Hundreds gather for Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest

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The king of the crab feeds has no need of king crabs.

North Coast Dungeness crabs, about 7,000 pounds of them, delighted the huge, happy, hungry crowd that gathered Saturday afternoon and evening at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

The occasion was the 31st Great Sonoma Crab and Wine Fest. About 1,900 people came together to eat and to visit, drink, tap their feet and open their wallets for the benefit of youth programs and other endeavors of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, which hosted the event.

For the second year in a row, the benefit feast started off in the Hall of Flowers and then moved into the adjacent Grace Pavilion.

For the first phase, guests nodded and swayed to the justice-system band Court ’n’ Disaster while sipping Sonoma County wines, beer, ciders, whiskies and other beverages.

They also savored bites from restaurants and caterers and other purveyors of local culinary treats, and they shopped the expansive silent auction.

As dinner time approached, everyone took the short walk to the fairgrounds’ main pavilion and found their seats.

There, eager, uniformed kids with 4-H and FFA and their grown-up helpers delivered heaping bowls of fresh, cracked Dungeness nicely paired with all of the kingly fixings you’d expect to have set before you at what might just be the biggest crab feed on Earth.

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