FREDERICK – No fresh oysters from the Gulf Coast will be served here this year – either fried or raw – thanks to the cancellation of the 2021 edition of the nearly 70-year-old Frederick Fantastic Oyster Fry. The event was cancelled in response to lingering effects of COVID-19.
Felisha Crawford, Frederick Chamber of Commerce executive director, reported it was with great disappointment such a decision was reached by the Chamber’s board of directors and Oyster Fry Committee members.
Along with the Oyster Fry cancellation was the Craft Show that is usually held in conjunction with the serving of oysters. Both events were originally scheduled for Saturday, March 7. The fry was to be at the Prather Brown Center Cafeteria while the Craft Show was to be at the adjacent Frederick Middle School gym.
The 140 gallons of oysters served during the fry each year are brought from Port Lavaca, Texas, and picked up each year by Oyster Fry Committee. Once transported in two broken-down freezers packed in ice to Frederick, the oysters were then breaded and fried.
Crawford said the decision to cancel the Oyster Fry and Craft Show was made following considerable discussion.
“We depend heavily on our school district’s facilities, staff and students as well as a large number of community members to execute this event each year and do not feel it is safe or appropriate to hold a large event at this time,” she said. “Each year, when our visitors come to town for the Oyster Fry, we hope that it will be a safe and happy event; we just do not feel that we can accomplish this goal in 2021.”
Crawford said although the Oyster Fry – the Chamber’s largest annual fundraising event – is not being held this year, the Chamber plans to sponsor an event this summer to not only serve as a fundraiser but also as an outlet for the community to come together in fellowship. Forthcoming information about the summer event will be posted on the Frederick Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page, the Chamber’s website (frederickokchamber.org) and various media outlets.
“We hope to see everyone healthy and hungry in 2022,” said Crawford.
The Fantastic Oyster Fry has been staged in Frederick since 1990, when the event moved there from Manitou where it was previously held each year since 1952. This year marks the first time the event had to be cancelled.