Coronavirus forces Oyster Eat into drive-thru scenario


GEORGETOWN — With a noticeable twist, a taste of fire service tradition in Georgetown continues during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 84th edition of Georgetown Fire Co.’s historic Oyster Eat will be staged Feb. 27 as a drive-thru event at Station 77 on South Bedford Street.

So, with mass gathering restrictions in place, there are some facets not part of this year’s event: the camaraderie, charm and atmosphere of cigar smoke filling the bay area and its floor covered in sawdust; predominantly male patrons crammed elbow-to-elbow, shucking and slurping down dozens of fresh oysters; and the live auction to determine the winner of the prized oyster knife.

In its place will be platter offerings consisting of fried or raw oysters, chicken salad, macaroni and cheese, hard-boiled eggs and popcorn, dispersed via a drive-thru process.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased from any fire company member or at the station. T-shirts and hot sauce will be sold separately.

Drivers are asked to enter the rear parking lot of the fire station via West Pine Street.

Georgetown’s Oyster Eat dates to the 1930s. It was recognized by the U.S. Congress for its “historical and cultural significance” during U.S. Rep. Michael Castle’s tenure in Washington, and the event’s notoriety garnered a feature spread in The New York Times in 1992.