There are other Oyster Festivals, but there’s only one like this. Every year, more than 200,000 visitors flock to an Indian-summer weekend on the waterfront in downtown Oyster Bay, NY.
The Oyster Festival is a free-admission family festival, with something for everyone. Interested in Tall Ships? There’s a tall ship – and a fireboat. Bands? Several of them! Petting zoo? Of the exotic kind! Arts and crafts? There are literally hundreds – booths with handmade jewelry, hand-blown Christmas ornaments, clothing, woodcrafts, artisanal jams, you name it. And there's even an Oyster Eating & Shucking Contest from 2-3pm on Saturday.
But the centerpiece of the festival – besides live music and the carnival rides, which you’ll find in spades – might be the Oyster Bay Food Court, an area reserved for the freshest oysters around, where volunteer chefs and culinary pros work side by side, cooking and serving dozens of unique oyster, clam and other seafood concoctions along with traditional festival fare.
The Oyster Festival is unique since it is run by a non-profit (Oyster Bay Charitable Fund) for the benefit of 25 non-profits within the confines of the Oyster Bay. It runs both Saturday and Sunday (the 14th and 15th) from 11 am to 6 pm. If you go, remember two things: 1) it’s an alcohol-free event and 2) there are 200,000 visitors, so parking is extremely limited. Check out the transportation page of the festival site for parking and info: www.theoysterfestival.org