The Oyster Festival, on October 17 – 18 in Oyster Bay, is the East Coast’s largest waterfront festival with more than 200,000 attendees. Returning for its 32nd year, the Oyster Festival offers a fun mixture of new activities and old favorites that are certain to entertain the entire family.
The Oyster Festival is a project of the Oyster Bay Rotary Club and funded by the Oyster Bay Charitable Fund. The Oyster Festival offers a fun mixture of new activities and old favorites that are certain to be a hit with all ages, including live entertainment, Tall Ships, top-notch artisans, pirate shows, midway rides, and the iconic oyster eating and shucking contest. And of course, the food court, 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. Profits from all food court sales directly support 25 participating local charities while proceeds from carnival rides and merchandise sales is donated to additional charities supported by the Rotary throughout the year.
What’s a festival without rides? Newton & Sons provides the midway, as they have for many years. The attractions are fun and exciting! These attractions have provided safe fun for more than 40 years. A wide assortment of rides for children of all ages will be on hand, along with an array of fun sideshowgames with great prizes. Also, be sure to visit the “Downtown USA” along Audrey Avenue. This is a great opportunity to stop by and meet many of the local non-profits and store owners that help make Oyster Bay/East Norwich so special.
You won’t want to miss the 32nd Anniversary Oyster Festival Oyster Shucking Contest. All contestants must be over the age of 18. Each contestant will have a tray of (pre-shucked) 36 oysters to begin with, and they will then be replenished with cups containing 12 oysters each. The original tray and empty cups will be counted to get the number of oysters consumed. The time limit is 2 minutes, 40 seconds. Contestants will be allowed to season their oysters. Sauce and lemon will be made available. Oyster Festival Record was set in 1998 by David Leonard of Central Islip with 480 oysters chugged in two minutes and five seconds.
Admission and parking are free, as are most activities. A family-friendly event, the Oyster Festival remains alcohol-free and pet-free.
The history of the Oyster Festival is a storied one. More than 150 years ago, Theodore Roosevelt — the 26th President of the United States — was born to a weathy family that summered in Oyster Bay not far from the waterfront property that today bears his name. To honor his memory, community leaders organized a parade to celebrate his 125th birthday. The parade proved so successful that it provided the roots of what would become the Oyster Festival in 1983. Today the Oyster Festival is a much-awaited annual event that consistently attracts approximately 200,000+ visitors from along the East Coast. Its continued success is due to the dedication of members of the Oyster Bay Rotary who are committed to this event year-round and to the members of the Long Island business community that sponsors the event. This year’s festival — the 32nd — is made possible in part by Verizon, our title sponsor.