CRISFIELD — The J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake will be back this year but not on the third Wednesday in July.
Danny Thompson, a Clam Bake committee co-chair and executive director of the Somerset County Economic Development Commission, reported to the Crisfield Area Chamber of Commerce that the 2021 all-you-can-eat event featuring steamed crabs, clams, fish, sides and beverages will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
The date was chosen after conversations with state and local leaders and health department officials, Mr. Thompson said, and sponsors were also in approval of the date change.
It is predicted that by the middle of July some 75% of the population will be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, social distancing or other requirements that may still be in place would mean fewer than the 4,000 to 5,000 people being able to come together at Somers Cove Marina.
“It takes a lot of work to put on the event,” Mr. Thompson said, and there’s no need to serve less people when waiting until October will allow the chamber to “do it right.”
The second Wednesday in October also falls on a day when the Board of Public Works is not meeting, which means Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot won’t have that conflict on their calendars.
The chamber board at its April 8 meeting backed the idea without opposition. Incoming President Josh Nordstrom called it a sound proposal and “the right choice.”
Last year would have been the 44th annual Crab & Clam Bake, named in honor of native son and former Gov. J. Millard Tawes. It was rescheduled from July to October in hopes it could be held, but that date was also scratched from the calendar.
As a special Christmas promotion Clam Bake 2020 tumblers with “COVID-19” stamped on the crab were offered for $5 each at the chamber office and local businesses and they are still available. Mr. Thompson said he is especially looking forward to 2022 when that will be a gubernatorial election year and sure to draw additional interest from political candidates and their supporters.
Tickets are not yet available but there will be a link on the www.crisfieldchamber.com website to order online. Call 410-968-2500 for more details.