Fried oysters, soft shell crabs, handmade crab cakes, scallops, steamed shrimp, fish, steamed shrimp, clam chowder, salad, pork barbecue, french-fried sweet potatoes, french fries, hush puppies, corn on the cob, and ice cream served with your favorite beverages are all on the menu for the 19th Annual Bay Seafood Festival at Belle Isle State Park. The festival is hosted annually by the Kilmarnock – Irvington – White Stone Rotary on the Friday after Labor Day as a close to the traditional summer season. This year the festival will be held on September 11. The gates open at 4:30 pm and food service begins at 5:00 pm. The price of tickets is $50 per person and includes all you can eat and drink, parking or a water taxi and live entertainment.
The good time dance band Casper will be performing until 10:00 pm. Casper, based in Richmond, plays a variety of dance music covering several decades and genres, including Motown, rock, funk and swing. Casper’s lineup features bandleader and drummer Oscar Bowman, James “Petey” Taylor on lead vocals and trombone, Levie Faison on lead vocals and percussion, Donnie Arterbery on keyboards and vocals, Shaun Lyda on
lead guitar and vocals, Jason Taylor on bass and vocals, Billy Gains, Howard Smith on sax and Jim Brooks, Casper’s sound and light engineer.
The KIWS Rotary has hosted the Bay Seafood Festival for 19 years. This year marks the tenth year of a partnership with Virginia State Parks to host the event on the grounds of the Bel Air area at Belle Isle State Park. The proceeds from the festival benefit local charitable organizations such as the Northern Neck Free Health Clinic, Boy Scouts, Jacob’s Ladder, The Haven, Hospice and other community groups. Proceeds have exceeded $330,000.
Tickets may be purchased through the web at kiwsrotary.org or by calling 1-800-777-9717 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Ticket availability is limited and is only available in advance. Over 60% of the tickets have already been sold and the event wells out every year. So hurry to get your tickets and visit the Northern Neck of Virginia for an evening of great food and entertainment on the shores of Deep Creek and the Rappahannock River. For more information about the event and directions, visit the kiwsrotary.org web site. Although the Belle Isle State Park campground is already sold out, Westmoreland State Park, less than an hour away, has cabins and campsites available.