Oyster Roast

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 29, 2007

By Katie Scarvey

Salisbury Post

Before stepping into the F&M Trolley Barn Saturday night, people were handed an apron.

Not so they could go to work, but so they could slurp oysters and peel juicy shrimp without dribbling on their clothing.

The event was the second annual oyster roast fundraiser hosted by Waterworks Visual Arts Center. Funds raised will go to support education, exhibition and outreach programs.

Outside the trolley barn, employees of Big Daddy’s Seafood shoveled oysters into huge stainless steel steamers and hurried to replenish rapidly disappearing trays of shrimp. After steaming, oysters were carried in buckets to a busy shucking table. Gary’s Barbecue was also on hand to serve up brunswick stew and side dishes. Silver Eagle Distributors and Childress Vineyards provided beer and wine.

DJ Ben Felton — aka Big, Bad Ben — played beach music, and people hung around until the very last minute dancing, said event chair Barb Sorel.

This year’s roast drew about 475 guests, organizers said, far surpassing last year’s total of 350.

Sorel has chaired the event both years. The decision was made last year, she said, to replace the annual Winter’s Eve Ball fundraiser with something more casual. The change, she says, has been a good one, attracting about four times as many people as the formal event.

“People like the casual,” she said. “It’s been very successful.”

Contact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or kscarvey@salisburypost.com.