Watermen’s Appreciation Day brings buyouts to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum St. Michaels

. June 29, 2016

The Talbot Watermen Association is bringing the 7th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum on Sunday, August 14, with the added attraction of the Chesapeake Buyboat Reunion being held at CBMM during the event. The event features a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs and other food, live music, beer, boat rides, family activities, celebrity appearances, and more.

CBMM WAD Buy boat Reunion

CBMM WAD Buy boat Reunion

This year, Watermen’s Day also offers the public the rare opportunity to see and board a collection of historic buyboats from around the mid-Atlantic region along CBMM’s docks and waterways, as CBMM hosts the 12th Annual Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association’s reunion.

The festival’s “watermen’s rodeo” boat docking contest returns to the Miles River to its expanded location under the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse. Bleacher seating will be provided for spectators to the contest, with plenty of food, live music, and family activities to round out the festival.

“The boat docking contest is a major draw for this event,” said TWA President Bunky Chance. “Last year, we relocated the contest to the Lighthouse, giving spectators a larger, better vantage point while giving our boats more space on the water.”

Steamed crabs, beer, and other food and beverages will be available for purchase. The event is hosted by TWA in cooperation with CBMM, with proceeds benefiting both organizations. The pricing for steamed crabs will be set by July 29, and will be announced then on CBMM’s website, www.cbmm.org.

“The market drives the price of crabs,” said Chance. “Last year, we were able to offer a dozen steamed crabs at $25, and we’re really hoping to do the same again this year. We’ll know better as we get closer to the festival.”

Beginning at 11:00 a.m., you can watch professionals in the spirited boat docking contest along Navy Point. Later in the day, children’s on-the-water activities include a Pot Pie skiff rowing competition, with prizes awarded.

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. Also beginning at noon, live music 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, with scenic river cruises aboard CBMM’s 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle offered throughout the day.

Buyboats—including Winnie Estelle—were used to haul seafood and cargo along Chesapeake Bay waterways before many of the Bay’s peninsulas were connected by bridges. As the seafood harvest declined and highways became the mode of travel, the large graceful buyboats faded from local waters, leaving no more than 30 of the oyster buyboats remaining on the Bay.

As part of the annual reunion, the buyboats and their owners will be at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum August 12-14, with dockside tours offered to CBMM guests to stand on the decks, chat with their owners, and understand the boats’ importance in history.

During Watermen’s Day, festival-goers can take part in a silent auction, with Chesapeake-related items available to the highest bidders, including work by noted Chesapeake artist Marc Castelli. The auction takes place in the Small Boat Shed, with bids taken until 4:30 p.m., and all proceeds supporting the Talbot Watermen Association.

Throughout the day, festival-goers can get an up-close view of CBMM’s floating fleet of historic Chesapeake vessels, including the 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood, a registered National Historic Landmark whose log-hull is under restoration now through 2018. During the festival, guests will also have full access to CBMM’s 12 exhibition buildings, including the 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse.

“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 in such an incredibly authentic way. And this year, we are honored to welcome the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Association to CBMM.”

Admission to the 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. rain or shine event includes the Chesapeake Bay Buyboat Reunion, boat docking contest, celebrity appearances, and live music at $18 for adults, and $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 children ages 6-17. Advanced admission tickets can be purchased online at bit.ly/WAD2016, 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 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.

See photos from last year’s event at bit.ly/WatermenPhotos. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.

Category: Museum News

Comments are closed.