On Wednesday of this week, I traveled to Wakefield, Virginia to participate in their Ruritan Club’s annual Shad Planking. The shad is nailed to planks and smoked adjacent to a bed of coals while being basted with a pepper sauce every now and again. No trip to Wakefield would be complete without a stop at the Virginia Diner. Over lunch at the Virginia Diner we met lots of folks headed the Shad Planking.
The Wakefield Ruritan Club starting hosting the Shad Planking in 1949 at the Wakefield Sportsmen’s club in Sussex County. Since then the event has grown to include folks from around the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. Many local, state and national politicians come out to meet their constituents, ask for votes and enjoy a day of shaking hands & answering questions. Various groups come out to lobby the politicians with some even setting up tents & booths. Lots of pamphlets, campaign stickers and promotional items are giving away. Some booths even give away beer to encourage participant to visit a specific booth.
Some booths give away food. This year the Ruritans served up friend shad roe! About 4:00 PM the serving lines open for plates of shad, fried sea trout, baked beans, slaw, corn bread and pickles with sweet tea on the side. Some bring chairs and others gather around hay wagons to eat the shad (watch out for the bones!) and accompanying treats. As the meal wraps up, the polititians in attendance are introduced. This year Governer Bob McDonnell gave the talk (he worked lots of humori into this speech). By 6:30 PM most folks head home or back to the Virginia Diner. If you’ve never been to a Shad Planking, you aught to join us next year!