The 5th Annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day comes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD on Sunday, August 10 to celebrate Chesapeake watermen and their heritage.
This year’s festival features a reduced price, which includes a “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest, live music, and celebrity appearances. Coming to this year’s event are reality TV stars Edgar Hansen and Nick Mavar from the F/V Northwestern on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.”
Maryland steamed crabs, beer, and other foods and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is hosted by the Talbot County Watermen’s Association (TCWA) in cooperation with CBMM, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.
“Last year, Chesapeake crabs were scarce the week before the event,” said TCWA’s Event Chairman Lisa Gowe. “Which made it difficult to put on an all-you-can-eat crab feast with such a large crowd of ticketholders. By offering crabs separately, we’ll be able to better match supply and demand.” Gowe further commented that more food vendors will also be added to the festival to alleviate the long lines the event has seen in the past.
Beginning at 11 a.m., you can watch professionals in a spirited boat docking contest along Fogg’s Cove. Children’s on-the-water activities include a Pot Pie skiff rowing competition, with prizes awarded.
Starting at noon, the classic rock, country, and blues sounds of Bird Dog and the Road Kings will have people tapping their toes and dancing along the museum’s waterfront as the region’s favorite band plays live from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand. Also beginning at noon, the day’s catch of steamed crabs—served by the watermen who sourced them from the Chesapeake—will be available for purchase, in addition to beer, water, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more.
Kids and families can enjoy games and activities throughout the day, including model boat building, a rowing competition, and more. Scenic river cruises aboard the museum’s 1920 buyboat, Winnie Estelle, will take festival-goers out on the Miles River throughout the day.
Bids can be placed on a number of silent auction items, including work by noted Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli, alongside the museum’s Small Boat Shed. Silent auction bids can be made up until 4:30 p.m., with proceeds supporting oyster restoration projects on the bay.
Throughout the day, festival-goers can get an up-close view of the museum’s floating fleet of historic Chesapeake vessels, along with a selection of working watermen’s boats. Festival admission also includes entrance to CBMM’s new special exhibit, Carvers at the Crossroads: Sharing Ideas, Techniques and Styles across the Chesapeake’s Susquehanna Flats, which opened April 12. During the festival, visitors will have full access to CBMM’s 12 exhibit buildings, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.
Admission to the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. event will be collected at the gate the day of the event and includes the boat docking contest, celebrity appearances, and the Bird Dog and the Road Kings performance at $18 for adults, and $8 for kids 6-17, with all children under six admitted for free. Museum members along with licensed watermen and their families get discounted admission at $10 per adult, and $6 per child ages 6-17. Boat rides, steamed crabs, beer, and additional food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Proceeds benefit CBMM and the Talbot County Watermen’s Association. CBMM Legacy Partner Maryland Public Television is a media sponsor of this event.
For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.