Posts Tagged ‘Events in Cape Charles VA’

MOON OVER CENTRAL PARK’S UKE FEST 2019

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

DSC_5630What a fabulous afternoon last weekend in Cape Charles, VA for the 1st Annual Uke Fest ! Cool and breezy, an absolutely perfect Saturday was winding down into twilight as we arrived. The last act of the day, Rachael Manke, was just taking the stage at the Central Park Gazebo as we found seats on a comfy nearby bench to listen to her performance. After wrestling a bit with her hat, which was trying to go airborne in the breeze, Rachael began by creating a little ditty right on the spot as she tossed that uncooperative topper aside, strum, strum “Goodbye Hat”, triple strum, “Goodbye Hat”. A self-described Lutheran minister, she wisecracked that she couldn’t stay too late because she had an 8 am sermon to give in Richmond on Sunday, then launched into a wonderful repertoire of favorites laced with witty parody songs like “Has Anyone Seen My Mom” to the tune of “Has Anyone Seen My Gal” and the slightly naughty “Shovel Out of Buffalo”.

The music was delightful but watching the audience was heartwarming. I can imagine that this was the very scene that Citizens for Central Park had envisioned as they DSC_5717worked so long and so hard to get the Park funded and off the ground. Folks of all ages, in lawn chairs short or tall, sitting on the wide expanse of grass in front of the Gazebo, enjoying the performance. Colorful bankets spread by parents whose toddlers were swaying to the music. Dads holding infants, Moms wiping sticky Shave Ice from hands and faces. Guys and gals with the munchies tackling tacos and popcorn. Kids on bikes riding the winding sidewalk, teenagers playing soccer and tossing footballs near the fountain. Tiny groups in laughing conversation on the sidewalk, couples relaxing on Park benches. And dogs and owners ! Dogs of every size and description strolling peacefully on their leases, not a snarl in the air. What an amalgam of happiness, what a sense of calm and delight as the full moon rose, softly spreading pearly beams over the 2019 Uke Fest at the amazing and happy Cape Charles Central Park.

 

 

 

 

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DRUM ROLL PLEASE ! CAPE CHARLES FARMER’S MARKET SEASON 4 NOW OFFICIALLY OPEN

Friday, May 24th, 2019

DSC_5415How delightful it was to once again be able to look forward to Tuesday afternoons from 3-6 pm, May to October, as that special time each week to be able slip into the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market and stock up on super-fresh goodies. Rain or shine, hot or cold, our favorite vendors will be there with our old favorites plus new offerings, always something special to try.

On Tuesday, for those looking for veggies, Copper Cricket and Perennial Roots had plenty of just-picked DSC_5325selections on hand. Into our basket went some sweet May peas, peppery white radishes, lovely fresh scallions plus a tray of beautiful brown eggs. Fresher-than-fresh, tender asparagus was on offer from Pickett’s Harbor Farm, definitely couldn’t resist that, so great in an omelette or quiche. Further down the line, the Honey Guy from Eastville was ready for his customers, offering a sweet smile and even sweeter local honey from his busy, buzzy bees.

On the flip side of sweetness was the Horseradish Lady, whose creamed horseradish stood ready to make the ideal spicy cocktail sauce, perfect for the crab cakes and clams being sold at the Edward’s Seafood tent. Further down the line, Kitchen Sync was ready with freshly prepared ready-to-eat-good-food which can also be ordered for pickup at a later date at the Eastville Inn. So into our basket popped some chicken salad – – it was delish on toast for lunch on Wednesday.

Beauty got double billing in flowers with gorgeous offerings from the ever-popular Chatham Flower Farm ( keep an eye on their Facebook page for ticket availability to their amazing “Farm to Table” benefit dinner) as well as a colorful display from the Blooming Farmer. Nothing like a lovely bouquet to cheer up any room in the house ! Snagged a jar of bath salts with dried flowers for a friend, both beautiful and aromatic, a nice little gift. So many interesting items on offer from other local vendors including handmade cutting boards, intricately woven macrame, artful hand towels from She Seeks Wool and much more.

