I was told by many of our residents and other attendees of this year’s Crab and Clam bake that, water, and all, ‘this was the best clam bake ever!’ Having grown up in Crisfield, the Crab and Clam Bake has been a staple in our community for a long time. I remember when my father who worked for Alan Tyler, cooked the crabs for the 1st crab and clam bake. The J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake, named for the former Governor from Crisfield has been a source of tremendous pride for our citizens.
True to its name, it is a political event. A time to gather and network at all levels in a relaxing and intentionally casual and comfortable environment. It IS politics at its best, but like any event, there are portions which are, and should be exclusive. But it is with certainty that I can say that the regular, everyday residents (voters) of Crisfield do not feel excluded. Instead, we feel special. To be the host of such a distinguished and time-honored event has provided a source of exposure and recognition a small town like ours could never have garnished otherwise, and I am sure many other towns would love to have.
It’s economic benefits to the City of Crisfield can’t be overstated. Since its inception, it has proved to be an important economic stimulus for local residents who would otherwise not have an opportunity to make the amount of money they get for helping out in one day, in a week’s worth of labor. Numerous students are also hired and trained on hospitality and get an opportunity to make money, gain experience, and meet influential people, they might otherwise never meet.
This wonderful event is put on every year by our Chamber of Commerce, and they do an absolutely amazing job, but the tent provision for the enormous undertaking which employs so many locals and students for a day and provides impressive accommodations for our Governor and other political representatives and candidates is made possible by someone who is in a position to do so and who has a love for the Crisfield community, Mr. Bruce Bereano. We owe him a debt of gratitude for helping to make this such a memorable and sought after event for our little town.
Make no mistake, our residents (average voters) look forward in anticipation to his tent and the opportunities it brings. Economic opportunities and opportunities to mix and mingle in a way not possible if he did not have such an elaborately, organized and intentional destination for our politicians to come and engage with our citizens (average voters); and as important as it is, it is only one aspect of the networking, comradery, and overall goodwill that this event generates for everyone who attends, inside, outside and around his tent.
People (average voters) come from near and far. This is one of the few times we come together and are not constrained by political affiliation, so yes, without a doubt, the J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake is ……’Politics at its best’!!
Darlene Taylor is the mayor of Crisfield, Maryland