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February 21, 2012     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 2012

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Cape Gazette NEWS TUESDAY FEBRUARY 21- THURSDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2012. S Fire company fundraiser has strong roots By Ron MacArthur tion shotgun. Limited-edition 75th ronm@ca anniversary coins are also for sale. A few changes over the years The Georgetown Fire Compa- have not altered the main tradi- ny Oyster Eat, scheduled for 8 tion of the Oyster Eat - a time for p.m. to midnight Friday, Feb. 24, Sussex County men to gather, eat is 75 years old. oysters, drink beer and socialize. The event, which has always "It's a money raiser for us, and it's been a fundraiser for the county an event everybody looks for- seat's fire company, actually ward to," Briggs said. "k's a time dates back to the early 1930s, but for people to catch up with one it was canceled for several years another. Many look forward to in the 1940s because of World the fellowship." War II. It was also canceled an- Men also listen to bluegrass other year because oysters were music and kick up their heels on a too expensive at $2.50 bushel, floor covered with sawdust. Oysters are about $40 a bushel to- The Georgetown Fire Co. Fire day. Hall begins to fill early and within Michael Briggs, chairman of the an hour or so, the hall is usually 75th anniversary event, said filled to near capacity. Over the records show how interest and past few years, outside tents have profits from the event have grown been added to take care of the over the years. In 1937, the fire overflow crowd that has been av- company made $40.86 from the eraging about 1,000, Briggs said. event; compare that to about The largest attendance was more $15,000 now. than 1,300. Of course, the Oyster Eat has Briggs said although most at- branched out over the years to in- tendees are local men who have clude merchandise sales, raffles been coming for years, it also at- and auctions. In addition to the tracts men from throughout the traditional oyster knife auction, East Coast who hear about the this year the fire company is also Oyster Eat and want to see what it auctioning off a Beretta 686 Onyx is all abi ut. 20-gauge Ducks Unlimited edi- Though it takes place in Febru- ary, Briggs said he could not re- member the event being canceled because of snow. In 1989, a heavy snow forced the event to be post- poned to Saturday night as fire- men worked all day Friday clear- ing off parking spaces. Briggs said attendance suffered, with fewer than 700 men attend- ing. It goes without saying that the Oyster Eat is a male-only event, but from time to time women have shown up. "Some men have brought wives - yes, it's hap- pened," Briggs said. To provide a female-only event, the Lewes Fire Depart- ment Shrimp Feast takes place the same time on the same night. For more information on the Oyster Eat, go to; for more in- formation on the Shrimp Feast, go to TI . ickets are $35.:00 and Include buffet RON MACARTHUR PHOTO ROCKY GREEN, right, presents the official Georgetown Fire Company Oyster Eat knife to Michael Briggs, chairman of the event. Green made the box and his son, Neal, made the 75th'anniversary knife, which will be auctioned during the Friday, Feb. 24 event. DelDOT state once you stepped outside of the more industrialized areas of New Castle County," Schranck Continued from page 4 said. additiOn to, allowing anyone to In the 1960s a massive part of drive on the roadways, residents the area around Dover began to will also have to pay for their go suburban, and the state as- own snow removal and submit sumed ownership of all county the bill for reimbursement up to and suburban roads in whatever 75 percent from the state, condition they were in, which in many cases was still dirt or gray- History of Delaware's roads el. How Delaware arrived at a About a decade latei:, the state road network maintained almost set June 30, 1978, as the fmal day completely by the state dates it would take over responsibility back nearly 80 years, Schranck for the roads, so long as they said. In 1935, the state took over were dedicated for public use what were recognized as the and had at least a 30-foot or county road systems. During the more right of way. Schranck said '30s, the state also began the first the deadline resulted in a mad steps toward the suburbaniza- scramble to have roads ready to tion of much of the state. He said dedicate to the state. of the 320,000 people who lived Nowadays, the state will not in the state in 1940, about 120,000 take over any roads for perpetual of them lived within the city lim- maintenance unless they are its of Wilmington. built to the standards of the "This was a remarkably rural agency responsible for them. 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