Til­gh­man Is­land Day helps cel­e­brate wa­ter­man’s ways

Row­boat races, an­chor tosses and more at 46th an­nual event

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@ches­pub.com

TIL­GH­MAN — The 46th an­nual Til­gh­man Is­land Day was well at­tended Satur­day, Oct. 20, de­spite over­cast skies and the threat of rain. Visi­tors from all over, in­clud­ing New Jer­sey, Penn­syl­va­nia and Florida, came to take part in wa­ter­men’s events and spend the day on the is­land.

Ac­tiv­i­ties for Til­gh­man Is­land Day, spon­sored by the lo­cal vol­un­teer fire com­pany, spanned the en­tire town. Live mu­sic by Bird Dog & the Road Kings and var­i­ous ven­dor booths were fea­tured at Kron­se­berg Park. Wa­ter­men ex­hibits were on dis­play at Til­gh­man El­e­men­tary School. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. guests could sign gospel mu­sic at the Til­gh­man Methodist Church.

A wide va­ri­ety of lo­cal seafood was avail­able dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day, in­clud­ing fried clams, fried oys­ters, oys­ter frit­ters and crab cakes.

Row­boat races and an­chor-throw­ing com­pe­ti­tions were un­ri­valed in pop­u­lar­ity dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day. A stand­ing-roomonly au­di­ence packed into Dog­wood Har­bor for both events.

Row­boat races con­sisted of four heats, first with a race be­tween women’s en­trants, then men’s. Con­tes­tants were re­quired to

row about 50 yards to a large or­ange buoy, turn and race back to the dock.

The an­chor-toss­ing com­pe­ti­tion was di­vided be­tween kids, women’s and men’s classes. Com­peti­tors stood at the edge of the dock and slung large, mul­ti­pronged an­chors as far as they could, then mea­sured the dis­tance on a line at­tached to the an­chor.

A boat-dock­ing con­test, work­boat races, and crab- and oys­ter­pick­ing con­tests also were held. Races re­quired cap­tains to re­v­erse their ves­sels as quickly as pos­si­ble into des­ig­nated slips.

Til­gh­man Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany Sec­re­tary Linda Got­tleib, the chair­man of the event, said Til­gh­man Is­land Day is a way to honor the town’s wa­ter­men while rais­ing funds for the lo­cal fire de­part­ment. Got­tleib said through­out her 20 years work­ing the event, the av­er­age amount of money raised for the de­part­ment is about $40,000.

“It goes to­wards parts and stuff like new ve­hi­cles, equip­ment, the run­ning of the fire com­pany,” Got­tleib said.

Got­tleib said Til­gh­man Is­land Day also is re­liant on the com­mu­nity, which is es­sen­tial to the event’s suc­cess.

“I en­joy it, and I en­joy rais­ing money for the fire com­pany,” Got­tleib said. “It’s a group of great peo­ple who come out and vol­un­teer. With­out the help of the com­mu­nity and other places, the fire com­pany wouldn’t be here.”

Capt. Wade Mur­phy, skip­per of the Re­becca T. Ruark, has been part of the area for years. Mur­phy said the Re­becca T. Ruark is the old­est work­ing boat in the na­tion at 132 years old, first put in the Bay in 1886.

Mur­phy said Til­gh­man Is­land Day is the largest fundraiser for the fire de­part­ment and is not un­like many of the other area’s days cel­e­brat­ing wa­ter­men, in­clud­ing Queen Anne’s Day and Deal Is­land Day.

Mur­phy’s fa­vorite part? Watch­ing the boat-dock­ing com­pe­ti­tions.

“It’s the big­gest fundraiser they have, and it’s good if we get good weather,” Mur­phy said. “Its been a good day.”


An en­trant in the an­chor-toss­ing com­pe­ti­tion sends his toss into the Bay dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day, Oct. 20.


Lo­cals climbed to the bows of their boats for prime seat­ing for the an­chor toss and row­boat com­pe­ti­tions dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day, Oct. 20.

The women’s heat of the row boat races at Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day, Oct. 20. Pic­tured are Kathy Fra­zoni, Cara Friebum and Lau­ren Hall.

The be­gin­ning of the sec­ond men’s heat of row­boat races at Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day, Oct. 20. Pic­tured are Justin Homick, Danny Suc­car and Daniel Lup­ton.

Capt. Robert New­berry was the em­cee for the wa­ter­men’s com­pe­ti­tions at Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day, Oct. 20. New­berry is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Del­marva Fish­eries As­so­ci­a­tion.

Kitchen staff are hard at work dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day Satur­day Oct. 20.

A con­tes­tant flings an an­chor into the Bay for the an­chor toss com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing Til­gh­man Is­land Day, Satur­day, Oct. 20.

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