On Sunday, August 13, 2017, the 8th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day comes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., featuring a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs and other regional food, live music, beer, boat rides, family activities, and more. The fundraising event is organized by CBMM in cooperation with the Talbot Watermen Association, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.
“Watermen’s Day is an annual favorite among locals and guests alike,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “You can meet many of the watermen who work to bring seafood to tables across the region, while having a great time celebrating the Chesapeake with us in such an incredibly authentic way.”
Beginning at 11:00 a.m., the event’s “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest returns to the Miles River to its expanded location under CBMM’s 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Bleacher seating will be provided for spectators to the contest.
“The boat docking contest is great fun to watch, and participate in,” said TWA President Jeff Harrison. “Last year, we had Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on board one of the boats, and while we won’t have Edgar Hansen with us this year, we’re looking forward to having Governor Hogan back with us again this year.”
The opportunity to meet the Chesapeake’s watermen, along with local steamed crabs, beer, and other food and beverages continue to highlight the waterfront festival.
Starting at noon, the day’s catch of steamed crabs—served by watermen—will be available for purchase, in addition to beer, water, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, and more. Steamed crabs will be sold by the dozen, with pricing set by July 28 and posted at cbmm.org.
“We’ve consistently been able to sell a dozen steamed crabs with corn on the cob at $25,” said Harrison. “We’re hoping this year’s market will allow us to do the same.”
Also beginning at noon, live music with Bird Dog and the Road Kings from the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand will have people tapping their toes and dancing along CBMM’s waterfront.
Children and families can enjoy games and activities offered throughout the day. Later in the day, children’s on-the-water activities include a Pot Pie skiff rowing competition, with prizes awarded.
During Watermen’s Day, event-goers can take part in a silent auction, with Chesapeake-related items available to the highest bidders, including work by noted Chesapeake photographer Jay Fleming. The auction takes place in the Small Boat Shed, with bids taken until 3:00 p.m., and all proceeds supporting the Talbot Watermen Association.
While at CBMM, guests can explore all 12 exhibitions buildings and see progress on the log-hull restoration of the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, now underway in the boatyard through 2018. Special exhibitions include Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s Rivers; Log Canoe Racing: Photographs by Morris Ellison; and Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, featuring 80 photographs curated from the more than 10,000 by de Gast in CBMM’s collection.
Admission to the 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine event includes the boat docking contest, live music, numerous family activities, entrance to all CBMM exhibitions and historic structures, and is set at $18 for adults, $8 for children 6-17, with all children five years of age and under admitted free. CBMM members along with licensed watermen and their immediate families get discounted admission at $10 per adult, and $6 per child ages 6-17.
Advanced admission tickets can be purchased online at bit.ly/watermensday, with tickets also sold at the door the day of the event. Discounted watermen’s tickets will be available at the door the day of the event, with an active watermen’s license shown. Boat rides, steamed crabs, beer, and additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. Free event parking will be available at St. Michaels High School, with a complimentary shuttle service to CBMM running throughout the day.
For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, including Watermen’s Appreciation Day. Leashed dogs are only permitted on CBMM’s campus during regular operating hours. Carry-on alcohol from dock or land is prohibited.