It was all about charity and havin’ a good time at Vickery’s Oyster Roast Sunday on Shem Creek. I rolled in at 2 p.m., and — surprise, surprise — there was no parking in the Shem Creek vicinity. This answered my question of, “How are they going to fit everyone?” I concluded that they wouldn’t. After all, Vickery’s on Shem Creek overlooks water on three sides. However, it turned out to be the perfect venue for an oyster roast, with plenty of space for shucking, drinking, and dancing. Steam from the oysters commingled in the bright blue sky with cigarette smoke from the crowd. The only thing louder than the Q104.5 van was the sound of motorcycle engines, and I wondered if I was at an oyster roast or a Harley-Davidson convention.
Vickery’s General Manager Dottie Lundeen admits the event is a lot about having fun, but it’s also intended to raise awareness for worthy charities. The charity changes with each oyster roast, and they choose a charity based on need. (For instance, a Vickery’s employee lost both of his legs to diabetes one year, and they used an oyster roast to raise money to give him support.) The chosen charity for this year’s fall event was HALOS, a local charity whose goal is to meet the needs of Charleston’s abused and neglected children and their caregivers. Co-owner of Vickery’s, Suzy Stalker, is on the Board of Directors for HALOS, and she felt it was about time the organization got the attention it deserves.
Overall, the event was a celebration of a beautiful fall day on the creek. It was a “culture clash” of demographics — guys in visors and boat shoes shaking it beside women in chaps and zipped-up leather vests. Plane Jane, who Dottie referred to as the Vickery’s “oyster roast house band,” kept the party moving with beloved covers. Maybe it was the lovey-dovey powers of the oysters, or maybe just the Firefly and Yuengling that brought together this colorful crowd.