Seafood and Music Festival to return after three-year COVID-19 break

Seafood and Music Festival to return after three-year COVID-19 break

It’s back. COVID-19 killed the Pittsburg Seafood and Music Festival for three long years, but the wildly popular late-summer event will return with award-winning country artist Clayton Q as the headliner.

And just to encourage residents to ride the wave of enthusiasm, Clayton Q performed – along with Nashville legendary guitarist Randy Russell, the lead in Q’s band – for the City Council on Monday night.

Clayton Q is a two-time award-winning artist, taking home Male Country Artist of the Year two years back-to-back at the Josie Music Awards. It was the duo’s first Northern California appearance.

“We are thrilled to have Clayton Q headline our festival,” said Wolfgang Croskey, CEO of the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the festival. “He is a talented artist with a great sense of humor. We know that our festival-goers will enjoy his music and his showmanship.”

Croskey told the council that during the three-year break, organizers reassessed their strategies, “reimagining the festival experience in a world transformed by COVID-19.”

“We’ve spent the last three years laying the groundwork for a revival that promises to be stronger, more vibrant, and have more engagement than ever before,” Croskey said of the Sept. 9-10 festival. “Our resilience has been fueled by our commitment to our community, our patrons, our sponsors, and the shared love of seafood and music that unites all of us.”

One of East Contra Costa County’s largest festivals, attracting 30,000 or more people, the Seafood Festival will be held this year at Old Town Pittsburg, with the main entertainment at Buckley Square. In previous years it has been staged near the waterfront, but Croskey said that moving it downtown will give local businesses an opportunity to benefit from the festival.

“When you look at why this festival was created 39 years ago, the purpose was to bring people to an area of town that was being redeveloped to let people know that Pittsburg has a lot going on,” he said. “This is a place that you want to be, to celebrate the businesses and the restaurants down there and to celebrate the history of Pittsburg and its roots and seafood and in music.”

Croskey likened the festival to a “pearl within an oyster,” having grown and transformed over the years, noting this year’s event will celebrate diversity and promises a feast for both the palette and the ears.

One change festival-goers might notice is an absence of foods other than seafood, he said.

“It’s a seafood festival,” Croskey said. “So the food that is going to be featured is all seafood-based. If somebody is not interested in seafood, we definitely welcome them and they’ll be able to go to one of the many restaurants that we have downtown.”

In celebrating the city’s diversity — and in a nod to its sister-city relationships — the festival will include Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian and Mexican foods.

“We’re also working with our Filipino community that will bring them in, as well as our American section, so it’s not just you know, shrimp on a stick,” Croskey said.

The diversity theme will carry into the entertainment as well, he said, noting the city has a rich history of music.

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