Wellfleet Oysterfest in October
On the third weekend in October, the Wellfleet Oysterfest is a celebration of food, games, art, music, and fun right in Wellfleet’s TownCenter. Locals and visitors take part in all the activities revolving around Wellfleet’s famous oysters, with shucking competitions giving competitors a chance to see how fast they can shuck 24 oysters. Approximately 20,000 people attend the Wellfleet Oysterfest each year.
Food & Drink
At the Wellfleet Oysterfest, locals bring out their best oysters, clams and other shellfish for visitors to enjoy. Different kinds of seafood and New England fare are featured, with chowders and stuffed clams two of the offerings from local restaurants.
Local brews are brought to the festival to complement the Wellfleet Oysters and other seafood. Wine, champagne and other spirits also are offered to complement your choice of seafood.
Arts & Crafts
Over 100 artists and artisans are selected to display their work, which ranges from sweaters and paintings to jams and jewelry. This arts & crafts festival compliments the other activities of the Wellfleet Oysterfest.
With all these local artists displaying their talents, visitors get a good sense of the rich history of Wellfleet and its love for the arts.
Competition & Games
At the Wellfleet Oysterfest, a shucking competition is held each year to determine which competitor is the best at shucking 24 oysters.
Commercial fishermen, chefs and other best of the best shuckers engage in fierce competition for the crowd to enjoy. Some unbelievable times have won, with individuals shucking 24 oysters in under two minutes!
There are rules, with penalties for broken shells, destroyed oysters and blood from those shucking the oysters. The penalties add time to the final time for participants.
While amateur shuckers may compete for fun, those who take it more seriously may move on to national competitions if they qualify. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three winners.
Other games include the Oysterfest spelling bee, a 5k adult road race and a tennis round robin,
Educational & Family Activities
During the Wellfleet Oysterfest numerous educational presentations are held, including film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, and cooking demos, which cover everything you want to know about oysters and other shellfish.
Family fun activities are scheduled throughout the festival weekend, including dancing, singing, face painting, moon bounces to provide ample entertainment for kids!
SPAT stands for “Shellfish Promotion and Tasting” and is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding of Wellfleet’s shell fishing industry. The organization is named after spat, which is an oyster in its early stages of life as a free-swimming larva.
According to SPAT, of the 120,000 oysters and 25,000 clams that were shucked during the 2013 Wellfleet Oysterfest, 91% of the shells were recycled back into the ocean.
With events and seminars, SPAT teaches the rich history of Wellfleet and its ties to shellfish and the arts. Any proceeds go towards the Wellfleet Oysterfest, SPAT’s educational mission and its scholarship program.
The back bone of the Wellfleet Oysterfest is its team of volunteers that helps with the year to year planning and operations. From the dedicated volunteer Board of Directors to the hundreds of volunteers during the festival, every effort makes a difference.
Volunteers take on many different roles, including ticket sales and vendor support. Educational program assistance and marketing are other jobs for which volunteers may be responsible.
For such a large event that requires a lot of planning and hard work, volunteers not only get to experience the festival but be the festival. Volunteering at the Wellfleet Oysterfest can be a memorable experience that is fun and rewarding.
Without the hard work of the volunteers, the shucking competition, educational presentations and all the other fun activities at the festival would not be possible.