Photo: Michael Weisberg uses a wheelbarrow to transport roasted oysters at the 2017 Chuckatuck Ruritan Club Oyster Roast. The annual event returns later this month.
Suffolk residents will once again come together this spring to enjoy a delicious seafood feast in Chuckatuck.
The 42nd annual Chuckatuck Oyster Roast held by the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club is set for April 11. The roast will be held at the farm owned by Lynn and Charles Rose in the 6000 block of Everets Road. Signs will point drivers toward the event location at Stoney Landing on the property.
“Last year we pulled in about 850 people, and that’s about what we’re expecting this year,” Kirk Pretlow, Chuckatuck Ruritan Club President and co-chairman of the oyster roast, said in a phone interview.
People will enjoy a social hour with iced tea and beer at 3 p.m., followed by the banquet at 4 p.m. Volunteers will carry 175 bushels of freshly cooked oysters to tables via wheelbarrow, with plenty of cocktail sauce to go around.
Volunteers will cut up enough potatoes, green peppers and bacon for 120 gallons of their signature clam chowder, according to Pretlow.
The recipe was cooked up by the late William “Jerry” Saunders, a Chuckatuck volunteer firefighter with 60 years of service and the department’s third chief. He was also a member of the Chuckatuck Ruritan Club and helped start the oyster roast in 1976.
“We’ve got the same crew in line that’s done the clam chowder for the last several years,” Pretlow said, including Jerry’s son Jay Saunders, a Chuckatuck volunteer firefighter.
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the event. The proceeds go to the club’s efforts to support local organizations like Boy and Girls Scouts of America, Meals on Wheels and Western Tidewater Free Clinic.
“It’s a lot of work, but we take pride into putting on a good function for everybody,” Pretlow said.
Tickets are available at Saunders Supply Company on Godwin Boulevard, the office of Pretlow & Pretlow on North Main Street and the office of J. Dwight Bradshaw on Bennetts Pasture Road. Call 642-1257 for more information.