A festival that could draw more tourists to Long Island’s Oyster Bay, but more importantly helps support over 25 charities, takes place this weekend, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Organizers estimate an attendance of more than 200,000 people, who will enjoy a rich programme of entertainment and contests, as well as regional cuisine. But the true stars of the festival are the Pine Island oysters: it is, after all, the 28th annual Oyster Festival.
The Waterfront at Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay fills up with music and laughter, and the smells of fine fish and seafood cuisine. 30 food vendors provide a complete menu, with specialties like oysters on the half shell; Mussels Au Vin Blanc, Lobster Bisque (Mill Creek Tavern); sliced beef brisket and gravy sandwich, seared SOHO-style salmon on a roll, corn chowder; seafood gumbo; crab roll; shrimp cocktail; grilled shrimp on a stick; oyster stew; kielbasa sandwiches; perogies; roasted corn; clams on the half shell; steamed clams; fried oysters; soft shell crabs; clam strips; fried shrimp; and much, much more.
Scheduled also a few stellar appearances, including the historic fireboat John J. Harvey (featured above); former American Idol Jerome Bell in concert; The Legendary Murphys; Island Xtreme All Stars Cheerleading Team; Turnpike Joe and The Traffic Jam; and many others. In addition, the festival also features antique boats, tall ships, a petting zoo, carnival rides, arts and crafts, antiques, interactive exhibits, and harbor cruises for the entire family.
A tradition in Oyster Bay, the festival has a higher purpose: the proceeds fund over 25 local community organizations. The Oyster Festival is run by the Oyster Bay Charitable Fund for the benefit of 27 non-profits within the confines of the Oyster Bay – East Norwich School District.
All images, via Oyster Bay Oyster Festival on Facebook.