That also means the giant crab is up at Jake's Famous Crawfish a couple of blocks from my place of business. The crab appears during their St. Patrick's Day party. I snapped this with my camera phone yesterday...
The crab goes up every year like clockwork and every year I get a chuckle out of the fact that there's little rhyme or reason to this tradition. It's St. Patrick's Day not some other seafood-centric holiday. St. Patrick drove the snakes(*) out of Ireland, not the Dungeoness crab.
You could sort of make a case that crawfish are sort of like crab. They have shells. They have pinching claws that are fun to stick on a buddy's nose while he's sleeping off a bender on a wild weekend camping trip at the Nehalem Bay state park. (Too specific?)
But Jake's is really famous for crawfish. Thus the name: "Jake's Famous Crawfish." The restaurant is about 100 years old and legend has it they grew their own crawfish in rancid pools in the basement of the place during the first couple of decades. Before there were things like health departments.
If I really wanted to know why they have the crab up I could easily waltz in and ask the manager. I'm sure he would give me some boring story about how they don't make giant inflatable crawfish and they do serve crabcakes on the menu, so there you are. But what's the fun in that?
I'd rather stick to the explanations bouncing out of my imagination. For instance: Jake won the crab playing poker with Dillinger when he was visiting Portland on a bank robbing spree throught he Northwest. THAT'S a good story. The real story will never stand up to that.
(*) And those snakes moved to the United States to practice law. Lawyer joke! (Rimshot.)