Did you know that Virginia is the largest producer of oysters in the United States? The word is about to get out…in a big way.
In August, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the creation of the Virginia Oyster Trail, a tourism development project to connect visitors with Virginia’s love of oysters – the trail highlights seven regions in the Chesapeake Bay that contribute to a harvest of more than 500,000 bushels. McAuliffe recognized Virginia as the “Oyster Capital of the East Coast” and tabbed November as Virginia Oyster Month.
“The Virginia Oyster Trail’s genesis came out of our own Visions Economic Development Committee,” said Jeffrey M. Szyperski, president and CEO of Chesapeake Bank. “With some strong work by several local individuals, this idea was pitched to the State, which loved it and took the ball and ran with it.”
“As the development of the Trail occurs over the next 12 months, there will be tremendous potential for our region to benefit economically from this great natural resource that we have. This initiative will touch harvesting, retail, workforce development and tourism and hospitality. It is a great long-term play for our community.”
Thirty-five years ago, the YMCA sued the Village People for libel for their song of the same name. Kramer vs. Kramer and The Muppet Movie were among the highest-grossing movies. And All in the Family’s TV run came to an end.
That same year, one of our favorite traditions was born.
The Williamsburg Kiwanis Shrimp Feast celebrates its 35th year Saturday from 4-7 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Jamestown 4-H Educational Center on the James River. It’s one of two great events this weekend as the 24th annual Bay Seafood Festival takes place Friday from 4:30-10 p.m. at Belle Isle State Park in Lancaster.
The Shrimp Feast is an all-you-can-eat-and-drink celebration with hot and fresh-cooked shrimp, hot dogs, hush puppies and more, including music from The Hark. It also serves as a fundraiser for Bacon Street, Friends of the Erase the Need Center and the Jamestown 4-H Educational Center. Tickets are $30 through Friday and $35 at the door on Saturday. Stop by and celebrate with Chesapeake Bank and Chesapeake Investment Group (sponsors and volunteers) for a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family.
The Bay Seafood Festival is sold out for the 24th straight year. It must be the oysters, soft-shelled crabs, crab cakes, steamed and fried shrimp to go along with all kinds of adult beverages that will attract a gathering of more than 2,000. The band Trademark will entertain at the event (adults only) organized by the KIWS Rotary Club, with proceeds helping local organizations like the Red Cross, CASA, the Boy Scouts and Jacob’s Ladder.
Join us at the 40th Annual Mathews Market Days Festival, which takes place Friday, Sept. 5 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Saturday, Sept. 6 (9 a.m.-5 p.m., with the Saturday Night Street Dance from 8-11 p.m.) at the historic Court Green in downtown Mathews. Chesapeake Bank is a sponsor of the free event, and we’ll have terrific giveaways to promote our upcoming November 8th Shop Local Day at our Market Days Festival booth.
Besides coming to see us – and about 12,000 other friends – there’s a bevy of fun things to enjoy, ranging from a 5k run/walk to benefit the Mathews YMCA and annual pet parade to the Show ‘N Shine Car Show and continuous live music. Kids can enjoy bounce houses and pony rides, and their parents can visit dozens of arts and crafts vendors. And there will be plenty of food – including fried donuts – games and contests for the whole family.
In addition to the star of the show – crabs from Jim Dan-Dee Seafood and Crab King – Jumbo Lump Daddy and the Backfin Boys will get the crowd moving. For those who don’t care for crabs, there’s barbecue and hot dogs. And there will be plenty of Dog and Oyster wine, beer and other refreshments.
We’re proud to support such a wonderful event. Assuming you have your tickets, come by and see us at the Irvington Town Commons (156 King Carter Drive) starting at 4 p.m. The crabs arrive at 5!
If you don’t have tickets, we’ll hook one lucky winner up with two tickets. Go to our Facebook page and like our post about the Irvington Crab Festival and tell us why you want to attend by 5 p.m. Thursday, and we’ll announce a randomly selected winner on Friday.
Did you know August 3-9 is Virginia Farmers’ Market Week? It’s good timing, too – some of our backyard farmers markets are getting recognition across the state – and nation.
Virginia Living magazine readers selected the Irvington Farmers Market as the best farmers market on Virginia’s East Coast earlier this year.
