Review of July 3 Open House Family Day BBQ

We held our second seasonal community event on Sunday July 3. It was Open House Family day with a mixed grill barbecue. There was no speaker. This was meant as a fun day. This post is to summarize some observations.

Fishing – One family came early for fishing. They are “regulars” here.

Boat rides – There were few requests for boat rides. Captain Bruce Smith didn’t get any requests. Tristan took a few of the young adults.

Menu – 6 pounds shrimp, popcorn, chips, 20 pounds chicken, one bushel oysters, 1/2 bushel crabs, 50 ears of corn, double batch of macaroni salad, triple batch of coleslaw, grilled vegetables, cake, watermelon, fruit tort. We did not make crab fries that were planned.

Positive observations:

  1. About 40 people attended in total. It was a good mix of customers, neighbors, friends and family.
  2. Every chair and bench was occupied at some point. If we have more people, we should get more seating.
  3. Overall we have the entertainment logistics worked out well.
  4. Many compliments on the chicken. We have a winning recipe.
  5. Many compliments on the corn on the cob. Shop Rite has been consistently great.
  6. Having two volunteers on the grill was the key to success. (Thanks again Andy and Bridgette).
  7. The modest amount of adult beverages seemed just about right.(One case beer, one case wine coolers, 1.5 liter wine). Guests enjoyed themselves but there was no indication of over-consumption.
  8. We consumed almost all the food estimated for 50 people including almost all of the extra desserts.

Some concerns

  1. Our community marketing on social media did not attract any new guests. The purpose is community building and we are not getting any results from outreach.
  2. Our written invitations mailed to 35 VIPs did not attract any guests. We need to mail them earlier.
  3. We suspected that if the word got out about “free food and beer” that we might attract an unintended crowd. That hasn’t happened.
  4. Our daily marina community makeup is integrated racially and ethnically. Yet all of our social events have been homogeneous. Is there something we could do to make it more comfortably diverse?
  5. Those #1 crabs were too expensive. It worked out to $3 each after netting out the dead crabs. We won’t buy them again at this size/price. We may get our own commercial crab license or wait until a crabber donates them.
  6. Roasted oysters are delicious but we didn’t eat too many. Probably 3-4 dozen would have been enough.


  1. July 4th weekend is busy for many people. We should consider moving the Open House Family Day back to Father’s Day in June.
  2. Donations of $146 covered about half of the food cost.
  3. Our next event is planned for Saturday August 6. It will be a fun fishing tournament with multiple prizes followed by a pig roast.

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