Your Public Radio > WYPR Archive
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
You are now viewing the WYPR Archive of content news. For the latest from WYPR, visit

Audio Slideshow: Tawes Crab & Clam Bake

Antonio Barbera
The Tawes Crab & Clam Bake has been a Maryland political must-show for 37 years.

WYPR's Karen Hosler and photographer extraordinaire Antonio Barbera traveled to Crisfield on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 to take in the Tawes Crab & Clam Bake. Check out this audio slideshow they put together, with production help from Bret Jaspers.

Near the end of his life, former Governor J. Millard Tawes allowed his name to grace a local fund-raising event for his impoverished home town of Crisfield. Over 37 years, the annual Tawes Crab and Clambake on Crisfield’s waterfront has surely exceeded his wildest expectations. It has become  Maryland’s premier, must-show political event.

Once again on Wednesday thousands of people—including bi-partisan candidates for governor, comptroller, and attorney general;  plus members of the legislature, sitting judges and lobbyists galore--traveled to this end of the earth spot in the middle of a heat wave to pay $40 each for all they could eat.  Profits go the Chamber of Commerce in Crisfield, which is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  

Jay Tawes, the governor’s grandson, said that over  the years those profits have helped a lot of people.  Whether or not the event ever made a difference at the polls isn’t certain.  But few candidates seemed willing to take the chance.