Shrimp Fest coming Oct. 6

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Special to the News-Herald

Suffolk’s biggest party of the year, the Suffolk Ruritans Shrimp Feast, takes place Thursday, Oct. 6, at 3 p.m., and this year is expected to be a whale of a good time. The music of the Rhondell’s, Island Boy and Southern Blend along with two-and-one half tons of succulent shrimp are all part of the festivities that begin at 3 p.m., at Suffolk Municipal Airport just off Route 13.

All across Hampton Roads, the Suffolk Ruritan Club’s Shrimp Feast is reputed to be one of the foremost annual events in the region, drawing people from across Virginia and North Carolina and several other states, as well. In fact, the Suffolk Ruritans extend a special invitation to their North Carolina neighbors in Hertford and Bertie Counties.

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After all, it’s the only party in town-in fact in Hampton Roads, where there’s 5,000 pounds of Old Bay seasoned steamed shrimp, southern fried chicken, and North Carolina-style barbecue all heaped upon one plate. And, if all that spiced shrimp, barbecue and fried chicken isn’t enough to draw the heartiest of appetites to the fest, consider that the event is also peppered with some of the hottest entertainment in Hampton Roads.

Sponsored each year by the Suffolk Ruritan Club’s 100-plus members, Shrimp Feast has traditionally offered several entertainers who have gone on to the &uot;big time.&uot;

Along with the Dixie Chicks, the club has brought plenty of other big names to Suffolk for Shrimp Feast, including SHeDAISY, and The Clark Family Experi-ence, to name a couple. And, the best news yet: tickets are only $30 for all the fun, food, beverages, and festivities afforded by the Feast.

&uot;This year, we expect our event to be even better than ever before,&uot; said Franks. &uot;We’re pretty excited and we think we’ve got one of the best events ever planned.

This is my third time serving as chairman and I’m honored to be helping bring the event together again this year. I’ve been a member of Suffolk Ruritans for 25 years and every year, I’ve seen this event grow even bigger and better.&uot;

&uot;This Shrimp Feast is going to be an exciting kick off for the Peanut Fest and we hope that everyone will come out to enjoy the food, music and fellowship and at the same time, support the community,&uot; said Boswell.

Last year alone, the Suffolk Ruritans gave almost $19,000 in scholarships to Suffolk students. Also, they not only give to more than 60 causes like Meals on Wheels, Sickle Cell Anemia Society, Boy and Girl Scout troops, the Genieve Shelter and the Suffolk News-Herald’s &uot;Cheer Fund,&uot; but also, they were quick to respond when Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel struck Suffolk.

Suffolk Ruritans provided aid through the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, giving $5,000 to each to help with disaster relief. As always, those funds were derived from their single yearly fund raising event; Shrimp Feast.

Suffolk Ruritans have tickets located throughout the city for the 2005 Feast, such as the First Federal Savings Bank, Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy, Oliver’s Grocery; Mike Duman Auto Sales; and Physical Therapy Works, Inc., 2. There are many other locations throughout the city. Just look for the &uot;Shrimp Feast Tickets Sold Here&uot; signs in front of local businesses or call 539-6300.