So don’t forget to mark your calendar. When the clock strikes 3pm on Tuesdays, it’s time to grab your basket and head over to the Cape Charles Farmer’s Market located on the grounds of the Museum on Stone Road. What a fantastic opportunity each week from now until October to buy fresh, buy local, buy delicious and nutritious ! LOVE it !

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ONCE AGAIN, THE CAPE CHARLES 4th OF JULY PARADE WAS A REALLY HUGE SUCCESS !

Monday, July 16th, 2018

DSC_0854The Cape Charles Independence Day Parade is always a marvelous combination of local pageantry, creative floats, colorful banners, fire company trucks with air horns blasting a loud ” howdy”, antique tractors, vintage cars, high stepping horses, kids on bikes, motor scooters, skateboards, resplendently decorated golf carts and energetic marchers representing local organizations, clubs and individuals. And this year was no exception ! Led by the Color Guard from the VFW, marchers enthusiastically paraded down Bay Avenue and over to Mason Avenue, tossing candy, colorful strands of beads and even a few yellow rubber duckies to all the kids and appreciative spectators lining the streets cheering them on !

And the Parade within the Parade, the Golf Cart Parade, was truly amazing this year, with the mostDSC_0909 participants I’ve ever seen ! Golf carts, dozens, dozens and dozens more, were dressed to the nines, red, whites and blues galore, flags of all sizes, balloons, Pom-poms, streamers, banners, signs, Uncle Sam top hats. Creativity shone everywhere. With golf carts being street-legal in Cape Charles, lots of Town residents have their very own electric golf carts and a little friendly competition among neighbors has resulted in some fancy and fantastic cart entries, all the better to enjoy this annual Parade ! Can hardly wait till July 4th, 2019 !

 

 

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Bravo To All Those Who Made The Palace Theatre’s Recent Dance Production of “The Legend of A Tree” Possible !

Friday, June 15th, 2018

I’m not sure why I was surprised. But I was expecting just your standard dance recital, nothing special, the “clap for everyone’s child and go mad for one’s own” version. Sunday matinee at the Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, there to cheer on my youngest granddaughter, Jessica, who we knew was going to be a “bluebell”, whatever that entailed, knowing that she had been working really hard on her performance. Running late, we slid into our seats just as the house lights faded and the stage set was revealed. A simple set but striking, a painted backdrop of an enormous tree at the edge of a beautiful park. And the audience mood came alive as the music cued, the narration began and the lead dancer appeared on stage in lovely costume. From there the audience was pulled headlong into a spirited performance by the Mara Ifju Dance Company of Shelia Cardano’s “The Legend of A Tree”, gliding gently into its fantasy world of peaceful meadow, pirouetting tulip, daisy and rose, dancing bluebells, cyclamen, honeysuckle, twirling sunflowers and, of course, the “nolia” tree.

Rarely have I initially expected so little of a performance and been surprised by enjoying it so much as with this program. From beginning to end, we loved it !IMG_9379 Music was key and the selections were perfect, familiar classical passages from Chopin, Beethoven, Bizet and Vivaldi, a little modern touch of Michael Jackson, but my personal favorites were pieces featuring the unique and haunting flutes from the Andes region of South America, a captivating sound. The choreography was well suited to the music selections and to individual dance talent. All the costumes were beautifully designed and so evocative of each flower. We especially loved the tap number, glitzy with bright green bowler hats contrasting with dark wardrobe, danced to the signature tune from A Chorus Line, “One”. And who wouldn’t have been captivated by the tiny Sunflowers, twirling in golden petals, and the teeny Fox and Rabbit, so cute !

DSC_0338_1So bravo, bravo to the Mara Ifju Dance Company and all its dancers ! You were great ! And hats off and thank-you to all the support staff, volunteers and donors who make a program like this possible. From countless hours spent on choreography and costume design to music recording, live piano accompaniment, scenery, make-up, lighting, sound, stage manager and crew, box office and more, It Takes A Town to create a production like this ! And isn’t the Shore fortunate to have this amazing Theatre and so much local talent to perform there, lucky, lucky us !

