Pickin’ and livin’ on the waterfront

Published 5:06 pm Monday, August 18, 2008

By Staff
DWOW throws well-received party for well-traveled folks
Staff Writer
The atmosphere was anything but crabby at the third-annual Pickin’ on the Pamlico Saturday evening.
Around 550 people showed up to mash, mallet and pick their share of locally caught blue crabs, according to Downtown Washington on the Waterfront President Ross Hamory.
The event, organized by DWOW, was a near sellout, Hamory said.
The Pickin’ had an allotment of 600 tickets, at $40 a head. All proceeds from ticket, as well as beverage sales went to DWOW, whose mission is to revitalize Washington’s downtown business district.
Once all the proceeds are calculated, Hamory expects this year’s event to rake in well over $10,000 for DWOW.
Even more important is the Pickin’s tourism impact on Washington, Hamory said.
The heavy influx of tourists to the event and area for the weekend was apparent to Washington Tourism Development Authority Director Lynn Lewis.
Lewis said she met people from New Jersey, Virginia, South Carolina and the Piedmont region of North Carolina while mingling and pickin’. Many of them she met at her pickin’ station.
What it says to Hamory is that the DWOW Committee did many things right in organizing the event. He attributes this to the committee’s desire to improve on the first two Pickin’s.
Among the improvements made was a higher quantity of food, which included buffet spreads of hush puppies, corn on the cob, coleslaw, peel-and-eat shrimp and more than a fair share of blue crabs.
This was of great concern to the committee following last year’s event.
DWOW also made an effort to work closer with Keyzer’s Catering, which provided the assortment of Down East food.
Samantha “Lou Lou” Woolard, a cook with Keyzer’s, was impressed with the event’s turnout. Woolard, who has worked the event since its inception three years ago, said, “It has grown a lot since the first year.”
Hamory has seen the positive growth and expansion of the event, too.
Hamory attributes some of the success of this year’s event to the popularity of the 360 Degrees Band, which played until 10:30 at night, and the exceptional weather on the waterfront.
Lewis thinks the event has continued to grow through good word-of-mouth.
Its reputation has reached as far as Haddonfield, N.J.
Jason Walker and his daughter, Aubrey, drove down from New Jersey to enjoy the Pickin’ and visit his parents, Bill and Bev Walker, who live in Washington. Jason just happened to visit his parents last summer on the same weekend as the Pickin’ and enjoyed it so much he came back for seconds.
Sarah Farrar and her husband, Robert, of Greenville, were joined by their friends Matthew and Angela Bostick of Greenville, S.C. for the event.
And, of course, the Bosticks said the drive was worth it.