Shrimp Feast parties on

Published 9:22 pm Monday, October 11, 2021

Even with gray clouds overhead, nothing could slow down this year’s Shrimp Feast.

Every year during Peanut Feast weekend, the first night has something special to curb the appetite of those who want more than just peanuts. For over 40 years, the Ruritan Club has brought some extra party and food to the weekend.

The Shrimp Feast sells tickets in advance throughout the city for $35. This ticket gets folks all-you-can-eat shrimp, barbecue and coleslaw with all-you-can-drink iced tea and adult beverages. The feastgoers get a lot, but they give a whole lot more.

“All of the money raised goes back to the community,” said Dave Walker, co-chair for Shrimp Feast. “It all goes out by the end of the year, so we start fresh at the beginning of each year.”

Different organizations have volunteered to help with the event throughout the years, including Boy Scouts, the Pilot Club, Suffolk Business Women, and local high school sports teams. In return, the Ruritan Club donates a portion of the proceeds to their organization. The remaining proceeds go towards food pantries, schools, and other needs that may arise in the community.

Each year, the Ruritan Club provides scholarships for high school students. Along with the ticket sales, the club has a donation box at the T-shirt table for money that will directly go to the scholarship fund.

“I’m proud of what they are doing in the community,” said Mae Burke, first-time Shrimp Feast goer. “I plan to come back next year.”

According to Walker, this year the club cooked 2,200 pounds of shrimp and sold 2,000 tickets. In preparation for the crowd, plenty of space was available for distancing as well as hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the open field so folks could safely enjoy good food and Island Boy’s music.

“Great people and great atmosphere, as there is every year,” said Keith Warren, a long-time Shrimp Feast attendee. “I’m just glad there’s no rain.”

Especially after a long year of canceled events due to COVID-19, the feast gave the opportunity for folks to gather in the fresh air and enjoy being together again.

“I hope everyone is back here to have a good time and socialize,” said Walker.