Dorchester Chamber presents Celebrate Dorchester

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper Josh Goodfox and Thomas Oliver of Water’s Edge at the Hyatt showoff their very tasty Cuban sliders at Celebrate Dorchester.

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Josh Goodfox and Thomas Oliver of Water’s Edge at the Hyatt showoff their very tasty Cuban sliders at Celebrate Dorchester.

CAMBRIDGE — The Dorchester Chamber of Commerce presented their 7th annual Celebrate Dorchester event at Sailwinds Park on June 21. It was a fitting celebration for the first day of summer in Cambridge, with good food, fun things to do and the company off neighbors and friends.

The Chamber added a number of diversions to the usual focus on local food, making the evening feel more like an indoor festival. A rolling thunderstorm hampered the outdoor display of boats and farm equipment, but there was plenty more to see. Warren Saunders was on hand, demonstrating his decoy carving skills, right next to a putting green where participants could demonstrate their putting skills — or lack of putting skills!

There was an eel pot making demonstration as well, and a pair of artists painting on the floor. A continuous slide show displayed facts about Dorchester County that many in the audience would have been hard-pressed to know beforehand. A group of Native Americans from the Nause-Waiwash tribe were on hand in traditional dress, as was Annie Oakley and Harriet Tubman (being interpreted by Mary Handley and Vernetter Pinder, respectively.
A huge silent auction was set up by the Chamber, as well as a wine pull, and music was provided by a group of students from the Mike Elzey Guitar Studio — Emma Bailey, Summer Snead, Savanna Vroman and Rebecca Yockey.

The Chamber presented their annual community awards during the introduction, and they were joined on stage by Delegate Johnny Mautz and Senator Addie Eckardt. Pat Wilcox was presented the Animal Welfare Volunteer of the Year award, for her efforts with Kitty City Rescue. Nancy Shockley was the recipient of the Community Empowerment Award, and Sgt. Jose Hernandez was given the First Responder Award.

The Eastern Shore Veterans Recognition Committee were given the Veteran Service Award for this year, and Emily Jackson of Emily’s Produce received the Youth Achievement Award.

The James T. Wise Scholarship presentation capped the formal program, with Cambridge-South Dorchester High School Valedictorian James Geleta accepting the scholarship this year.

Then it was time for food! There was no competition for a “best of” title this year, just creative small dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. They ranged from cream of crab soup from Canvasback restaurant, to chicken salad sandwiches from Katie Mae’s. Oyster dishes were presented by Rock Lobstah, Three-Sixty at the River’s Edge, and Hooper Island Oyster Aquaculture Company. The High Spot had bison sloppy joe sliders, and Bistro Poplar presented a light gazpacho. Our favorites were the Cuban sliders by Water’s Edge at the Hyatt, and without a doubt the desserts by Cakes by Candace — the strawberry brownie cupcakes were criminal!

All of the ingredients were donated by a list of purveyors, and the participating restaurants provided the labor and skills to create the dishes. It was a great event, and was obviously enjoyed by all!

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at

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