the annual Maryland Seafood Festival

…was held as usual, at Sandy Point State Park, on the “other side”, in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.

Two days of seafood, music, crowds and fun. There were tons of arts and crafts vendors. My personal favorite was the Little White Fashion Truck,  Shelley Sarmiento’s brilliant traveling retail shop – and yes, you can expect to see one of these in your (urban) neighborhood soon. This is the gal that created White House/Black Market years ago. Her Fed Ex truck retro-fit is packed with fashion, from jackets and handbags to jewelry and dresses.  And yes, there is a fitting room in there….

There was a mermaid parade:

all kinds of fun for the kids…

and a fantastic crab soup cook-off where more than a dozen local chefs competed against each other with traditional (cream and vegetable) and some very inventive crab soups (think melon)…

The best crabcakes of all had to be the ones given away free by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.  Steve Vilnit was there with DNR staff and chefs, cooking up a storm. State is the DNR Director of Fisheries Marketing, with a background in the food industry, and he’s helping shape new markets for our state’s local seafood. If you’ve heard about yellow perch lately, that’s his work. If you’ve heard about the Maryland True Blue Program – where restaurants participate by agreeing to serve mostly DNR-certified Maryland Crab, that’s Steve’s work as well. This is a huge deal in a world where Asian crabmeat is everywhere (and tastes like spongy nothing, compared to the sweet taste of MD blue crabs).  So many restaurants have been serving Asian crab (think Phillips Restaurant, the big Baltimore, Ocean City chain, who has been doing this since the 1990s, and passing it all off as Maryland crab). I’m a huge fan of this Steve Vilnit – he’s everywhere and making a big difference. Thanks for the crabcake with the local corn relish, Steve – YUM.

<hot, hungry, sunburned and sweaty, I didn’t have my camera for the crabcake>

…and for the non-seafood lovers, lots of food choices beyond fried rockfish and crabcakes. Anybody for grilled cheese? YES, there was a line there all weekend.

But the big deal came on Saturday evening, when a storm rolled in. Now, it was no surprise, since everybody knew it was coming. Here’s a shot of the storm as it rolled in (taken by a vendor, not me – honestly, I high-tailed it OUT of there after watching the weather predictions.

But lots of people didn’t pack up for the storm – nobody was hurt, although there was a lot of damaged tents, product and displays. I don’t understand why people didn’t pack up and secure their stuff, but it seems that everyone was holding onto their tents and things were flying  through the air. A lady screaming for help under a tent, etc. Frightening, how bad it could have been, and indeed, this same storm injured a dozen people at another outdoor festival not so far away in a different part of Maryland.

And next morning, no surprise, art emerged from the mess.

~ by kbosin on September 10, 2012.

10 Responses to “the annual Maryland Seafood Festival”

  1. I love the art shot at the end. Made me laugh. And as shocked as I am about Asian crab at Phillips, I am equally excited about ole Steve. Thanks Kathy. I feel smarter and entertained whether I wanted to be or not.

  2. Steve is one dedicated public servant… he was answering my texts on business matters at the same time he was working the MD Seafood Festival – all on SUNDAY!

  3. Hewing to the old adage “the best camera you have is the one you have with you” I have found a cool app for the Iphone. See here
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/86870233@N08/

  4. Great post. You mention that you did not know why people did not pack up etc. Well those of us who watched the weather forecast in the morning (when you are an outside event its a no brainer!) saw that there would be storms in the late afternoon. So keeping up with the weather those of us that used our “smart phones” to track the weather noted that we should be packing up and getting out. Others said they never knew we were suppose to get storms (go figure – you go to exhibit at an outdoor festival and you dont look at the weather forcast= stupidity if you ask me) My big complaint is that the City Dock Productions (those that were in charge of the show) should of put out a warning of the severe storm heading our way – well I should call it the tornado warning) – for the safety of ALL of those at the festival. But they heed no warning to anyone. WORSE was that the band was still playing. THANK GOD that no one was hurt and that when the tornado came thru Sandy Point it was several hundred yards up from the event. I guess City Dock Productions felt is was more important to keep the money in the event from the attendees. Thanks for your post!

    • Thanks, Lucy. And I absolutely agree – the organizers should have taken a more active role in preparing for what was a heavily predicted big storm. From warning people to having a contingency plan, everyone should have been alerted and protected. Those trees toppled all over the park and the broken tents were frightening.

  5. Hey Kathy and others! Thanks for all of the kind words. We had a great time at the seafood festival, minus the derecho on Saturday. There was a little warning by the festival, but by the time people made it to their cars the storm was upon us. I’m not sure anybody realized how severe it was actually going to be. I spent the last minutes before the storm battening down the hatches and making sure we didn’t lose our setup.

    The chefs were fantastic and the food was amazing this year. We had a lot of fun as always and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better chef demo tent next year. All of the chefs that were there this year have already said they were coming back!

    Thanks to everybody for making it a great weekend and Kathy for a great write up!

    • I’m definitely going back next year – but this time, I won’t eat breakfast so I can try even more crab soup in the cook-off tent. Delicious!

  6. Brought back good memories – thanks!

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