Open House Provides Close Look At Snow Hill’s New Riverboat

Open House Provides Close Look At Snow Hill’s New Riverboat
Cruises aboard the riverboat will be limited this summer beginning with August cruises. Officials expect a full booking season for summer 2022. Photos by Charlene Sharpe

SNOW HILL – Dozens of community members descended on Sturgis Park this week for a chance to climb aboard the town’s new riverboat.

On Tuesday, the Town of Snow Hill hosted an open house to give area residents the chance to get an up-close look at the Black-Eyed Susan. The Black-Eyed Susan, purchased by the town last year thanks to a loan from Worcester County, arrived in Snow Hill in early June and is now docked at Sturgis Park.

“It’s definitely an exciting opportunity for Snow Hill,” Mayor Jennifer Jewell said.

Jewell and Jim Washington, the boat’s operator, welcomed visitors onto the boat and answered countless questions as community members came to see the new attraction Tuesday afternoon. The 149-passenger riverboat, purchased by the town in 2020, arrived in Snow Hill in early June after spending months at Murtech Marine in Salisbury undergoing repairs. Snow Hill officials selected Washington, a retired culinary arts instructor and former operator of Tavern on Green Street, to be the boat’s operator this spring.

Pg.-34-A-150x150.jpgHe told those touring the boat Tuesday that he expected to have it open to the public by August.  He hopes to offer various cruises, such as cocktail, lunch and dinner options, and to serve a buffet in the formal dining room on the boat’s main level. Though he doesn’t have plans to serve food on the boat’s upper level, it too features tables and chairs for passengers to occupy as they enjoy the expansive views of the Pocomoke River. The upper level also features a small bar. Jewell told visitors the wooden bar top—donated by Gary Weber—was the same “Snow Hill” one once located in the Blue Dog Café.

Jewell said municipal officials were excited about the riverboat because it would bring more economic development and tourism to the southern part of Worcester County.

“We are enthusiastic about the potential for the Black-Eyed Susan,” she said. “We’re excited about our partnership with Washington Inc.”

Washington hopes to have the boat cruising the river by August. He is currently interviewing potential captains.

“That’ll be a good start,” he said.

Though the boat will have a limited season this year, Jewell expects it to be up and running full-time by 2022. She said the boat would take passengers as far as Shad Landing and turn around, a trip that would be roughly 2.5 hours. She said that in addition to traditional dinner cruises, Washington was also considering more creative concepts such as dinner theater.

“There’s a lot of different ideas,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.