Prawn Festival changes to four-day indulgence

A favourite event has been reworked for 2015 and given a new name: Spot Prawn Indulgence Days.

From Thursday, May 14 to Sunday, May 17 the delicious seafood will be featured at several venues from Cowichan Bay to Cowichan Lake.

Organizer Hylton McAlister, who has been in charge of the Cowichan Bay Prawn Festivals for years, announced this week that there are changes afoot for the wildly popular event, which celebrates the opening of the local, commercial prawn season.

"This year’s event will have a different format. While having a smaller budget, our geographical reach will extend from Cowichan Bay to Duncan to Lake Cowichan," he said in a letter to the Town of Lake Cowichan. "Venues, participants and dates are all somewhat different from the past but we are still promoting the spot prawn as a sustainable resource and focusing on the foodie aspect."

And foodies love those prawns. In past years, tourists have arrived from as far away as Ontario to participate in the festival with the crowds estimated at more than 5,000.

This year, events are being held on Thursday, May 14 at the Craig Street Brew Pub and Just Jakes, on Friday, May 15 at the Red Arrow Brewery, on Saturday, May 16 at both Cowichan Bay Seafood and the company’s booth at the Farmers Market in Duncan as well as the Old Firehouse Wine Bar, and finally on Sunday, May 17 the Indulgence Days end at Jakes at the Lake in Lake Cowichan.

The Friday event will also be a sneak peek at the brewery, which is opening officially on June 2. Check out for dates, times and individual events.