If you just can’t get enough of Wellfleet’s fresh oysters and clams, you won’t want to miss out on this year’s Wellfleet OysterFest. Planned for Saturday and Sunday, October 17-18, this two-day festival is family-friendly, honoring the traditional shellfish, clams and oysters found in this part of the region. This popular annual festival commonly brings in thousands of locals and visitors to the area every year.
You’ll find just about anything you want at the festival, from arts and crafts to cooking demonstrations, walking tours, a road race and live music. The festival also includes the opportunity to sample local cuisine, plus some educational programs and some activities just for kids like face painting, pumpkin painting, oyster jewelry making and inflatables. One of the most popular events of all, though, is the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition. There’s also a spelling bee along with film screenings and more. The 5K-road race is planned to kick off early Sunday morning.
Along with oysters to sample, you’ll also find lobster, clam chowder, fish tacos and items like fish and chips for sale. In addition, there are plenty of dessert vendors selling everything from cookies and pretzels to cotton candy and hot apple cider.
Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc. puts on OysterFest. Also referred to as SPAT, this non-profit works to help sustain the Wellfleet area’s aquaculture and shell fishing industries. SPAT works in conjunction with the Town of Wellfleet, plus with the support and help from area shell fishermen, businesses and volunteers.
Proceeds from OysterFest go to help fund SPAT’s educational mission. This includes community grant awards, a local program for college scholarships and initiatives aimed at supporting the aquaculture and shell fishing industries. Already, SPAT has given the local community back more than $340,000.
Donations are currently being accepted. You can also purchase tickets to the 2015 OysterFest. A single day ticket is $5, while a two-day ticket is priced at $8. Kids ages 12 and younger are free to attend. In addition, there are cooking demonstrations and book signings available that come for an additional fee, as well as an educational seminar planned for Saturday night.
Parking is sometimes tricky, but there are some pay lots available as well as free shuttle service from area lots, running every 20 minutes or so. The festival begins at 10am on Saturday with the family fun area opening at 11am. The entire festival wraps up for the year on Sunday at 5pm.