All you need to know about the Mandurah Crab Fest 2018

Mandurah residents and visitors, with only a few sleeps left until the City's biggest event takes off here's a guide of all you need to know ahead of the Crab Fest weekend.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award-winning festival and organisers believe it’s set to draw a crowd.

The Crab Fest is much more than just delicious seafood-inspired dishes and local produce. 

Mandurah’s Eastern foreshore will be alive with marquees, live performances, food stalls and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs.  

There will be a variety of gourmet and continental food stalls displaying a huge choice of taste temptations including a selection of the region’s renowned produce.

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Two new ticketed events are also on the menu, A Taste of Aboriginal Culture and Crab Fest Wild Seafood Cruise to show off the beautiful city and fresh produce from the water.

Given the many thousands of people Crab Fest attracts to Mandurah each year, planning the event is no small feat. 

Most people could not imagine the logistics involved in staging the iconic festival. As soon as one Crab Fest is over, planning and promotion is already underway for the following year.

Below is just a sample of what will go into making the 2018 event come to life.

  • 96 marquees
  • 33 generators
  • 10 lighting towers
  • Five kilometres of electrical leads
  • 29,000 litres of waste water
  • Five kilometres of fencing
  • Three stages
  • 102 temporary toilets
  • 62 seafood dishes
  • 40 crab dishes
Nipper the giant inflatable crab visited Rottnest Island, Fremantle and Perth to help promote Crab Fest 2018. Photo supplied.

Nipper the giant inflatable crab visited Rottnest Island, Fremantle and Perth to help promote Crab Fest 2018. Photo supplied.

This year’s event will also feature some 100 volunteers.

Among them will be Maureen and Mick Eckworth, who are preparing to help out at their fifth Crab Fest.

“We had moved from Bunbury to Mandurah and didn’t know a soul – we thought volunteering would be a wonderful way to meet people and get to know our city and it was,” Maureen said.

The community-minded pair also volunteer in other roles throughout the year, including Mick as a cancer care bus driver and Maureen at family support service Mum’s Cottage.

“When it comes to Crab Fest, we are possibly the oldest volunteers – we are 72 this year but a young 72 may I say,” Maureen said.

“We love working with the youngsters on the team too. For the past three years we’ve been on the information tent and it’s good hearing all the reports from the visitors enjoying the variety of activities on offer.” Maureen recommended volunteering at Crab Fest to anybody, whether they were young or old.

“It gives you confidence and purpose because you’re giving back to the community,” she said.

"We have this beautiful backdrop here in Mandurah that we should all be so proud of, so why would you sit at home watching TV when you could be here helping out at Crab Fest?”

Mayor Rhys Williams said the Peel Region has so much to offer including fresh produce that will be on show at the Mandurah Crab Fest.

“The Mandurah Crab Fest provides a great opportunity for locals and visitors to experience delicious seafood and fresh produce from across our region,” he said.

“Crab Fest really has something for everyone, so come along and join in the fun of Western Australia‟s biggest free regional event.”

Event program. Visit: https://www.crabfest.com.au/-/media/Images/CoM/Microsites/Crabfest/Plan-Your-Weekend/What-to-See/Crab-Fest-Program-BACK.jpg?la=en&hash=118C367D054A4BB806589B65BC616A4B791FA1BB to view the program online.

Event program. Visit: https://www.crabfest.com.au/-/media/Images/CoM/Microsites/Crabfest/Plan-Your-Weekend/What-to-See/Crab-Fest-Program-BACK.jpg?la=en&hash=118C367D054A4BB806589B65BC616A4B791FA1BB to view the program online.

What to see:

Music stage

Home-grown Western Australian acts Eskimo Joe and Samantha Jade will headline the entertainment line-up as Crab Fest celebrates its 20th anniversary on March 17 and 18.

Samantha Jade famously won X Factor Australia in 2012, going on to accumulate a collective 81 million streams, released a single with Pitbull (Shake That), starred as Kylie Minogue in the TV miniseries The INXS Story (for which she was nominated for a Logie), and released her debut album NINE. 

She also had a guest starring role in Home & Away, and launched her debut cosmetic collection with Models Prefer in Australia. Last year she completed a critically-acclaimed debut UK and European tour. 

Samantha will perform at 7.45pm on Saturday at Crab Fest, hot off the stage as a headline at Sydney’s iconic Mardi Gras festival.

Eskimo Joe will rock the stage on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. 

Along with numerous tours of Australia and performances at huge events like Live Earth, Big Day Out, Splendour In The Grass, and Sundance Film Festival in Utah, their music has been released to great acclaim across the world. 

With festivals and sold-out tours, the band has come a long way from their humble beginnings as much-loved indie rock kids in Fremantle.

ESKIMO JOE SHOW: Kav Temperley with bandmates Joel Quartermain (left) and Stu MacLeod (right).

ESKIMO JOE SHOW: Kav Temperley with bandmates Joel Quartermain (left) and Stu MacLeod (right).

Enjoy it like a foodie:

This year the Harvey Norman Cooking Stage will feature tips and demonstrations from a host of WA Channel 7 and Nova 93.7 celebrities, My Kitchen Rules contestants, international chefs and Mayor Rhys Williams.

Mandurah’s iconic Blue Manna Crab is an important part of the festival and, once again, fresh cooked crabs will be available all weekend within the “Fish Pot‟, a new dedicated fresh seafood area featuring an authentic Crab Boil, fresh crab sales and seafood demonstrations with Don Hancey, WA Food Ambassador.

Two new ticketed events are also on the menu, A Taste of Aboriginal Culture and Crab Fest Wild Seafood Cruise to show off the beautiful city and fresh produce from the water.

In 2017, Crab Fest launched its first cook book, The Fish Trap, to celebrate the local food culture and keep the festival‟s food focus alive after Mandurah‟s biggest weekend. 

The cookbook will be available to buy at the event for $20 with part proceeds donated to the local Foodbank.

The Fish Trap includes a wide selection of delicious recipes from local and celebrity chefs including Anna Gare, Rick Stein, 2016 Masterchef runner-up Matt Sinclair, Stephanie Alexander, Flic’s Kitchen, Redmanna Waterfront Restaurant, Warung Ade Indonesian Restaurant and more. 

There’s also a step-by-step guide on how to prepare Blue Manna Crabs for cooking. 

The book features iconic artwork from local artist Emma Blyth and beautiful photography to really tempt the tastebuds.

There will be a variety of gourmet and continental food stalls displaying a huge choice of taste temptations including a selection of the region’s renowned produce. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

There will be a variety of gourmet and continental food stalls displaying a huge choice of taste temptations including a selection of the region’s renowned produce. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

How to get there:

Visitors coming to Mandurah for the occasion can travel on Transperth’s Mandurah Line to Mandurah Train Station where a free shuttle bus will pick them up and take them to the heart of the festival.

Free bike shelters will also be available around the festival for riders to lock up their bike.

Rhys Williams and Kat Armstrong showing tourists the Blune Manna crab. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Rhys Williams and Kat Armstrong showing tourists the Blune Manna crab. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

The Mandurah Crab Fest is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, made possible by Royalties for Regions. 

The festival is also proudly sponsored by Healthway promoting the LiveLighter message.

For details on Western Australia‟s largest free regional event, visit www.crabfest.com.au and for a copy of the event’s program click here.