What’s not to love? Not only do they feature more than 100 vendors – crafts, jewelry, artwork, furniture, meats, seafood, soaps, clothing, you name it – but it also hosts musicians and provides fun for the whole family. Normally, the market runs the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (98 King Carter Drive). However, there are two dates in August: Aug. 2 and Aug. 30 (Labor Day weekend). The Meadow Street Band, based in Richmond, Va. is scheduled to appear on Aug. 2. To receive a list of vendors, email email@example.com. You can also find updates on the market’s Facebook page.
The Williamsburg Farmers Market is currently a top contender in the national America’s Favorite Market contest, currently ranking 1st nationally and 1st in Virginia with the opportunity to regain the title of American’s Favorite Market, which they last held in 2009. We’re not surprised – whether you’re looking for pickles, flowers, produce or chocolates – the vendors at Williamsburg Farmers Market offer all that and (much) more. The next market is scheduled for Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and will be held rain or shine. The latest news on the market can be found on the Facebook page.
We’re proud our area Farmers Markets are getting such terrific recognition! You can vote for Williamsburg Farmers Market and Irvington Farmers Market – or any of your other favorite local markets here. The contest ends September 13, 2014 – but thankfully, by choosing to shop local, there is opportunity to support these great markets year-round!
We will be collecting school supplies and monetary donations at each of our branches to supply more than 350 children in Williamsburg, the Northern Neck, Gloucester and Mathews. The bank will match every dollar donated up to $1,000 for each of our four beneficiaries: the R.F. Wilkinson Family YMCA’s Bright Beginnings program; the Northern Neck Family YMCA’s Bright Beginnings program; and the Departments of Social Services in Gloucester and Mathews.
Drop off crayons, pencils, washable magic markers and notebook paper at any of our branches – a complete list of needed supplies can be found at our branches or on our website. And while you’re at it, check out our Facebook page to vote on your favorite donation box, which were decorated by our employees at nine of our branches and our operations personnel.
Mix a farmers market and terrific food with arts, crafts and live entertainment, and Wednesday nights at the Gloucester Museum of History and Carriage Court feature fun for the whole family. Summer Nights Market runs from 4:30-7 p.m. rain or shine at the Carriage Court Lawn at 6539 Main Street in Gloucester. Upcoming dates include:
July 16 – Chamber Carnival Night: Sponsored by the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce, kids can enjoy bounce houses, games and snacks while adults can network with other Chamber businesses. Ashley Wenner and Brad Sindle, also known as Something Different Duo, will be on hand to play classics from the 1960s and 70s and hits from today’s stars.
July 23 – Mercy Creek, which has released seven independent albums, will bring its aggressive folk rock – a mix of modern folk, world beat, rock and hints of blues and bluegrass – to the market.
July 30 – In addition to the delicious food and farm-fresh produce, enjoy shagging at the market with shagging DJ Greg Howell.
Travel over the Fourth of July weekend has increased four of the past five years, according to AAA – an estimated 41 million will hit the roads, rails and air this weekend, up 1.9 percent over last year.
If you’re staying close to home, there are plenty of ways to have fun for the Fourth right around the corner. A few festivities to consider:
Fireworks over the water highlight the Fourth at Gloucester Point Beach Park, where you can spend the day swimming, fishing or boating.
The Town of Irvingtonwill celebrate the holiday with its annual “Hometown Parade” from 10-11 a.m. on July 4. More than 100 entries, including antique cars, The Kilmarnock & District Pipe Band and children on bikes, will wind down King Carter Drive and around Irvington Road. School board member Alexander Fleet is this year’s Grand Marshall.
Colonial Williamsburg has a daylong (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) celebration at Market Square North that includes a reading of the Declaration of Independence and performances by the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums and Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks begin at 9:20 p.m.
Historic Yorktown kicks off the Fourth with an 8K run and 5K walk at 8 a.m., and a parade on Water Street starts at 9 a.m. At night, a bell-ringing ceremony beings at 7, and the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Band (Dixie Band) will entertain before fireworks over the York River begin at 9:15.
The Yorktown Victory Center (free for residents of York and James City counties and city of Williamsburg; otherwise $9.75 for adults, $5.50 children 6-12, free for children under 6) will host “Liberty Celebration” July 4-6 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Visitors can watch tactical and artillery drills, take part in military exercises and learn about our nation’s founders and the challenges they encountered.
Summer is here, which often means eating out (hopefully at one of our many terrific local eateries!).
Another great way to support our local economy is by stopping by one of our local farmers markets to combine the splurge of dining out with a nice home-cooked meal. It’s also a great way to connect with your community while enjoying the freshest flavors of the season.