The Georgetown Fire Hall's annual Oyster Eat is fundraiser dedicated to all things male. With a gun raffle, a knife auction, and 40 kegs of beer, Friday night's event is expected to draw in 1,000 people.
1. Seventy-five years strong
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first Oyster Eat, held in 1937.
Over the years, it has grown in size and notoriety and the event now sees crowds that reach upwards of 1,000 people.
According to Oyster Eat Chairman Michael Briggs the event is listed in the Library of Congress’ Local Legacy Program and draws people in from as far away as Maine or North Carolina.
“There’s food and beer but it’s all about the fellowship,” Briggs said. “People look forward to catching up with friends they may only see once a year.”
2. Buy a Piece of History
To mark the event’s 75th anniversary, limited edition coins featuring the Georgetown Fire Company’s logo on one side and the anniversary on the other will be for sale for $20. Only 500 were made so it’s likely this souvenir will be a collectible for local history buffs in years to come.
A variety of t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies will be also be on sale featuring special 75th anniversary artwork.
3. Man-friendly accessories
While many men might try to skip an art auction or feign ignorance about raffles that involve jewelry or make-up, the men who attend the Oyster Eat quickly get into the shopping spirit when presented with items with them in mind.
This year, $10 will buy three raffle tickets offering participants a chance at winning a Ducks Unlimited Edition Beretta 686 Onyx Over and Under 20 gauge shotgun. The winner will also get one of the limited edition commemorative coins.
The oyster knife auction is also back. However, this year’s auction features not one but two handcrafted oyster knives made by Neil Green. Green’s dad, Rocky, who has made the oyster knife in years past crafted a special wooden box for the knives.
According to Briggs, the excitement of the auction really loosens the purse strings for some.
“The oyster knife auction is a great fundraiser for us,” Briggs said. “One year, we even auctioned a knife for $9,000.”
4. Bring your appetite
It may be called the Oyster Eat but oysters aren’t the only things on the menu. With 1,700 hotdogs, egg-salad sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and plenty of beer to go around, there will be plenty to choose from.
However, oysters do get top billing. And, the oysters are almost as local as the men eating them.
“We get our oysters from Kool Ice & Seafood who most likely get the oysters from Chesapeake Bay,” Briggs said.
5. Come early, stay late
The doors don’t officially open until 8 p.m. but people will start lining up at 6 p.m. If you didn’t buy your tickets ahead of time, expect to pay $30 at the door rather than the advance $27 price.
Once inside, Dean Sapp and the Harford Express will play for wall-to-wall crowds until the party comes to a close at midnight.