Washington tested safe, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the commercial fishery until January to prevent overfishing in Washington.

“The particular thing this year is we’re a little worried about where the price is going,” said Macdonald. “We expected all of Oregon and California to be open by now, and they’re not.”

“Crab is still about $6 a pound retail, but if it gets any higher we might be in deep water,” he said. “We go through about 600 pounds of crab, and generally every year we have a surplus which we sell at cost.”

“But,” said Macdonald, “We don’t mind just breaking even on this event because it’s an important social occasion and we’ve been doing it for so long. Most years it’s very close to selling out, and we’ve had to turn large groups away.”

The dinner also features spaghetti prepared by board member Pat Medveckus, along with Caesar salad and garlic bread.

“I almost look forward to Pat’s pasta more than the crab,” said Macdonald. “Old family recipe, one marinara sauce, one Alfredo. It’s fabulous stuff.”

At the time of press, the crab feed is on.

For information, call (253) 884-3456.

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