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Middletown Transcript
  • Port Penn Marsh Feast to dish up turtle soup, fried muskrat for a good cause

  • The word on the street is muskrat is good to eat.
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  • The word on the street is muskrat is good to eat.
    After two years of not hosting their popular Port Penn Marsh Feast fundraiser, the Port Penn Historical Society will return with a revamped version at Kelly's Tavern in Port Penn on April 7.
    The Marsh Feast will feature live music from Crabmeat Thompson and a silent auction and a raffle for a getaway to St. Michaels, Md. In addition to offering menu items that include boneless baked chicken breast, snapping turtle soup (a favorite at the Feast), cornbread, vegetables and ice cream — this year's feast will highlight an exotic marsh cuisine: fried muskrat.
    "It has the texture of pot roast beef," explained Linda Beck, executive director of the Port Penn Historical Society. "It's extremely good. The idea with this dinner is to serve regional food that is traditional from the area and that also comes from the marshes and the river."
    Local muskrat hasn't been served at previous Marsh Feasts because local shad was king. However, since the cost of shad was expensive, the Port Penn Historical Society chose muskrat to be shad's more affordable and scrumptious replacement, she said.
    Due to the cost of shad, the Marsh Feast hasn't been held since 2010, Beck said. As an alternative to the feast, local baseball fundraisers have been held featuring the Diamond State Base Ball Club in vintage gear playing against regional baseball clubs. Approximately $500 was raised at each baseball fundraiser, said Julie Harrington, treasure of the Port Penn Historical Society.
    Proceeds for last year's fundraiser were used to help restore the exterior of the Port Penn Interpretive Center (a center offering displays and programs which explain the life of the historic wetland communities along the shores of Delaware).
    Giving back
    Proceeds from this year's Marsh Feast will benefit the Port Penn Historical Society's upcoming community initiatives. The Historical Society's upcoming community projects include purchasing a new computer for the staff of the Port Penn Interpretive Center. In addition, the Historical Society plans to enhance a trail located east of the Port Penn Interpretive Center, Beck said. Enhancements that need to be made include the removal of overgrown vegetation along sections of the trail. New trail markers also need to be installed. The project is in the early stages of planning, she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - IF YOU GO
    WHAT Port Penn Marsh Feast
    WHEN Seatings will be held at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 7
    WHERE Kelly's Tavern, 101 W. Market St., Port Penn
    COST $15; seating is limited, RSVP is highly recommended
    INFO portpenn.org or 834-7525
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