 

 

 

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The Center of the Lower Eastern Shore Universe

Monday, April 30th, 2018
DSC_9722On Saturday April 28th, it really did seem that Cape Charles, Virginia became the center of attention of the Lower Shore Universe. What an absolutely glorious, sunny day for all the events ! The New Roots Youth Garden to kicked off its 2018 growing season with its 7th annual Open Garden event, colorful balloons, flags and wind spinners beckoning folks in at the corner of Fig and Randolph ! Down on Mason Avenue, Cape Charles Candy Company was settling in for its 1st sweet weekend- – as a friend used to say, its just not possible to have too much good candy….. And further on down Mason, after a long, long, long winter, Brown Dog Ice Cream was celebrating Opening Weekend 2018, our fav goodie parlor was packed with ice cream lovers of all ages, plenty of delicious 2 or 3 scoop cones walking out the door and bobbing down the street in the golden sunshine. ( Favorite flavors were on offer plus some new ones including “Asteroid”, although , as usual, I opted for the wonderful milk chocolate, yet resisting the temptation to get more than 1 scoop ! )
But the really big event Saturday was the Eastern Shore’s 71st Annual Virginia Garden Week celebration. This year it was centered primarily in Cape Charles with theDSC_9723 Garden Club hosting Tours of 3 homes in the Historic District and 2 homes in Bay Creek Golf Resort. Leading off in the Historic District was majestic “Bayholme”, one of the grandest of the Grand Dames of Cape Charles. With large classical columns and an imposing portico, it overlooks the beachfront on Bay Avenue. The owner’s well-behaved dog was casually sitting on a prime spot on the front lawn, a keenly interested but aloof observer of the comings and goings around her, a charming snapshot, “Man’s Best Friend”, providing a sweet, quiet vignette in an otherwise busy day. Next, over to Six Tazewell Avenue, which to my eye has one of the most beautiful and shapely porches in all Cape Charles. And I love the motto enshrined on its wall, “Be Kind”, the perfect sentiment for today’s contentious world. Over on Mason Avenue, Tour goers were treated to sights of the Harbor from the Wilson Building’s 4th floor condo. Enlivened by the gentle murmur of street life in the shops and galleries below, it offered visitors amazing views out to the Chesapeake Bay and a chance to revel in gentle breezes and the warmth of a glorious Spring day.
Onward and upward, over The Hump and through the woods to “Tide’s Point”, an imposing new home with a gorgeous entry courtyard, located on a wide finger of Old Plantation Creek in the Plantation Pointe village in Bay Creek Golf Resort. From there, to the Heron Pointe village sited along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, featuring a delightful entrance pond and flowing waterfall, accentuated by a life sized bronze waterfowl sculpture. The garden tour’s open home, “Serenity”, is aptly named, located on a quiet cul-de-sac with views of quiet woodlands and water. Overall, an interesting day, with sunny skies and warm temperatures combining to make it memorable.
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“WOO WOO” DECODED – – AN AFTERNOON SPENT WITH AUTHOR JOE COCCARO

Friday, March 16th, 2018

The Civic Center was humming with activity as  Friends of the Cape Charles Memorial Library wrapped up its Winter Tea season 2017-18 with a convivial program featuring Chris Bannon of Sea Gate B n B in conversation with Joe Coccaro about “Woo Woo”, his recent novel set in Cape Charles, Virgina. Coccaro had me hooked with his comment, “ I’m enchanted with Cape Charles”, to paraphrase “Jerry McGuire”.

DSC_9247Maybe it’s because everyone loves to have their own opinions confirmed, but Coccaro’s decision to move full time to Cape Charles after his purchase of a home on Monroe Avenue because of how much he “loved the vibe” made him a man after the audience’s own heart. This is Coccaro’s first novel after a lifetime spent in journalism and book editing, including a long career with the Virginian Pilot newspaper. His decision to write “Woo-Woo” evolved from interesting stories heard at the Pub and elsewhere, and in meeting so many eclectic personalities with interesting backgrounds around town, spawning a habit of recounting these funny stories in emails to friends. The eventual long string of stories led to a decision to write a novel featuring Cape Charles, which possesses what Coccaro describes as a “high concentration” of colorful personalities, the town essentially becoming a character in the book as well its setting.

