The crawfish is the official state crustacean of Louisiana; no surprise there, really. We can't seem to find confirmation that the lobster is the official state crustacean of Maine, although we suspect it just might be. Maine people, you'd have this helpful information.
We like a state with an official crustacean (kudos to you, too, Maryland, and all those blue crabs). It means that the state sits near the water, that there is likely to be an atmosphere of vacation, of revelry, of good eating.
And both the crawfish and lobster are getting their due -- or rather, we should say crawfish fans and lobster lovers will be getting their due -- with two just-around-the-corner SoCal festivals.
First up: The Long Beach Crawfish Festival on Saturday, August 1st and Sunday, August 2nd. It's at Rainbow Lagoon. There will be put-the-music-in-your-soul accordion playing and luscious remoulades. And, from the goes-without-saying-department: lots and lots of fishy feasting. There are people pictured at past fests wearing hats with crazy claws, which we fully support.
Then on Sunday, August 2nd: Newport Beach throws its first annual Lobsterfest. The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is the scene, there will be a sandcastle contest, and lobster dished up at the juuuust-starting-to-get-nice hour of 5PM (the whole fest is 3-9PM). No hats with claws pictured, but we're betting there may be some bibs involved, which is pleasing to think about.
Can you make both? Will you make both? If the crustacean in all its meaty, briny beauty is a favorite food, perhaps it is time to clear your weekend and ring up fellow seafood fans for festive, warm-weather crackin'.