In 1977, the first Apple II computers went on sale. NASA’s space shuttle made its first test flight. Saturday Night Live debuted to television audiences, and the first Star Wars movie opened in theaters. And, in that same year, a group of dedicated Mountaineers met in West Virginia University alumnus Jim Edmundson’s backyard to enjoy camaraderie and celebrate WVU. It would go on to become one of the largest and most active alumni groups in the country.

Today, the event is known as the National Capital Area Chapter Crab Feast, and it brings together nearly 1,000 alumni and friends annually.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the crab feast will be held at Ft. Hunt Park in Arlington, Va., from 1-6 p.m. on Aug. 25. The crab feast has become an iconic fundraising event and one of the largest alumni gathering outside of the state of West Virginia. It also serves as a major fundraiser of the chapter’s largest philanthropic donations to WVU.

Raising $5,000 to $10,000 annually, the crab feast is held rain or shine and attended by hundreds of alumni and friends of the University. Proceeds from the event support a wide variety of university groups and activities, including the WVU Alumni Association and its Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund, Mountaineer Athletic Club, Mountaineer Parents Club, WVU Hospitals, the Grace Clements Research Fund, and the Norma Rae Huggins Cancer Research Fund. Additionally, the chapter has funded the commission of a new musket for the Mountaineer mascot for more than 20 years.

“The Crab Feast is a much anticipated event that brings together our WVU alumni and friends to celebrate the bond we have as Mountaineers,” said Kevin Nodianos, chapter president.

“Being able to promote the university and support students through our scholarship fund proves what a strong community of alumni we have here in the capital area. Events like this also allow us to expand the programs and activities for alumni because it really gets people involved. We are fortunate to have our ‘Head Crab’ Paul Farmer and a great group of volunteers who make this event an overwhelming success year after year.”

The chapter has raised more than $275,000 in total, which directly benefits students. The chapter also supports several student scholarship funds and programs, like the John F. Nicholas Jr./National Capital Area Chapter Scholarship Fund, and the WVU Alumni Association student internship program. From supporting student athletes, and funding academic scholarships/internship programs to supporting Mountaineer parents, the National Capital Area Chapter Crab Feast showcases the outpouring of Mountaineer spirit in the Washington, D.C., area.

The cost of attending the crab feast is $45 per person the day of the event, or $40 in advance for adults. Attendees can register online at For more information, visit



CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association, 304-293-0972

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