As is likely with any tour guide type novel set in a small town, there has been a whole lot of speculation and a bit of controversy too, as to who-might- be-who in the book, which quirky character is based on which particular local person. Chris Bannon is pretty sure, but not absolutely positive, who the “Woo-Woo” Realtor actually is modeled after. But Coccaro sidestepped that whole brouhaha by stressing that it’s really an amalgam, that “everybody in town is in the book, a little slice here and a little slice there”, which is fun and surely keeps everyone guessing, especially since he sees Cape Charles as a melting pot, a North meets South, millionaire meets clammer societal blend. The Q & A after the interview revealed that Coccaro is thinking/working/collecting stories for a new book about Cape Charles, this time more water/waterman centered. Clearly we can anticipate Cape Charles bursting back onto the literary scene in the future.

Library Friends did their usual great job on the goodies aspect of the event, the much anticipated 3 Sweets and 3 Savories. Everyone at our table, particularly moi, loved the melt-in-the-mouth fig pecan DSC_9173scones and thumb- sized Irish soda breads. Crostini with melon and prosciutto and a rich seafood chowder were big all-around hits. And I always find it fun to try the various varieties of tea offered, my personal favorite this time was the Scottish Afternoon Tea, a blend sponsored by the American Scottish foundation. Who even knew ? But they have created a wonderful tea ! The afternoon wrapped up with Coccaro doing a reading from “Woo-Woo”, after which some fun products and services donated to the Friends were raffled off, including a huge, beautiful basket filled to the brim with everything needed to make great tea at home. Last but not least, book signings by Joe Coccaro, after which we stepped out the Civic Center door, an abrupt transition from the cozy warmth and conviviality of this delightful afternoon into blustery wind, dreary cold rain and a mad dash to the car !

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TO SPRINT OR NOT TO SPRINT ? THAT WAS THE QUESTION AT THE 2018 “FEBRUARY FREEZE” IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA

Friday, March 16th, 2018

DSC_8855The sky was sunny, the air was balmy, the water was a beautiful blue. But the Bay temp was a body- numbing 47 degrees as dozens of excited, derring do “Dipper” teams and individuals got ready to brave the icy Chesapeake waters to raise money for the Eastern Shore chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This year’s event was Habitat’s 22nd Annual “February Freeze” benefit at the Cape Charles beach and it was especially exciting because of the tide, which was exceptionally low, exposing a huge tidal flat along the shoreline. Ordinarily one would think this would be quite beneficial. But, as fate would have it, the tide was rising and during the long run out to the deeper water, about a thousand participating toes were no doubt turning multiple shades of blue as the Dippers traversed ice cold sand covered by several inches of frigid water to get to the deep water beyond. Some sauntered along bravely while others raced headlong into the Bay, figuring that the better part of valor was zip in, zip out ! 3 memebers of the Cape Charles Coast Guard Auxiliary were on site in case of emergency, 1 wading out to what would likely be the furthest distance point for a swimmer, just in case.

On hand to lead the charge against the elements were two Celebrity Dippers, Robbie Marsh, Director of the Eastern ShoreDSC_8952 Chamber of Commerce, breezy in a hilarious green hat with bulging eyeballs, and Evelyn Shotwell, Director of the Chincoteague Chamber, both carrying scepters fashioned from pink swim noodles ! They were terrific sports- – the first in and, shivering only slightly, just about the last out ! An enthusiastic crowd was on hand to cheer the Dippers onward to February Freeze glory, with towels and a hand-warming fire barrel at the ready as they returned, soaking wet, to the beach. Volunteers served hot chocolate by the Gazebo and each Dipper who raised at least $35 was treated to a hot lunch. So it was a beautiful, sunny day for those helping to raise money for a tremendous organization which assists in building safe housing all over the Shore for those in need. Hats off to Habitat, it does great work !

