The Big Curri-Shuck has a lot in common with Thanksgiving. Eat lots of food, spend some time with friends and family, and the day is a success. Happening the Saturday after Thanksgiving, as a way to put an exclamation mark on the holiday weekend, the Big Curri-Shuck has a lot going for it.
The premise is simple—Hunter Stuart from I Got Your Crabs in Kitty Hawk brings about 125 bushels of oysters, 25 bushels or so of crab, steams it, spreads it across long tables and lets the 850 or 900 friends and guests have as much as they want. To add a little variety to the menu, there’s also some very good eastern North Carolina Barbecue from Currituck native Eddie Wissman— although there could be a debate about whether the barbecue or hushpuppies are better.
There’s wine from Sanctuary Vineyards, and some of the wines pair wonderfully with oyster and crab. Our choices are the Pearl, which is an Albariño—a Spanish grape that makes a very refreshing white wine—and the Chardonnay
Great local beer is poured too—Weeping Radish, which is the oldest microbrewery in North Carolin, is right up the road. The Outer Banks Brewing Station was on hand, as well as Lost Colony Brewing from Manteo.
Thanksgiving, of course, has more meaning than a few hours spent eating unlimited quantities of oysters, crab, and barbecue—but in some ways, this gathering is very much a part of that larger meaning.
The original Thanksgiving was a celebration of the harvest, and there is some of that sense of gratitude for the bounty of the area at the Big Curri-Shuck. The oysters are plump and slightly salty, and the crab as local as it gets; Stuart is a commercial fisherman who has his own crab pots.
With beer and wine from local breweries and the winery, there is a sense of the bounty of coastal North Carolina.
There was a little bit of rain this year, but with tents propped up outside and the Sanctuary Vineyards warehouse open, no one was getting wet. A bit of mud on the shoes, perhaps, but no rain on the head.
Inside the the warehouse was another feature of the day that makes this a great event—the music.
The music kicked off with BJ Griffin and Galaxy Groove.
Watching the band the question comes to mind, “Why hasn’t this group gotten more notoriety?” BJ Griffin plays electric cello…that’s right, electric cello. He and the band play an extraordinary range of music—country, rock, blues, jazz—performed with a remarkable level of musicianship.
The Dave Cynar Band showed us excellent, excellent country sound, many of the tunes originals.
A nice touch, and something that John Wright the manager of Sanctuary Vineyards does every year, is to include the kids of the Mustang Outreach Program. The Mustang Music kids range in age from 10-17. Under the direction of Musical Director Ruth Wyand the kids did a great job.
It was nice seeing the kids from Mustang Music there, but they were not the only youngsters at the event. The Wright family, who owns the Cotton Gin and Sanctuary Vineyards, have a policy that events on their property must be family friendly.
The Big Curri-Shuck will be back next year. It is, according to John Wright, the biggest of the Sanctuary Vineyards events. Mark November 30, 2019 as a day to put the exclamation point on Thanksgiving Weekend next year!