Tis the season! There are lots of people out there looking forward to the fall holidays and Christmas, but I suspect that you are here because you are looking forward to the season of OYSTER FESTIVALS most of all.
Here is the little guide I worked up for you. If I missed an oyster festival in your town, please feel free to add it in the comments. I will be updating this as time goes on.
• On Saturday afternoons in October and November, the Church Creek Wine & Oyster Tours involve cruising aboard a vessel called the Oyster Queen to visit an oyster farm run by Shooting Point Oyster Company and Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, Va. Details.
• On Saturdays, the cutting edge Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company welcomes the public to join in tours of its facility in Dorchester County–tastings and libations are part of the deal. Details.
• The gorgeous Mount Harmon plantation up in Earleville (near Cecilton) has its annual Bull & Oyster Roast on Sat., Oct. 1. Scroll down to the date here for details.
• There is an Oyster Roast on Sat., Oct. 8 that’s part of the Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival. The roast will be held at Sunset Beach Resort, near Cape Charles. Details.
• The Rock Hall FallFest on Sat., Oct. 8 is a street festival with music, crafts, vendors, and more celebrating “Family, Community, and Oysters!” Fresh-shucked oysters, fried oysters, and oyster stew are featured. Details. (Hat tip to reader Mary Lou for alerting me to this one in the comments.)
• I am sorry to report that the Chincoteague Oyster Festival, which was moved due to weather complications from Sat., Oct. 8 to Sat., Oct. 15, is sold out.
• On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 16, Crabi Gras is throwing a Hot Sauce & Oyster Festival in Cambridge. A slew of sauces to sample, dishes by top local chefs, music by Bird Dog and the Road Kings, more. Details.
• The tradition of a “Big Thursday” season-opening oyster party in Bowers Beach, Del. dates clear back to 1852. They still call it Big Thursday nowadays, though the event is new held on a weekend. This year, it’s Sunday, Oct. 16. Details.
• The annual Soule Arnold Oyster Roast sounds like a sweet bit of small-town bliss. Held in a park on Main Street in Exmore, Va. it’s scheduled this year for the evening of Fri., Oct. 21. Details.
• The big annual Oyster Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels is Sat., Oct. 29. Details.
• The Saxis Island Oyster Roast is Sat., Nov. 4. It’s organized a little differently–indoors, with table service. I couldn’t find a good link for this year’s event, but you should be able to get info at 757.710.4747 or email@example.com.
• The Oyster Jam at Phillips Wharf Environmental Center on Tilghman Island is scheduled for Sat., Nov. 5. Details.
• The Island House in Wachapreague will have an Oyster Roast on Sat., Nov. 5. For details, find your way to the calendar here.
• The specialty food shop Blue Crab Bay Co. in Melfa, Va. will be having an Oysters a la Carte event under a pavilion on Sat., Nov. 12. Details.
• Also on Sat., Nov. 12, Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo will be holding its annual Merroir and Terroir Oyster Extravaganza. Details.
• The annual Brew and Oyster Brawl at the Tidewater Inn on Sat., Nov. 12 in Easton is part of the town’s humongous Waterfowl Festival weekend. Details.
• Ducks Unlimited will be having an Oyster Roast on Sat., Nov. 19 at the Barrier Island Center in Machipongo, Va. Details.
• Oyster Week at the Hyatt Regency resort in Cambridge starts on Sat., Nov. 18 and includes various and sundry demos, tastings, and other festivities. Many events are open to local visitors as well as resort guests. Details.
• The Cape Charles Historical Society is having an Oyster Roast on Sat., Nov. 26. Details.
Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!
–Research and writing by Jim Duffy
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