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VIRGINIA OPERA – – ANOTHER WONDERFUL EVENT AT LEMON TREE GALLERY !

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

DSC_8743I don’t know why, but it always amazes me when members of the Virginia Opera Company perform here on the Eastern Shore. Maybe because of its stature as the “Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia”, maybe because its other venues, the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Dominion Arts Center in Richmond and the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, are so imposing by comparison. But last Sunday afternoon, there they were at beautiful Lemon Tree Gallery in Cape Charles, 5 members of the Virginia Opera Company’s Emerging Artists program ! Stars in the making, they gave a wonderful performance of “Aria’s and Duets” in the small and intimate Lemon Tree setting in Cape Charles VA, particularly special because the audience can connect so personally with the performers. And such a lovely feel, surrounded by the gallery’s impressive collection of works by local artists and artisans.

Soprano Rachel Mikol led off with an aria from Mozart’s “The Impresario” followed shortly by the familiar and beloved Puccini aria, “ O mio babbino caro”, an audience favorite. The program concludedDSC_8588 with a soaring Marian Anderson spiritual performed by baritone Phillip Bullock and mezzo-soprano Melanie Campbell. Lots of energy was brought to their program which included an interesting mix of classical and modern, including a selection from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The
Woods,” sung by Bullock and bass-baritone Joshua Arky, all accompanied by accomplished pianist, ChanMi Jean. But the showstopper was Campbell’s strong rendition of Hammerstein’s “Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine” from Showboat.

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At the conclusion of the performance, the audience gave a standing ovation and Clelia Sheppard’s daughter, Sheila, and her granddaughter, Aven, presented bouquets of lovely pink roses to each performer. After an encore, wine and light hor d’oeuvres were served, giving audience members an opportunity to meet and speak with the performers. All the performers were terrific, and Ms. Whipple and Mr. Bullock were standouts. Definitely we can expect to see all of these “ emerging artists” making their presence felt on the national and international stage.

 

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“Festive Friday” In Cape Charles, VA”

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

DSC_7598Happily, there is still one more chance to experience a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles this season ! Still one more chance, on December 22nd, to enjoy the beautiful and cheery shop windows along Mason Avenue and down Strawberry Street, all dressed to the nines for the holidays. Maybe shop for a unique piece of art at Lemon Tree or Ellen Moore Gallery, enjoy a savory gourmet dinner at Hook-U-Up or a steaming cup of hot chocolate at the popular Cape Charles Coffee House, sample the smooth balsamic vinegars at Drizzles, select your New Year’s Eve champagne at Gull Hummock, visit with a friendly agent at Blue Heron Realty, browse the gift shop at the beautiful, newly re-opened Northampton Hotel, check out the international offerings from Voiajer, take a horse and carriage ride and so much, much, much more ! You might even take time to drop in at the “North Pole” to tell Santa or Mrs. Claus ( aka the ever-effervescent Trina Veber ) what you want, what you really, really want, for Christmas this year ! And so, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight !

If you’ve never, ever been to a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles, you probably don’t realize that it is so much more than just a few merchants staying open late each FridayDSC_7503 evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At its heart, it is the culmination of the hopes, dreams, efforts and financial investments of a myriad of individuals, businesses and organizations who believed that Cape Charles could rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of its post-ferry, post- railroad, essentially “post-everything” economic doldrums and become, once again, the dynamic little coastal town of its yesteryear, with well cared-for homes and bustling shops, a spirit of civic pride and a sense of fun. And not to get too, too sentimental, but when you think back to the near-derelict homes throughout town and the boarded-up stores along Mason Avenue that were still in existence even 5 years ago ( farewell McCrory’s and BeLo, hello Strawberry Station), the Cape Charles transformation from down-at-heel to sparkling restoration is truly inspiring.

