Raleigh Now Spotlight: State Capitol Oyster Roast

Aw, Shucks

The annual State Capitol oyster roast returns

by Jessie Ammons
photograph courtesy N.C. State Capitol Foundation

You can kick your shoes off at the State Capitol on Oct. 6 when the site’s foundation hosts its annual oyster roast. “You can walk around, have an oyster, dance, and enjoy the music,” says Arlene “Dutchie” Sexsmith, a vice president of the N.C. State Capitol Foundation. She says this sixth annual shebang is meant to offer a change of pace from the many formal fundraising events of the season. “This particular fundraiser is festive and it’s fun and it’s very enjoyable. People come and relax.”

Members of the Raleigh Shag Club will keep the dance floor hopping to the tunes of local beach music band The Embers. Shag novices can learn from club members during a few informal demonstrations throughout the night, when they’re not dining on the quarter pound each of shrimp and oysters that come with a ticket. Sexsmith says it’s no small feat to keep up with the shellfish demand: The group usually shucks more than 100 pounds of oysters by the end of the night.

There will also be a silent auction to benefit “the education, restoration, and preservation of our historic 1840s State Capitol building,” Sexsmith says. After all, the event takes place beneath a tent cast in the Capitol’s glow. “It’s all about our beautiful State Capitol. What better way to toast it than with the North Carolina traditions of beach music and seafood?”

7 – 11 p.m.; $75 includes seafood; 1 E. Edenton St.;