‘Stay tuned for next year’s band’ — Inaugural Chamber Fest hits a high note as 900 attendees enjoy Molly Hatchet

Members of the rock band Molly Hatchet hold forth Saturday at the ESVA Chamber Fest near Onancock. A large crowd enjoyed music and fellowship at the event, sponsored by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Carol Vaughn.

By Carol Vaughn

For those who enjoyed hearing the rock band Molly Hatchet on Saturday, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce brings this teaser: “Stay tuned for next year’s band,” said Robert Sabbatini, the chamber’s executive director.

Under blue skies and high clouds, with not-too-hot temperatures — chamber of commerce weather, as it is sometimes cheekily known — the inaugural Chamber Fest used good music and good food to provide a great time.

Attendance was 900 strong. Dozens of local businesses set up booths in a tailgating event at the festival, giving attendees the chance to find out more about the businesses. That was the point, said Sabbatini.

“I felt that we accomplished our goal of connecting the businesses and communities here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,” he said.

The menu included all-you-can-eat clams and grilled chicken for ticket holders, along with other food and beverage vendors and an afternoon of live music, featuring Molly Hatchet, the Southern rockers.

Also performing were Lana Scott, from season 21 of “The Voice”; Mike Stinson; and the Irie Tree Band, joined by vocalist Beth Sharpley on one number.

Mike Stinson performs during the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Fest 2022 Saturday, Sept. 10, in Tasley. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Vocalist Beth Sharpley joins the Irie Tree band in a musical number at the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Fest 2022 in Tasley Saturday, Sept. 10. Photo by Carol Vaughn.,

“Our lineup of musicians and bands added a great mix throughout the day,” Sabbatini said. He said the event has the chops to become an annual occurrence.

It took an army of volunteers and sponsors to make the event a reality, he said. The presenting sponsor was Coastline Chemical and platinum sponsors were Bug Masters LLC, Coldwell Banker Harbor Realty, and Tom Waller, among other sponsors.

Said Sabbatini: “This was a big event for the ESVA Chamber of Commerce, and could not have been accomplished without the hard work of the following: Kristin Webb, Jennifer Annis, Forest Drummond, Will Russell, Beth Sharpley, Sandra Johnson, Rhonda Marsh, John T. Williams, Rob Bloxom, Butch Williamson, Andre Elliot, Karen Parker, and Ginny Brown.”

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