Suffolk Shrimp Feast set for Oct. 6

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 27, 2005

SUFFOLK, Va. – Suffolk’s biggest party of the year, the Suffolk Ruritans Shrimp Feast, takes place at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6.

This year is expected to be another sell-out event.

The music of the Rhondells, Island Boy and Southern Blend along with two-and-one half tons of succulent shrimp makes this a whale of an event.

All across Hampton Roads, the Suffolk Ruritan Club’s Shrimp Feast is one of the foremost annual events in the region, drawing people from across Virginia and North Carolina and several other states, as well. In fact, the Suffolk Ruritans extend a special invitation to their North Carolina neighbors in Hertford and Bertie Counties.

After all, it’s the only party in town-in fact in Hampton Roads, where you find 5,000 pounds of Old Bay seasoned steamed shrimp, southern fried chicken, and North Carolina-style barbecue all heaped upon one plate. Stick around for the party and you can even go back for all you can eat. And, if all that spiced shrimp, barbecue and fried chicken isn’t enough to draw the heartiest of appetites to the fest, consider that the event is also peppered with some of the hottest entertainment in Hampton Roads.

Sponsored each year by the Suffolk Ruritan Club’s 100-plus members, Shrimp Feast has traditionally offered several entertainers who have gone on to the &uot;big time.&uot;

Along with the Dixie Chicks, the club has brought plenty of other big names to Suffolk for Shrimp Feast, including SHeDAISY, and The Clark Family Experience, to name a couple. They have also had some of great regional entertainers like Fat Ammons, Island Boy, the Rhondells and many other great bands. The music and all that great food make the Suffolk Ruritan Club’s Shrimp Feast one of the foremost annual events in the area.

Jimmy Franks and Henry Boswell are co-chairing the Shrimp Feast this year, and as they pointed out, nowhere will you find such an evening packed with entertainment that will set you dancing and also satisfy your appetite for some of the best in southern cuisine. And, the best news yet: tickets are only $30 for all the fun, food, beverages, and festivities afforded by Shrimp Feast.

&uot;This year, we expect our event to be even better than ever before,&uot; said Franks. &uot;We’re pretty excited and we think we’ve got one of the best events ever planned. This is my third time serving as chairman and I’m honored to be helping bring the event together again this year. I’ve been a member of Suffolk Ruritans for 25-years and every year, I’ve seen this event grow even bigger and better."

Boswell added that anyone who purchases a ticket will certainly get a bargain considering that once you leave the Shrimp Feast party at 7 p.m., you can walk right into Suffolk Festival’s 28th Annual Peanut Fest. In fact, the Shrimp Feast is the &uot;opening act&uot; for Peanut Fest, an event that is annually attended by more than 200,000 people from the region and several other states.

&uot;This Shrimp Feast is going to be an exciting kick off for the Peanut Fest and we hope that everyone will come out to enjoy the food, music and fellowship and at the same time, support the community,&uot; said Boswell.

The price of the $30 ticket is considered to be a great value since funds generated from the event go right back to the people of the community. Last year alone, they gave almost $19,000 in scholarships to students.

Scholarships are just a part of what Suffolk Ruritans do for the community. In tough times, they have proven they are truly committed to preserving the quality of life in this city.

For instance, they not only give to more than 60 worthy causes like Meals on Wheels, Sickle Cell Anemia Society, Boy and Girl Scout troops, the Genieve Shelter and the Suffolk News-Herald’s &uot;Cheer Fund,&uot; but also, they were quick to respond when Hurricanes Floyd and Isabel struck Suffolk.

Suffolk Ruritans provided aid through the Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, giving $5,000 to each to help with disaster relief. As always, those funds were derived from their single yearly fund raising event; Shrimp Feast.

Suffolk Ruritans have tickets located throughout the city for the 2005 Feast. Look for them at First Federal Savings Bank at 1703 N. Main St., Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy, 3219 Bridge Road; Oliver’s Grocery at 1328 Holland Road; Mike Duman Auto Sales at 2300 Godwin Boulevard; and Physical Therapy Works, Inc., 2007 Meade Parkway. There are many other locations throughout the city. Just look for the &uot;Shrimp Feast Tickets Sold Here&uot; signs in front of local businesses or call (757) 539-6300.

The Suffolk Ruritan Club meets the third Thursday of every month (second Thursday in November & December) at the Elks BPO Lodge #685, 329 West Constance Road.