Paulette Bumbalough organizes bags containing meals for the King City Rotary Club’s 2020 Crab Feed. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — Fans of crab were able to get their serving of the crustaceans at King City Rotary Club’s annual Crab Feed, but rather than sit down at long tables in a community gathering, they drove through the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds to be served extra large portions by Rotarians.

“We couldn’t do the all-you-can-eat sit down, but we tried to at least keep as much of that as we could,” said Oscar Avalos, president for King City Rotary. “We saw that a regular serving for a person is one or one-and-a-half pounds of crab, so what we ended up doing was double that, so it’s a plentiful serving per person.”

Rotarians sold 300 tickets leading up to the Nov. 20 event, then ordered enough Dungeness crab to fulfill an additional 50 orders. Avalos said they were sold out of all meals before the day of the event.

The total number of tickets was lower than past years in large part due to Covid-19’s complications on residents’ personal plans and on how the Rotary could run the event.

According to Avalos, about half the club was present during each shift to make sure all the members volunteered for at least an hour each. As far as planning, he said the Rotary evaluated how other organizations did their drive-thru options for events in order to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

“Thankfully we’ve been able to see some of the other community events that happened before ours,” Avalos said. “We took little pieces from what they did and made it our own. I think really the biggest piece was juggling keeping the feeling of an all-you-can-eat without it being an all-you-can-eat sit down.”

Funds from the annual Crab Feed go toward the Rotary’s scholarship program, which awards scholarships to three or more local high school students.

Avalos credited Paulette Bumbalough for having organized the event, and said costs were kept low for supplies by donations of bags from Ace Hardware, salads from Earthbound, and bread from La Plaza Bakery.

“Paulette really spearheaded this effort and kept us all engaged in making sure we could put this through, because a few months ago we didn’t know if we were going to be able to do this or not,” Avalos said.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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