DSC_7510So “Festive Friday” is the actualization of those aspirations rolled into 2017, into lots of happy folks strolling down the street at 8 pm on a windy, cold December Friday evening, beautifully decorated shops serving smiling customers, clever street performers doing their entertaining thing, lively songs of the Christmas carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, delicious gourmet dinners and free holiday movies at the Palace Theatre. And, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus, greeting excited little kids eager to shyly whisper their Christmas wishes. “Festive Friday” is truly like a 1000 points of new light, illuminating historic downtown Cape Charles, amazing and wonderful!!

 

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25 Years Later Still Going Strong- – The C.B.E.S. Annual Eastern Shore VA Bike Tour!

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

DSC_5861The annual “Between the Waters” Bike Tour sponsored by CBES, Citizens For A Better Eastern Shore, is one of the largest eco-tourism events held annually on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This event is capped at 1000 participants and was again sold out this year which marks the event’s 25th Anniversary. The 2017 weekend actually began on Friday afternoon with a “Fun Ride” from Nassawadox into the surrounding neighborhoods. The official Tour start was from Sunset Beach Resort, with the 100 Mile Ride kicking off as the rooster crowed at 7:30 am. We arrived about 8:30 and registration was very brisk for the 25, 40 and 60 mile Rides as folks checked in and picked up their route info. In another corner of the room, raffle tickets were being sold for the original of the striking and vibrant Bethany Simpson painting which was commissioned to represent the Shore for this year’s Tour

Smiling bikers swirled around the room, selecting a treat or two from the complementary snack bar offerings of fruits, muffins, etc., trying to consume a last DSC_6086bit of energy before setting out to travel over hill and dale, traveling the Shore’s countryside. Oops, no hills and dales here, just delightfully flat terrain, easy on the legs, and a marvelous opportunity to enjoy the blue water vistas, serene fields and woodlands, the scenic views of autumn on the Shore.

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We set out to get some photos the 25 Mile Ride which took the bikers, peddling mostly on singles but some tandem bikes too plus a few recumbents, from a Sunset Beach departure. The route wound basically up the Seaside Road scenic byway, eventually to a crossover at Arlington Road with a rest and water break at a farm shed across from a field of ripe soybeans. From there, bikers pushed on past the Custis Tomb historic landmark on the Old Plantation Creek inlet and a pedal through the lovely little Chesapeake Bay neighborhood surrounding it, enjoying picturesque vistas of the Shore’s farms, woodlands and blue waters. The 25 Mile riders then headed south along Seaside Road back to Sunset Beach, then drove to Eastville for lunch. But the 40 Mile riders continued on north, with a rest stop at historic Travis Chapel near the harbor in Oyster, then north to a Rt. 13 crossing at Eastville’s Willow Oak Drive traffic light for lunch.

At picturesque Windrush Farm in Eastville, hungry bikers were treated to a rest and a boxed lunch of delicious assorted wraps, chips and fruit catered by wellDSC_6148 known Bill’s Restaurant in Chincoteague. Music and song entertainment by Nathan Travis & Company as well as plenty of tail wagging from a friendly dog with interesting face markings who was delighted to soak up much petting from just about everyone there. A little medic tent was on-site for those who might need it but fortunately there didn’t seem to be many in need. A volunteer with a pickup truck drove behind the bikers on each route, ready to help anyone with equipment or other problems but, fortunately, it didn’t seem like there were many of those problems either.

Clearly the real stars of this event are its many, many volunteers. I can only imagine the effort and organization it takes administratively to put on a 1000 participant Bike Tour each October. But on the actual day, the sheer number of volunteer “boots on the ground” needed to make the event run smoothly clearly is tremendous. From the Friday Fun Ride, to Saturday’s bustling registrations, pre-start helpers, all the different rest stops, the various lunch venues, etc., cheerful volunteers were there to make sure everything ran smoothly for the four different Rides. And run smoothly it did ! Plus special kudos to the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel whose personnel stood out in Rt. 13 for hours on end to assure safe crossings over the highway because nothing can take the fun out of an event like an accident ! Crowned by the evening Oyster Roast, the 25th Anniversary Tour was over and now it’s onward to organizing the 26th !

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