J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake sticks with fall date, sets 45th event for Sept. 28, 2022

Crisfield-Somerset County Times
Posted 12/20/21

CRISFIELD — Holding the J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake on a temperate fall day was so favorably received this year that organizers plan to do it that way again in 2022.

The Crisfield …

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J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake sticks with fall date, sets 45th event for Sept. 28, 2022

Posted

CRISFIELD — Holding the J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake on a temperate fall day was so favorably received this year that organizers plan to do it that way again in 2022.

The Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce will hold the 45th annual fundraiser on Wednesday, Sept. 28 — dropping it back a couple of weeks from the October date as it was this year but moving it far away from the third Wednesday in July which is informally known as the hottest day of the summer.

Sticking to a Wednesday instead of a weekend continues what has proved to be a successful formula when Saturday dates during the Clam Bake’s infancy would not catch fire. Co-Chair Danny Thompson said, “It’s a different customer that comes on a weekend,” but it wasn’t doing very well until a consultant suggested the mid-week event.

“We’re not there to do it for the people that are coming here to go kayaking,” he said, “and it’s worked for 44 years and we average roughly six figures for net profit so we’re going to keep it” on the weekday.

It will again be held at Somers Cove Marina.

Kim Lawson, a former mayor and past chamber president said the Clam Bake was held on Saturday for the first three years and it attracted 600 to 800 people. Wednesdays bring out the politicians and state workers accompanied by hospitality tents for those wanting to rub elbows with people of influence — not to mention enjoying the all-you-can-eat menu of steamed crabs, clams, fish and more.

During election years attendance can be in the 5,000 range. There was no Clam Bake last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and it was pushed ahead to October this year out of an abundance of caution to let COVID-19 die down as more people were vaccinated. There were more than 3,000 people at the marina enjoying the moderate weather and fat crabs.

Chamber President Josh Nordstrom agreed with the fall date, adding that he and Bill Buttrill, a past president, when working their gate this year “barely broke a sweat.” He said the income is key to covering chamber expenses and providing money for all other events and promotions.

“We had a fantastic year (and) the weather certainly helped,” Mr. Nordstrom said.

Next year the chamber will not only host the 45th Clam Bake but the 75th National Hard Crab Derby at the marina during Labor Day weekend, and repeat what was a successful inaugural event at the City Dock “Music on the Little Annemessex” which was held this year the evening after the Halloween parade.

Vice President Hitesh Patel said the chamber is also planning for a second major concert event in June also at the City Dock, and a seafood and music fest in July at the marina.