Vale Fire and Ambulance supervisor Todd Hesse talks about plans to change the format of the annual crab feed slated March 21. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – The Vale crab feed is still on.

Local customers for one of the area’s most popular events won’t be able to sit down to dig into one of the tasty crustaceans this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, Vale Fire and Ambulance will feature a unique way to pick up dinners on Saturday, March 21.

“We will open the bays and have them drive through the bay,” said Todd Hesse, Vale Fire and Ambulance supervisor.

Hesse said the event typically draws a large crowd and is the single biggest fund raiser for his agency.

The change in format was necessary not only because of the recent announcement by Gov. Kate Brown to limit gatherings of 250 people or more but also because Vale Fire and Ambulance personnel want to be careful, said Hesse.

“We are taking it (the coronavirus outbreak) very seriously,” said Hesse.

This year’s crab feed is especially poignant for his agency, Hesse said, because some proceeds from the event will go to Jaylene Tolman, a Vale Fire and Ambulance employee battling cancer.

“Last year we did more than 500 people,” said Vale Fire volunteer Wally Whitaker.

The drive-through dinner begins at 4 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. The menu features crab and steak.

Tickets are: $50 for all-you-can-eat Dungeness crab; $30 for the rib eye steak dinner; $60 for one steak, all-you-can eat Dungeness crab combo. Tickets for youth between the ages of six and 12 are $15.

Tickets for the event are still available at Malheur Federal Credit Union-Vale, Malheur Drug, Vale City Hall, the Vale Fire Hall, Chavelitas or any member of the Vale Fire and Ambulance agency.

For more information contact Hesse at 541-881-7796 or call Vale Fire and Ambulance at 541-473-3796.

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