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2nd annual Irvington Crab Festival


by Audrey Thomasson

They’re having bushels of fun in Irvington this month when the Steamboat Era Museum once again serves up a crab pickin’, beer drinkin’, foot stompin’ great time. It’s the museum’s 2nd annual extravaganza—the all-you-can-eat Irvington Crab Festival.

Crabs, crabs and more crabs hot out of the steamer and ready to serve.

This year’s event will take place Saturday, July 27, under a big tent on the town commons in the heart of the village—come rain or shine. Gates open at 4 p.m., and crabs will begin flowing from the steam kettles to the tables at 5 p.m.

In the regional tradition, hot steamed crabs are dumped on the brown paper-covered tabletop, ready for you to start crackin’.

How many crabs do you think you can consume? Expect to find bushels and bushels of hard crabs, all from local waters.

Organizers are providing for more attendees this year, but it’s still a good idea to get your tickets early.

“We’re repeating what we did last year—only bigger,” said event chairman Frank Tetrick. “We want to accommodate people who hoped to get to the event last year and couldn’t get in. It will be a grand time.”

Other great food, drink and momentos
Your ticket includes hot dogs, Tides Inn barbecue, cole slaw and soda or water. For a little extra, beer is on tap and Irvington’s own Dog and Oyster vineyards will sell wine. Festival hats and t-shirts will be on sale.

Although the event is family-friendly, pets are not allowed.

The festival takes place on the Commons, next to the Steamboat Era Museum.

For a little foot stompin’ while you’re busy chompin’, Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys will provide a diverse musical blend of rock ‘n roll, rhythm and blues, country, cajun and more.

A good ol’ fashioned crab fest
The crab festival is reminiscent of Irvington’s colorful past, when steamboats pulled up to the dock transporting goods and passengers from place to place along the waterways from Virginia Beach to Baltimore. Much like today, the commons was the gathering place for family fun including league baseball games, holiday celebrations, parades and events such as the crab festival.

All for a good cause
The festival is the Steamboat Era Museum’s primary fund-raising event, said Tetrick. “It is a celebration of the uniqueness of Irvington and the Northern Neck.”
The Steamboat Era Museum is a world-class museum and the pride of Irvington. It is the only one of its kind dedicated to preserving the legacy of the steamboat and depicting life as it was before automobiles and bridges—when the Chesapeake Bay was the highway for travelers.

Take time to visit the museum and be transported back to a romantic time full of adventure, splendor and prosperity captured through models, artifacts, photos, films and oral histories.

posted 06.28.2013

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