Fresh steamed oysters for the whole family. Father holding baby and preteen in middle of image wait for oysters.

We’ll say one thing for John Wright of Sanctuary Vineyards and Hunter Stuart of I Got Your Crabs—they sure know how to throw a party. That’s what the Big Curri-Shuck is—a gigantic steamed oyster, crab picking, eastern North Carolina barbecue all-you-can-eat party.

It’s an annual event—every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving; and every year it just seems to get better and better.

It’s really all about oysters. The crab is great…the barbecue is as good as it gets, but there is a reason why it’s the big Big Curri-Shuck, as in shucking oysters. 

And wow were the oysters good this year. That is on the basis of an informal if somewhat complete survey of participants. The consensus this year—in what appeared to be universal agreement—was a little bit saltier this year, and just a bit better than in years past. 

What makes the Big Curri-Shuck so great though is not just the food—it’s the whole package. The setting at Sanctuary Vineyards next to the Cotton Gin with picnic tables and giant tents for the feasting of oysters and crab; the beer and wine—wine, of course, from Sanctuary Vineyards, and local breweries Weeping Radish and Lost Colony on hand to pour drinks for food pairing.

Then there was the music. This year from the Daniel Jordan Band from Elizabeth City and Buckshot out of Virginia Beach—they were outstanding. And a big thumbs up to the kids from Ruth Wyand’s Mustang Music Program ages 8-14 who took the stage for a set.

In other words—it was about as good as it gets; great food, great entertainment, refreshing drinks and perfect weather.