Pickers find local, fresh fare at feast

Published 2:07 am Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jamie Williams (left) and Robert Taylor sort shrimp by size Tuesday afternoon at Washington Crab & Oyster Company. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Local seafood is on the menu for the sixth-annual Pickin’ on the Pamlico.

The Aug. 20 feast raises money for the nonprofit Washington Harbor District Alliance, the driving force behind events like the Music in the Streets festivals.

On offer to ticketholders are all-you-can-eat crabs and shrimp supplied by Washington Crab & Oyster Co., which is sited just off Pierce Street.

“For this event, we always get the seafood out of local waters, but it’s usually not people that you would recognize,” said Beth Byrd, executive director of WHDA.

Asked where the seafood will come from, Tony Tripp, owner of Washington Crab, replied, “All local product, local shrimp, local crabs.”

During a brief tour of his building Tuesday, Tripp pointed to on-ice shrimp netted in the Pamlico Sound. He said probably 90 percent of his product is wild and locally caught, save some items such as salmon.

“I’m glad to see that these events are supporting local products,” he said in reference to Pickin’ on the Pamlico.

Outdoor diners who don’t prefer seafood are invited to feast on grilled chicken, corn on the cob, baked potatoes or other delights on offer.

The food will be prepared by Keyzer’s Catering, “specializing in large crowds throughout eastern North Carolina,” reads a news release from WHDA.

Entertainment will be provided by the Ginger Thompson Band, which has “played dates from upper New York state to Florida,” the news release notes.

Tickets to Pickin’ cost $40 each until Friday, when the price rises to $45 each, Byrd related.

“It’s just to help us with the numbers to give to (the caterer) so he’ll know how many are attending,” she said regarding the price change.

Tickets may be purchased at the Washington Visitor Center or Charisma Boutique in Washington, Robinson Jewelers in Greenville or online at www.whda.org.