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Home Fun Fun Stuff To Do Three oyster festivals great fun for families this month

Three oyster festivals great fun for families this month

OysterFest3Even if your kids aren’t oyster lovers, there is plenty of family fun at the many oyster festivals in Maryland this month. Check out these three October oyster festivals in Shady Side, Leondardtown and St. Michaels. All are family friendly events with plenty of fun for everyone.

St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival

Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

At the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds, the emphasis is on food, shucking and cooking contests, entertainment, and arts and crafts during the annual Oyster Festival, put on by Rotary Club of Lexington Park.

On Oyster Festival Saturday,  nine finalists compete for the $1,000 top prize in the National Oyster Cook-off contest. The finalists, who were selected from more than 150 entries, prepare fresh oyster specialties for judges in a timed contest.

The National Oyster Shucking Championship Contest features the fastest men and women shuckers. Rounds start Saturday, with finals on Sunday. Women’s finals start at 3 p.m. with the men’s starting at 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. the male and female champions compete. An amateur oyster shucking competition is Saturday at 2 p.m.

Entertainment runs throughout the weekend, from 11 a.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday. All types of prepared oyster dishes are available to purchase, plus other seafood and landlubber grub such as barbecued beef, pork and chicken; hamburgers; hotdogs; desserts; and much more.

Admission is $5 adults with ages 12 and younger free. Food is purchased separately. Proceeds go to local charities. The St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds are located at 4255 Fairgrounds Rd., Leonardtown, Md. For details visit the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival website.

Shady Side Oyster Festival

Sunday, Oct. 19, 12:30-5 p.m.

The Captain Avery Museum in Shady Side kicks off its 17th annual Oyster Festival Oct. 19, with seafood options, live music, local artisans, children’s activities and exhibits at the museum.

Kids can enjoy live crab races, fish hat making, a crab toss, pirate photos and other fun things to do, winning “Captain Avery Bucks” that can be turned in for prizes. Check out the crab shedding tank and learn how oysters help the bay during the festival.

Food and drink will be available from Chesapeake Grille and Deli, Deale UMAI Sushi House, Skippers Pier, George’s Mixes and Finlandia Vodka and even the museum.

Admission is $6 or $2 for ages 12 and younger. Parking is available at Shady Side ball field with shuttles taking people to the museum. Captain Avery Museum is located at 1418 E. West Shady Side Road, Shady Side, MD. Find out more at the Captain Avery Museum website

St. Michaels OysterFestOysterFEst2

Saturday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum hosts OysterFest with live music on two stages, boat rides, retriever demonstrations, children’s activities, oyster demonstrations, documentary screenings and – of course — oyster fare and other food and drink.

In an Oyster Stew Competition, six restaurants will compete for best oyster stew bragging rights when festival-goers sip, sample and cast their votes. This year’s participating restaurants include 2013 first-place winner Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits of St. Michaels; 2013 second-place winner Roy’s Kwik Korner Seafood Carry Out of Glen Burnie; 2013 third-place winner Bistro St. Michaels; The Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond’s Stars of St. Michaels; High Spot Gastropub of Cambridge; and Victory Garden Café of Easton. A limited number of attendees can vote by purchasing a commemorative $6 sampling mug at the oyster stew competition tent. Volunteers will serve samplings of oyster stew in a blind taste test, starting at 11 a.m., with participants voting by ballot for their favorite.

After the oyster stew competition and beginning around 12:30 p.m., Roy’s Kwik Korner ladle up their 2013 winning stew for festival-goers to purchase and enjoy.
Other types of oysters — oyster fritters, fried oyster sandwiches, raw and steamed on the half shell — will be available to purchase, along with non-oyster options.

Oyster cooking demonstrations are included in festival admission. The demonstration schedule is:

  • 11:30 a.m. – Chefs Jason Huls-Miller & Jon Mason of Town Dock Food & Spirits of St. Michaels
  • 12:30 p.m. – Executive Chef Daniel Pochron of The Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond’s Stars
  • 1:30 p.m. – Chef Patrick Fanning of the High Spot Gastropub of Cambridge
  • 2:30 p.m. – Chef Eric Nunamaker of Mike & Eric’s Front Street of St. Michaels

Several boats from the Talbot County Watermen’s Association will be dockside, along with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum vessels, to share traditions such as oyster dredging, hand tonging, patent tonging and oyster diving. Families can cruise aboard Winnie Estelle, watch knot-tying and net-making demonstrations, go on a scavenger hunt and explore an oyster nursery. Kids can make a boat to take home for $3.

Admission is $15 adults, $12 seniors and $6 for ages 6-17. It’s free for museum members and children ages 5 and younger. Food and boat rides are an additional cost.
The museum is located at 213 North Talbot St., St. Michaels. Visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum website for details.


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