PROVIDENCE - Quahog Week, which made its debut last year, returns March 20 - March 25, 2017. The week-long celebration highlights the importance of Rhode Island's wild harvest shellfish to the state's history, traditions, and economy. As part of the week, participating restaurants and markets will feature quahog-inspired menu items and deals, and Quahog Week partners will hold special events.
"Whenever I go out to eat, I look for Rhode Island shellfish," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "I know I'm not alone. Our flavorful clams and oysters are enjoyed all over the world. And going out on the water with our local fishermen has made me appreciate all the more the hard work and dedication at the heart of our fishing industry. Quahog Week is our opportunity to step back and celebrate our wild harvest shellfish – as well as our state's amazing array of eateries. I look forward to sampling the many tasty dishes that will be featured by our partner restaurants as well as preparing some of my own at home. I hope everyone joins in the fun during Quahog Week – and beyond."
Rhode Island is known for its food and diverse food cultures. The state's booming local food sector supports more than 60,000 jobs and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and innovators. The local fishing industry has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the equation. Thousands of land- and water-based businesses are supported by the industry. And local favorites like the quahog "stuffie" are enjoyed by people near and far.
Last year, more than 100 million pounds of seafood arrived to a local port – with an export value over $1 billion. And more than 28 million quahogs (off-the-boat value of $5.5 million) were harvested from Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island coastal waters. To support continued industry growth, the State, along with its partners, developed the RI Seafood brand to uniquely identify local seafood in the marketplace and to provide a brand under which local seafood events and activities can take place.
Quahogging has a rich history locally, supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of fishers year-round as well as serving as a treasured pastime for Rhode Island families. Quahog Week will highlight this history and value through several planned events, including a kick-off celebration at Save The Bay in Providence on Monday, March 20 and a wrap party on Saturday, March 25 at the new headquarters of Narragansett Beer in Pawtucket. For more information on planned programming or to sign up as a Quahog Week partner or participating venue, visit www.seafoodri.com.
Quahog Week partners include Dave's Marketplace, Discover Newport, Eat Drink RI, Go Providence, Isle Brewers Guild, Johnson & Wales University, Narragansett Beer, RI Commerce, RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Shellfishermen's Association, Save The Bay, and the University of Rhode Island.