Harbor Island Block Party
Lobsta and Butta
by SHANNON RAE GENTRY
For almost 30 years, truckloads of live Maine lobsters have made the
overnight trek to North Carolina the first weekend in June, when they’re
steamed and served with corn, potatoes and sausage during the Church
of the Servant Episcopal’s annual Lobster Fest.
Reverend Joe Cooper started the parties: the Lobster Fest, which take place during the
day in the church courtyard on Oriole Drive, and the Harbor Island Block Party by twilight
under the tree-lined canopy of Live Oak Drive.
“It started off with just our little neighborhood in Harbor Island, then to the whole
of Harbor Island, and then we just expanded it to whoever wanted to come,” Cooper
says. He never knew the Harbor Island tradition would evolve to the point of steaming
200 to 300 lobsters each year.
Now retired from the ministry, Cooper lives on the Albemarle Sound, about three hours
from his Harbor Island home, and makes the journey every year to see the block lined
with twinkling lights draped through the trees, driveways converted to dining rooms, and
tent-covered tables lined with paper tablecloths and newspaper.
“When you open that lobster the juice goes everywhere,” Cooper says.
Cooper says everyone comes as they are, bearing a covered dish or desserts to comple-ment
the fresh lobster cooked on site throughout the evening.
“We have some wonderful covered dishes, desserts, salads and that sort of thing, but
we love lobster,” Cooper says.
Both the June 8 block party and the 29th annual Lobster Fest benefit and promote the
outreach and services of Church of the Servant Episcopal.
Advance orders should be made by calling the Lobster Line at 910-473-1876.
WBM june 2013
WBM FILE PHOTOS
Harbor Islanders in front of Reverend Joe Cooper’s cottage ready to enjoy steamed lobster, corn and melted butter, and tables set with a
neighborhood “pot luck” feast.