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If you haven’t heard of abalone, it’s time to read up on this iconic Northern Californian delicacy. The unusual, fist-sized mollusk takes center stage at the annual Mendocino Abalone Festival where there is a cook-off, live music, craft beer, local wine, a craft fair, and much more! This year, the event is at the Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, CA, on Saturday, October 8, 2016, and it is a “must do” during a stay in Mendocino this fall. But, don’t wait too long purchase tickets. They go fast! Learn more about this truly special event and buy your tickets to the World Championship Abalone Cook-off and Festival now!
The Mendocino Abalone Festival is really two events in one: 1) The festival and 2) The World Championship Abalone Cook-Off. Now in its 23rd year, contestants come from all over the world to dive for wild abalone and then prepare it for the competition. Visitors come from equally far distances just to sample the dishes created at the cook-off. With an $85 judging ticket, guests can sample up to 10 delectable entries and then cast their vote for the winning team.
For guests who don’t want to sample the abalone dishes prepared, the event’s accompanying festival is just as much fun! With live music, local beer from North Coast Brewing Company, food booths, a silent auction, a craft fair, a raffle and wine tasting from Mendocino’s finest wineries (Bink Wines, Handley Cellars, Yorkville Cellars, Frey Vineyard, Brutocao Cellars, Graziano Family of Wines, McFadden Vineyard and Farm), there is plenty of fun for all at the Mendocino Abalone Festival. The best part? Entrance to the festival is free!
If you’re hesitant to spend $85 on a judging ticket to the cook-off, you might reconsider after learning that your purchase not only affords you the opportunity to sample great food, it also helps support a local cause. The World Championship Abalone Cook-off and Festival is a huge event in Mendocino, but it is also a major fundraiser for the Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA). MAPA works to support natural and cultural history programs, park improvement programs, and park advocacy for Mendocino County’s parks. It also supports the operation of the Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area. Proceeds from the Mendocino Abalone Festival help support these efforts.
Just a 20-minute drive from Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg, CA, The Inns of Glendeven are a great place to stay on your trip to the Mendocino abalone festival. An intimate 10-room bed and breakfast on a sprawling eight acres of land, accommodations at Glendeven Inn provide visitors with a sense of peace, beauty, and privacy. But, this hidden escape is only two miles from the village of Mendocino! If you are looking for a quiet, unique space that is close to all of the best restaurants, shops, galleries, wineries, and North Mendocino Coast attractions, Glendeven Inn is the ideal choice for you. Book your stay today!
Photo credit: Thinkstock/ Kin hang norman Chan