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Rotary Crab Feast Feels an Extra Pinch

By Kathy Knotts 

A hallmark of late summer in Annapolis has long been the Rotary Club’s annual giant crab feast, held at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. This all-you-can-eat buffet of crabs, corn, watermelon and beer had become a tradition for thousands in the region until the pandemic brought things to a screeching halt. The Rotary Club pivoted to a drive-thru affair last year when restrictions meant dining together was unsafe and they will do the same again this year.  Crabs will be steamed onsite at the stadium and packaged for travel. Rotarians and volunteers will direct traffic and provide customers with their orders as they drive through designated lanes in the parking lot.  

Unfortunately, 2021 has also brought with it an increase in the price of crabs due to supply issues. If you didn’t get your order in early, expect to pay a little extra for your bushel this weekend. 

The dollars still go to a good cause—several, in fact. The Rotary Club takes the proceeds and uses it to fund grants to dozens of regional organizations doing important work in your communities. In June, they announced they were awarding $42,500 in grants from its foundation, thanks to the steady accumulation of member contributions. Funds are distributed to nonprofits as well as area high school students in the form of scholarships. 

Foundation Chair Mimi Jones announced $36,500 in grants to the following organizations: Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Box of Rain; Annapolis Symphony Academy; Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating; Eastport United Methodist Church; Gigi’s Playhouse; Langton Green Community Farm; Let’s Go Boys & Girls; Marshall Hope with Feeding Annapolis; Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR); and Tyler Heights Imagination Library.  

New Generations Director Jerray Slocum announced $6,000 in Foundation scholarships to four students from Annapolis High School, Archbishop Spalding High School, and St. Mary’s High School. Rockbridge Academy graduate Christopher John Crane, who will attend the Naval Academy, was honored with the donation of a Paul Harris Fellow in his name.  

The Rotary Club of Annapolis celebrates its centennial this year. The 100-year-old club currently has 142 members. 

Rotary Crabs to Go will accept orders until 6pm August 6 online only (annapolisrotary.org/crabfeast) with pickup Saturday Aug. 7 at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium (1-5:30pm, in half-hour increments). Choose from one dozen ($80), two dozen ($150), half-bushel ($175) or full bushel ($320) of crabs, with ears of corn; raffle tickets also sold online.