Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gov. Bob McDonnell to headline 2011 Shad Planking

Governor Bob McDonnell to speak
at 63rd Annual Shad Planking!
The Honorable Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia will be the guest speaker for the 63rd annual Shad Planking.

The Shad Planking, sponsored by the Wakefield Ruritan Club, is one of the most famous political gatherings in Virginia. The 63rd annual Shad Planking will be held on April 20, 2011, beginning at 2 p.m.

Governor McDonnell accepted the Wakefield Ruritan Club’s invitation this week to speak at the Shad Planking. McDonnell has attended the Shad Planking twice before; first as Attorney General in 2006 and again during his gubernatorial campaign in 2009.

McDonnell has dedicated his life to public service. After serving 21 years in the U.S. Army, both active duty and reserve, he retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1997. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991 and served 14 years representing the City of Virginia Beach. In 2005, McDonnell was elected as the 44th Attorney General of Virginia. During his tenure as Attorney General, 92 of his 105 legislative proposals were passed into law. He was inaugurated in 2010 as the 71st Governor of the Commonwealth.

McDonnell is a graduate of University of Notre Dame, Boston University, and Regent University. He and his wife, Maureen, have been married for 34 years and have five children.

Shad Planking Chairman Robert W. Bain said, “Governor McDonnell has been a long-time supporter of the Wakefield Ruritan Club’s Shad Planking and has drawn significant crowds at his previous appearances. We look forward to having him deliver the keynote address this year.”

The Shad Planking is an annual event known for drawing politically minded people as well as those wishing to seek public office in the Commonwealth.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. The formal program will begin at 4 p.m. and the meal will be served when ready.  The menu this year will feature the Wakefield Ruritans’ trademark planked shad cooked over an open fire. The Virginia Diner will again provide its famous cole slaw and corn muffins.  In addition, there will be shad roe and fish filets fried to golden brown, sweet pickles, iced tea and plenty of other favorite beverages.

This year’s event promises to continue the long-standing traditions of Shad Planking. The Shad Planking traces its origin to the early 1930s when a group of friends gathered together at Wrenn’s Mill in Isle Of Wight County during the spring running of the shad in the James River.  They planked the shad after the tradition of native Virginia Indians and they talked politics after the tradition of their fathers before them. As the tradition grew, the Wakefield Ruritan Club assumed sponsorship of the event in 1949.

Generations of Virginia politicians have attended and addressed the Shad Planking gathering.  Such legendary figures in Virginia politics as Harry Byrd, Senior and Junior, Mills Godwin, John Warner, John Hager, Doug Wilder, Mary Sue Terry, Jerry Baliles, Mark Warner and many others have generously given of their time and talent to support this event.

The gathering is truly a unique assembly of the many and varying views of the people and politics of Virginia.  It has come to be an important event in the political life of the Commonwealth.  The Wakefield Ruritan Club donates all earnings from this event to local community service organizations such as Wakefield Youth Baseball League, fire departments and rescue squads.

Tickets are available through the Virginia Diner in Wakefield, Virginia by calling 1-800-935-4004 or through Wakefield Ruritan Club by mail at P.O. Box 148, Wakefield, VA, 23888.  Credit cards are accepted at the Diner and on the Shad Planking website.  Ticket prices are $20 prior to April 1 and $25 thereafter.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Robert Bain at 757-641-8060 or by email to Robert@shadplanking.com. Also, you can visit the Wakefield Ruritan Club Shad Planking website.

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