Admission to OysterFest is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors,
and $6 for children between the ages of six and 17.
Children five years and under and CBMM members are
admitted free. Food and boat rides are an additional cost.
For more information, call 410-745-2916.
From 10-4pm on Saturday, November 2, the Chesapeake’s oyster will be celebrated at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s (CBMM) OysterFest in St. Michaels, MD. The event features live music, oysters and other food, children’s activities, boat rides, oyster demonstrations, harvesting displays, retriever demonstrations, cooking demonstrations, and an oyster stew competition among regional chefs.
The festival also offers a chance to see the skipjack Rosie Parks,a sailing workboat that once dredged the Chesapeake for oysters, during its historic three-year restoration at the museum. The skipjack was built in 1955 by the legendary Dorchester County boatbuilder, Bronza Parks, whose distinctive style of boatbuilding continues to be recognized throughout the region. Named after their mother, the boat was built for Bronza’s brother, Captain Orville Parks, who oyster dredged her through the 1970s. The skipjack restoration project remains in full public view at the museum through 2013.
In addition to the museum’s floating fleet of historic vessels, the Talbot County Watermen’s Association (TCWA) will have several boats dockside to help share the stories of how oyster dredging, hand tonging, patent tonging, and oyster diving have been longtime traditions of the Chesapeake Bay. TCWA volunteers will also be serving freshly caught and shucked Chesapeake Bay oysters. Hatchery-raised raw oysters and fried oyster sandwiches will also be available. For those who prefer to celebrate oysters rather than eat them, pit beef, hot dogs, and hamburgers, along with cold beer, caramel apples, warm apple cider, and more will be offered.
Festival-goers can take part in or just watch an oyster slurping contest, while others enjoy sampling oyster stew by local restaurants and chefs beginning at 11am and while the limited tastings last. The stew competition takes place along the museum’s Fogg’s Cove side of campus, with bragging rights awarded to the chef who gets the most votes among participants. Local restaurants will also perform cooking demonstrations of signature oyster dishes throughout the day. This year’s event features special cooking demonstrations by Culinary Ambassador of the Chesapeake Bay and on-air personality John Shields, who will be available at the event for book signings.
CBMM’s OysterFest boasts plenty of family-friendly, educational, and fun waterfront activities designed to help kids get to know the oyster and how important the bivalve is to the Chesapeake Bay. You can explore an oyster nursery, learn how oysters clean the Bay by building your own filter, participate in a scavenger hunt or face painting, or watch dip-net making and knot-tying demonstrations. Build-a-boat activities provided by the Model Guild will be available for a $3 fee.
The event is sponsored by Maryland Public Television, with its documentary Chesapeake by Air screened in the Van Lennep Auditorium during the event. The documentary captures the unparalleled wild beauty, history, and natural serenity of the Bay, all from above. Festival-goers can explore the Museum’s exhibit buildings, including Oystering on the Chesapeake and Waterman’s Wharf, where visitors can try their hand at tonging or nippering for oysters. CBMM’s bugeye, Edna E. Lockwood, an 1889 log-bottomed oyster dredge boat and National Historic Landmark, will be dockside on display.
Admission to OysterFest is free for CBMM members and children five years and under, otherwise it’s $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $6 for children between the ages of six and 17. Food and boat rides are an additional cost. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org/oysterfest or call 410-745-2916.
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OysterFest_01.jpg (Photo by Tracey Munson)
Scenic boat rides on the Museum's buyboat Mister Jim are offered at OysterFest.
OysterFest_02.jpg (Photo by Tracey Munson)
CBMM_OF11_TalbotWatermenVertical.jpg (Photo by Tracey Munson)
The Talbot County Watermen's Association serves oysters on the half shell and steamed.
CBMM_OF11_EducationOyster.jpg (Photo by Tracey Munson)
CBMM Director of Education Kate LIvie discusses the critical importance of oysters in relation to the health of the Chesapeake Bay.