Ballard’s Fishermen’s Night celebrates industry’s heroes

Fishermens Night

Photo: Tim Hunter
Leif Erikson Hall in Seattle’s historical Ballard neighborhood was packed to capacity for the Norwegian Commercial Club’s 69th Annual Fishermen’s Night.

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

On Dec. 12, Sons of Norway Leif Erikson Hall in Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood was filled to over-capacity, as 375 fishermen and friends gathered for the Norwegian Commercial Club’s 69th Annual Fishermen’s Night.

NCC President Scott Jacobson welcomed the guests, who would enjoy a sumptuous feast that included no less than 32 lbs. of smoked salmon, 50 lbs. of smoked black cod, 72 lbs. of opilio crab claws, 90 lbs. of cooked shrimp, 135 lbs. of cod, 140 lbs. of pollock, 150 lbs. of salmon, and 286 lbs. king crab. All of that with an open bar, and no one would go home less than satisfied. With accordion music, toasts and drinking songs, it was a night of camaraderie and holiday cheer.

None of this takes place without a lot of work, and the NCC Fisheries Committee of 32 works throughout the year to see that everything comes together. It is an extraordinary community effort, a unique combination of individuals and companies drawn together by the Pacific Ocean and its abundant riches. The fish is donated, and 20-some volunteers arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. to get everything ready, working tirelessly throughout the evening to serve their guests.

Fishermens Night

Photo: Tim Hunter
Doug Dixon (left) of Pacific Fishermen and Kurt Manchester (right), Fishermen’s Night chair, present the King Neptune Award to Shawn Bills (center), accepting for Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

Fishermen’s Night raises money for the NCC’s scholarships and other important programs in the Norwegian-American community, with an emphasis on fisheries. It is also an evening that honors those who have lost their lives at sea in the past year as well as those who actively serve the industry. The recipients of this year’s King Neptune Award were Washington state senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their fisheries and maritime accomplishments, which have included the sponsorship of key legislation that has supported the industry and protected the health of our oceans.

This article originally appeared in the January 10, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.

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