- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Fill up on crustaceans, culture at crab festival
A delicious Maryland tradition returns for the 28th time Saturday with the St. Mary’s County Crab Festival, featuring steamed hard crabs by Copsey’s Seafood.
The event benefits the Leonardtown Lions Club, which will use the proceeds for its programs for people with impaired vision or hearing, including seeing-eye dogs and elementary school screening programs, said Gil Moore, festival co-chairman.
Organizers expect about 3,000 people to descend on the St. Mary’s County fairgrounds because Maryland blue crabs are anything but a hard sell, Moore said.
“People love crabs in Maryland. It’s no secret. With crab cakes and things like that, we don’t really have any problems,” he said.
Besides, the festival includes other attractions.
“For one thing, you can enjoy picnic tables under trees, bands with music — two bands — there’s a classic car show going on, and for kids, we have a petting zoo and face painting,” he said. For the remote possibility that a local person might not like crabs, other food vendors will sell everything from barbecue and café fare to cake and ice cream. Miss Maryland Teen will drop by, too.
“I think that just everyone likes to come out, enjoy the music, enjoy the crabs. Some people like barbecuing instead. We have that, too. We’re pet-friendly, and it’s just a great day to celebrate the customs of Maryland and the blue crabs,” Moore said.
This year’s festival will inaugurate a new custom, the crab picking contest, which is a fixture in some Maryland towns but not locally, Moore said. With the demise of the industry, the art is fading and all the contestants will be amateurs, he said.
The crab festival will run 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 8 at the fairgrounds at 42455 Fairgrounds Road in Leonardtown. Adult admission is $5. Children 11 and younger are admitted free. Rain date is June 9. Pets welcome. For more information, go to stmaryscrabfestival.com or call 240-577-1697.