Although it didn't actually rain on Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald "Gerry" Hyland's 14th Annual Lobsterfest, the ground was a lot closer to the lobsters' natural habitat than has been the case in previous years.
Justice Snowden Farm, just off Parkers Lane, was turned into a sea of mud by the rains late Friday and early Saturday preceding the usual 1 p.m. start time for Hyland's annual fund-raiser. But, that didn't deter the host of lobster lovers that filed into the event by carefully treading their way across a soggy paddock area.
"It's still not raining," Hyland said as he helped volunteers serve the freshly flown-in Maine lobsters and his personally made New England clam chowder. Those in line for the lobsters kept one eye on their food and the other on the straw path laid across the mud leading to the table area under the large tents.
For those who preferred something other than lobster, or even in addition to the crustaceans, there were hot dogs. But, most went for the pound-and-a-half freshly boiled shellfish.
In addition to the $35 per person admission fee, the event also raises money by auctioning off a range of items to the usual crowd of 700 plus attendees. The grand raffle prize is always a giant lobster, often weighing in excess of a dozen pounds.
Hyland, a native New Englander, brought the tradition of a fall lobsterfest with him when he came to the Mount Vernon District. His first event was held just two years after he was first elected the district's supervisor.
"Gerry's Lobsterfest," as the white T-shirts with red lettering handed to arrivals proclaimed, has never actually been rained out or even rained on. Although, one year the rain was coming down right up to start time, "then it cleared and the sun came out," the host said.