Crisfield, Maryland welcomes Duane Parham! I did not know this town existed until a couple of months ago! I am thrilled to know it now! Still. . . I have not visited it. . . but see it through the eyes of Saxophonist Duane Parham and Crisfield Committee Chairman Stanley Rayford. The mental picture articulated by them is painted on the recesses of my mind. Let’s see if we can re-create it.
Seafood Capital of the World
Crisfield, known as the “Seafood Capital of the World,” has a population of 2,515 residents according to the 2020 Census. Initially, Crisfield was known as Somers Cove Seaport. However, in 1866, Attorney John W. Crisfield successfully brought the Eastern Shore Railroad to Somers Cove. As a result, this not only increased the economy of Somers Cove but surrounding cities as well. And because of the massive growth in the area, citizens renamed the city Crisfield in honor of John W. Crisfield. Why is it called the Seafood Capital of the World? Seafood, a prime commodity of the area, was sold nationwide, sparking several parts of the country to not only feast on it, but “hang-out” there as well.
Crisfield Hangs Out the Welcome Mat
Having contacts nationwide, Crisfield generated visitors from many areas. So, “Crisfield, Maryland Welcomes Duane Parham” is a salutation often repeated by the residents of Crisfield. Food, fun and entertainment became a means of welcoming them. As I researched the history of the city, it became clear that eating crab and “whooping it up” is a trait . . . especially if crabs are added in the mix. “National Hard Crab Derby” is bigtime in Crisfield! People travel from across the country to enjoy crab races, crab cooking contests, parades, skiff racing, boat docking contests, games, entertainment and much more. In fact, I will be setting my sights on this event in 2024!
The Crisfield Make-Up
Many view Crisfield as a tourist town that specializes in hosting annual events and festivals. It is a very compact city surrounded by salt marshes. Vacant land is a scarcity, but water is not, and it adds an ingredient to the atmosphere that nothing else can replace. What better way to bring people together than food, fun, music and open-mindedness?
According to the 2021 Census, the racial demographics consist of 59.0% White, 36.0% African American, 0.6% Native American and 0.5% Asian.
Crisfield Maryland Welcomes Duane Parham
Saxophonist Duane Parham fell in love with Crisfield! This letter reflects his feelings and describes how “Crisfield, Maryland Welcomes Duane Parham.” It was placed in the writer’s hands.
Hello Citizens of Crisfield:
As Saxophonist Duane Parham and I recall the experiences we shared with you in setting up the itinerary for “Jazz on the Waterfront,” only patience, partnerships and pleasantries fill our thoughts. Surely, there were “bumps in the road,” but devotion, honesty and integrity provided a smooth ride over them.
First, we commend Chairman Stanley Rayford for his readiness to find a solution to any problem that “lifted its head.” He was even-tempered, hardworking and flexible, which made it easy for all of us. As the saying goes, “He practiced what he preached.”
Secondly, Artist Parham was over-whelmed by the kindness, respect and “welcome mat” extended to him everywhere he went. Even though he knew almost nobody, you made him feel he knew everybody. Finally, you gave him the “royal treatment” from start to finish. We are grateful.
Suggestion: In planning your next event, you may want to consider providing artists/agents with a list of expectations and provisions they will encounter along the way. It may include the name of the event, location, time, flight, food and lodging accommodations, band contact, etc. Even though such a list was not available, Chairman Rayford filled all the blank spaces. He was “on point.”
Just to let you know, people who had not heard of Crisfield before the concert, now know it exists. . . in a very positive way. I did not know it existed, but feel it has aways been “my town.” We look forward to working with you in the future.
M L and DP