Safety secured for feast

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Members of the Suffolk Ruritan Club are steadily winding up plans for their &uot;Silver Anniversary Shrimp Feast,&uot; which takes place Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Suffolk Airport.

The public is invited to attend this 25th annual celebration of life in Suffolk, and tickets are available from any member of the Suffolk Ruritan Club or through many local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $25 per person but the price is still a bargain considering that partygoers get a plateful of succulent shrimp, North Carolina-style barbecue, Southern fried chicken, cole slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, and iced tea.

Al Bremer, a past-president of the Ruritans, said take-out is available, but with all the entertainment and fun to be had at the event everyone should plan to eat at the site. Bremer added that refills are also available to those who stay to dine.

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With plenty of experience to draw on, Bremer serves the Suffolk Ruritans as head of security for the Shrimp Feast. He is responsible for organizing sheriff’s deputies from Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth, and together they make sure everyone is safe at the event.

&uot;We look forward to this special silver anniversary celebration of Shrimp Feast and we want everyone to come out for a wonderful afternoon of good food and some really great entertainment,&uot; said Bremer. &uot;We have &uot;Fat Ammons’ Band&uot; returning by popular demand, also the &uot;Wooden Nickel Band&uot; will be back to play and they are always a big hit with our crowds. Again this year, &uot;Island Boy&uot; will be on stage to provide some great beach music and the crowds really seem to love their unique sound. Wooden Nickel Band is one of the most popular bands around, playing country music and some rock and roll, and Fat Ammons is one of the best in oldies music as well as rock and roll.&uot;

Bremer, a member of Ruritans since 1987, said there have been no problems at any of the past 24 Shrimp Feasts and it is the goal of all the security team to make sure everyone attending is safe and having a good time.

&uot;We want the tradition of Shrimp Feast to continue as it has in the past, a safe and secure atmosphere for all,&uot; he said. &uot;We want everyone to come out and if they prefer alcoholic beverages to drink, we want to make sure everyone is of legal age to drink.&uot;

Bremer said the deputies will again be banding everyone with the type of wristbands used for identification in hospitals.

&uot;They will be carding people who do not appear old enough to drink,&uot; said Bremer. &uot;If you are not wearing an armband, you will not be served alcohol.&uot;

&uot;Invariably, every year, I have people tell me they are glad to see the uniformed deputies at Shrimp Feast,&uot; said Bremer. &uot;They tell me they feel like they can enjoy the event without worrying about a problem.&uot;

The Shrimp Feast begins at 3 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m. Shrimp and other foods will be served from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Each year, the Shrimp Feast serves as the kick-off event for the Suffolk Peanut Fest, a city tradition since 1978. This year’s Fest is also set to begin Thursday, Oct. 10 and those attending the Shrimp Feast are invited to attend the Fest as well.