The Shad Planking traces its origin to the early 1930s when a group of friends gathered together at Wrenn’s Mill in Isle Of Wight County during the spring running of the shad in the James River.
They planked the shad after the tradition of native Virginia Indians and they talked politics after the tradition of their fathers before them.
As the tradition grew, the Wakefield Ruritan Club assumed sponsorship of the event in 1949. Generations of Virginia politicians have attended and addressed the Shad Planking gathering.
The gathering is truly a unique assembly of the many and varying views of the people and politics of Virginia. It has come to be an important event in the political life of the Commonwealth.
All of the funds raised from the event are invested within the Wakefield Community and support such community organizations as Wakefield Youth Baseball/Softball, Wakefield Foundation, Wakefield Fire Department, Rescue Squads. Wakefield Food Pantries, Tidewater Academy, 4-H and many others. more
Shad Planking History The traditional event was originally a tribute to the start of the fishing season however it soon gained a political function. The planking dates to the 1930s near Smithfield, Virginia, beginning as a small gathering of friends to celebrate the James River running of shad — the oily, bony fish smoked for …Read More
Shad Planking Past Speakers 1962 Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Lt. Governor of Virginia 1963 William M. Tuck Former Governor of Virginia 1964 Harry F. Byrd, Sr. U.S. Senator 1965 Mills E. Godwin, Jr. Lt. Governor of Virginia 1966 Albertis S. Harrison, Jr. Governor of Virginia 1967 Harry F. Byrd, Jr. U.S. Senator 1968 Mills E. …Read More