WILLIAMS WHARF, Va. (WAVY) — The Mathews Seafood Festival will take over Williams Wharf Landing for the third time on Saturday.

The event put on by the owners of The Seafood Shack in Mathews celebrates the area’s waterman heritage while also raising money for the Mathews County Volunteer Fire Department and the Mathews County Sheriff’s Office. Both firefighters and emergency services are volunteer in the county.

“We’re a small community, first responders in this town are our family friends and neighbors. Anything we can do to support them, we are going to do,” said Robert Martin, coordinator of the festival.

However the real reason Martin started the festival in 2019 is that he couldn’t understand why the community, surrounded by water on three sides, didn’t have one. He is originally from Chesapeake.

“I just could not imagine that there wasn’t one here,” Martin said. “When I asked all the born and bred local folks why, nobody could give me an answer.”

He said the event started small. This year’s will be the largest to date, with roughly 1,000 people attending.

The event runs Saturday from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For $60, you will get all you can eat shrimp, clams, crabs, fried cod, oysters, hushpuppies, French fries, North Carolina BBQ sandwiches and coleslaw. Beer and wine will be available, cash only.

Live music will provided by Good Shot Judy and Right on Band, and local craft vendors will have their wares for sale.

Boats are also welcome to anchor out in the East River, and a boat taxi will be available to bring them to shore.

Tickets can be purchased at The Seafood Shack’s website or in-person at their store. They cannot be purchased at the gate.

“Everybody enjoy themselves, enjoy some good food, some fantastic entertainment.” Martin said.