Crab Feast is "Bay Responsible"

Annapolis Rotary’s 2017 Crab Feast Aims for Zero Waste

From the Bay to the Earth

For the fourth consecutive year, Annapolis Rotary is working with the non-profit Annapolis Green to make the Crab Feast a ZERO-Waste event. That means that after our feasters have feasted and the cleanup is finished, NOTHING will go to the landfill! All our waste will be either recycled or composted.

What will be recycled?

Beer cups, beverage cans and bottles.


What will be composted?

Crab shells, corn cobs, watermelon rinds, hotdog leftovers, soup cups, crab trays, BBQ plates, soup spoons, crab knives, paper towels, brown paper on the tables and even the mallets. Note that cutlery and cups look like plastic but they are not! They are made from plants and are compostable.

All these products will be sent to be composted at the Veteran Compost farm, right here in Maryland. Within two months, all this waste will return to the Earth as it becomes beautiful, fresh compost, ready to improve area gardens. Unlike home composting, this large-scale operation can break down crab shells, and that adds calcium to the rich organic mix.

Whats's New This Year

The NapTownTap -- Annapolis green is introducing an innovative water dispensing system that will reduce (or eliminate) the need for single-use plastic water bottles. It will be debuted in preferred dinning. Or, come to the Annapolis Green table to see it in action, and fill your compostable cup with good, clean, filtered water!

Order Crab Compost - Visit the Annapolis Green table to order Crab Compost for your garden! It will be ready in about twoo months - just in time for fall planting.


Annapolis Green connected us with the Leonard Paper of Baltimore, That family-owned company has provided the compostable ware that is helping us do good for the environment and saving money too!.

How YOU Can Be Bay Responsible

First, respect the bounty of the Bay. Take only as many crabs as you can eat. Don’t waste them.

Then, when you’re done feasting, separate the plastic and metal from everything else and put that in the clearly marked recycling bin nearest you. Put what’s left in the accompanying compost bin. There! You’re done and you’ve done your bit for the environment!

Remember to take what you’ve learned with you and apply it to your own crab feasts this summer and make them Bay Responsible:

• Take only as much as you can eat.
• Use compostable (best) or recyclable (better) tableware and utensils.
• Don’t buy polystyrene tableware (Styrofoam).
• Start your own compost bin at home.
• Recycle more.

Visit Annapolis Green’s table at the Crab Feast to learn more or ask any Green Team REF volunteer. Look for the black t-shirts

Annapolis Rotary’s programs, including the Crab Feast, are all meant to give back to the community. Among our many grant recipients are these environmental organizations:

• Annapolis Green
• Annapolis Maritime Museum
• Chesapeake Bay Foundation
• Friends of Quiet Waters Parks
• West/Rhode Riverkeeper

Annapolis Rotary’s Crab Feast Aims for Zero Waste


Annapolis, MD (July 29, 2014) – Anyone hosting a crab feast on a back patio or deck at home knows the challenge of cleanup, so imagine what it must be like to clear out more than 350 bushels of steamed crabs devoured by 2,500 crustacean fans?
Annapolis Green, a local environmental group, is working with the Rotary Club of Annapolis to compost all the crabs and other food, utensils, and beverages at the club’s 69th annual world’s largest crab feast on Friday, Aug. 1, at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis. The two groups want to make this charitable fund raiser a zero waste event.
In 2013 Annapolis Green and Annapolis Rotary held a successful cleanup in the Preferred Dining area, which comprised 25 percent of the attendees. This year’s crab feast will be one of the largest recycling and compositing events they have conducted. One of the largest challenges is completing the job so the stadium is clean and ready for the next day’s activities.
“We’re anticipating collecting close to 20,000 pounds of food waste,” said Lynne Forsman, Annapolis Green Co-founder. “In just about two months the watermelon rinds, corn cobs, brown paper, and even the crab shell bits will turn into wonderful compost that will benefit gardens all over the area. We will collect the plastic as well working to meet our goal of sending absolutely nothing to the landfill this year.”
Crab feast vendors are doing their part, too. Responding to Rotary and Annapolis Green, they are replacing polystyrene or Styrofoam – which is not recyclable – with containers made of paper. It’s all part of a campaign to feast responsibly.
In addition, as many crab shells as possible will be collected by the Crabs for Kids Foundation, says organizer Mike Jordan. Last year his volunteers collected more than 1,000 crab shells for a crab shell painting charitable event for children, which was an overwhelming success.
“The kids absolutely love painting on the shells and it gives us an opportunity to give back to the community. At last year’s feast, many people were very inquisitive to the fact that we were collecting the shells. When we explained why, folks joined in and brought their empty shells to us in support of our efforts,” says Jordan.
“The crab feast is not only an Annapolis summer-time tradition, but it also supports Rotary’s great work in the community,” says David Lillefloren, crab feast chairman. “All proceeds will benefit local nonprofit organizations. Last year we distributed more than $71,000 to 38 nonprofits.”
The crab feast is all-you-can-eat and drink, including large and #1 male crabs (the big ones) plus Maryland vegetable crab soup, sweet Maryland corn on the cob, beef barbeque sandwiches, all-American hot dogs, draft beer, and assorted sodas and water. A bake sale and cake raffle can finish your feast.
Again this year freshly-cut sweet 100 Mar-Del watermelons will be distributed by Watermelon Queens including Brandi Harrison, National Queen; Shelby Hurley, Mar-Del; Brook Allender, South Carolina; Jennifer Eadie, Georgia; and Megan Morgan, Florida. They will attend courtesy of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Mar-Del Watermelon Association.
Nearly 2,500 people are expected to attend between 5 and 8 p.m. They will finish off those 350 bushels of crabs, 3,400 ears of corn, 100 gallons of crab soup, 1,800 hot dogs, 150 pounds of beef barbeque, and hundreds of gallons of soft drinks and beer. The event will be held rain or shine, as most of the tables are protected from the weather.
Parking for the crab feast at the stadium is free. No containers, drinks, backpacks, large bags, coolers or similar items will be allowed into the event.
While it is an all-you-can-eat affair, and you can take all you want, please eat all you take, says Lillefloren. “If you have more crabs than you need, please share with a neighbor. We want to protect the bounty of our Bay and be good stewards of our resources.”
As in the past, Crab Feast T-shirts and other memorabilia will be for sale. Many guests have purchased the newly-designed shirts each year and wear them to the crab feast, says Mimi Jones, sale organizer.
As crab prices have increased this year, the club’s tickets have been raised from $60 to $65 in advance for adults. They remain at $20 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under the age of 3. To purchase tickets, please visit or call 1-877-333-9667 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. now to noon on Friday. For ticket questions, please email Adult tickets at $70 will go on sale at the stadium box office starting at 4 p.m. Friday.
Annapolis Rotary members are volunteers and pay all of their their own administrative costs for the operations of the club, so all funds raised are donated to local charities. More than $1 million has been awarded since the first Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast in 1946.