CrabDaddy-Food, Fun, Beer and Wine

CrabDaddy-an all you can eat festival of crabs, beer and wine.
CrabDaddy-an all you can eat festival of crabs, beer and wine.
A Perfect Day in Jarvisburg

CrabDaddy we have to admit, is one of our favorite Outer Banks events of the year.

What’s not to like?

It’s an all you can eat event serving freshly steamed crabs from I Got Your Crabs as well as some fantastic local eastern North Carolina barbecue. This year the live music was provided by the Jesse Chong Band and Trae Pierce & The T-Stones.

And the wine from Sanctuary Vineyards is excellent and there were three local breweries on hand—Weeping Radish, Lost Colony Brewery and Northern Outer Banks Brewing Company—pouring some very nice beers.

Sponsored by Sanctuary Vineyards and I Got Your Crabs the event takes place on the north end of The Cotton Gin on the mainland in Jarvisburg. The setting is close to ideal; tall pine trees proved shade from the sun, and this year the sun was shining bright. The temperatures stayed moderate though and beneath the trees shade kept things comfortable all day long.

The concept behind the event is a celebration of the grape harvest. In keeping with that there his the  Great Currituck Grape Stomp, an event that proves stomping on grapes with bare feet is not the best way to extract the juice.

What happens in the competition is two wooden tubs are filed with grapes—it looked like muscadine grapes. A team of two contestant climb into each tub and proceed to stomp on the grapes hoping to be the first to fill a vessel that is catching the juice.

A sticky, sloppy mess—grape juice is very sugary—kids and adults find common purpose in the event.

The wine grape harvest this year at Sanctuary , looks like it will be ok, although it’s still too early to be sure. The summer weather was fickle with way too much rain in July followed by an August drought. They did get most of the grape picked before Hurricane Florence brought rains to the ares, so there is hope.

We’ll know next year at the 2019 CrabDaddy when the first of this year’s vintage is poured.

CrabDaddy is just one of a number of great Outer Banks events. For the best accommodation to enjoy all the Outer Banks has to check out Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Big Curri-Shuck-a Great Thanksgiving Celebration

Perfect weather for the Big Curri-Shuck.
Perfect weather for the Big Curri-Shuck.
Big Curri-Shuck-an all you can eat celebration

Great food, great weather, fantastic entertainment and some very nice wines and beer to with everything. Put it all together and it equals a big success for the Big Curri-Shuck, Sanctuary Vineyards celebration of all things oyster.

Although that may not be entirely accurate since in addition to all you can eat steamed oysters, there was also all you can eat crab and barbecue.

Still, there’s a reason why the event is called the Big Curri-Shuck, as in shucking oysters.

The event is a cooperative effort between Sanctuary Vineyards and I Got Your Crabs. It does seem like the perfect way to wrap up a Thanksgiving holiday—sort of a big thank you for the bounty of the harvest from the sea.

It’s become a real holiday tradition for quite a number of people—something they watch for a grab tickets as soon as they can. That might be good advice for next year; Hunter Stuart from I Got Your Crabs manages to get enough oysters every year for about 1000-1100 ticket holders, but John Wright, manager of Sanctuary Vineyards won’t oversell. He has said in the past that he’s determined that all you can eat, means all you can eat.

And the oysters were good this year…really good.

It’s not just the oysters that make the event special. Certainly the North Carolina barbecue helps. As does the crab legs. There is something about the setting that seems to take this event to the next level.

Maybe it’s being vineyards and farmland right next to the event; maybe it’s the picnic tables and the wine and beer and the way everyone seems to be in such a good mood. Who know what it is, but there is something about the Big Curri-Shuck that makes it an event that creates great memories.

Fantastic music this year as well.

The Daniel Jordan Band from Elizabeth City were great with their mix of rock, blues and country. Buckshot out of Virginia Beach—amazing. Think country with attitude. Also some of the younger kids from Ruth Wyand’s Mustang Music Program got to take the stage.

Outer Banks Party at Big Curri-Shuck

Lined up to shuck oysters and pick crab at the Annual Big Curri-Shuck.
Lined up to shuck oysters and pick crab at the Annual Big Curri-Shuck.

The 2016 version of the Annual Big Curri-shuck? Now that was a great party.

The premise of Curri-shuck is simple. Gather everyone together the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Give people all they can eat steamed oysters, crab and pulled pork barbecue, have some great local beers on tap, sample wine from Sanctuary Vineyards the host for the event and throw in some really good music.

It also helps that the event is really kid friendly with hayrides all day long.

Two local businesses really stepped up to put the event together—Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, where the event was held and I Got Your Crabs down in Kitty Hawk on the Outer Banks provided the oysters and crabs.

As much as it can be, everything is local. Hunter Stuart, who owns I Got Your Crabs is a commercial fisherman, and he is still out on Currituck Sound from time to time, pulling in crab pots.

The oysters were definitely from the Southeast. Difficult to know if they were North Carolina oysters, but a lot of them had miniature crabs in them. The crabs are called pea crabs and they find a happy little home inside the oysters, grabbing a little bit of food as the oyster brings water in to  filter through its system.

They are considered a delicacy, although for anyone who doesn’t know about them and pops open a raw oyster, seeing an itsy bitsy crab scuttle across the oyster can be disconcerting. Of course, the Curri-Shuck oysters were steamed, so no movement from the pea crabs.

The presence of the pea crabs, though, means the oysters had to come from North Carolina or a neighboring state; pea crabs only live in the Southeastern US.

It was a bit cool when things started—bright sunshine but a brisk north wind kept temperatures down. However, gather about 1000 people together, put them inside a tent and pretty soon things warm up.

The music helped too. Croatan Highway and the Dave Cynar Band were fantastic—country with a touch of rock ’n’ roll.

Here at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. we’re already marking our calendars for next year. Saturday November 25, 2017 looks like it will be the date. Hope to see you there.