All You Need to Know About the Wellfleet OysterFest

oystersThe Wellfleet OysterFest is an annual celebration of the town’s famous oysters, clams and its deep-rooted shellfishing traditions. At this wonderful family event, the town center comes alive for two days with a festival that brings together both locals and visitors from near and far for a weekend of incredible food, fun, music, art and games. There’s so much to see and do!

This year’s OysterFest will be held on October 15th and 16th, 2016!

Throughout the weekend, local shellfishermen and women come in off the flats to offer their briny, luscious oysters and clams. Alongside the raw bars, restaurants will serve up delicious chowders, stuffed clams, and other traditional New England fare. Culinary programs and cooking demonstrations will feature local chefs cooking with local ingredients, including the Wellfleet oyster, throughout the weekend. Enjoy New England beers and ales – considered classic accompaniments to oysters. Locally made wine is offered, too!

Local musicians will be on hand each day, all day, playing everything from bluegrass and rock, and other family-fun music and performances. Additionally, over 80 artisans and artists show off a stunning range of arts and crafts including handmade jewelry, pottery, ceramics, clothing, paintings, photography, furniture, and more.

The Oyster Shuck-Off is, by far, the festival’s most popular attraction! Round one takes place on Saturday afternoon and the final shuck-off will be on Sunday. Amateurs compete for the fun of it, and some of Wellfleet’s home-town shuckers have been fast enough to go on to compete nationally. Cash prizes are offered for the top three winners. As the OysterFest strives to be a “green event” by recycling as much as possible but, all of the oyster and clam shells are recycled.

Kids’ activities are offered in an area set aside especially for them. The Family Fun area is located in the garden behind Wellfleet Preservation Hall. Kids can enjoy music, craft activities and the ever-popular moon bounce. The Wellfleet Recreation Department holds a “fun run” just for kids and the Wellfleet Public Library‘s Spelling Bee has a special round just for kids, as well.

The festival includes educational talks, panel discussions and film screenings presented by top experts in the marine sciences on current research and issues that affect our environment. There will also be nature walks, oyster grant tours, and so much more.

Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Parking for the event is available at the town beach parking lots with frequent shuttle service to the town center. Be aware that most municipal lots and private businesses charge a fee for parking. Free parking with walking access to the event is available at Wellfleet Elementary School, Cove Corner on Route 6 and the Mayo Beach parking area. All main festival areas are handicap-accessible.

The OysterFest is sponsored by Wellfleet SPAT (Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc.), a nonprofit organization devoted to sustaining Wellfleet’s shellfishing and aquaculture industries. The festival is also supported by individual contributors, local businesses and hundreds of volunteers.

This incredible event will take place, rain or shine, and visitors should dress for cool fall weather. Pets (other than service animals) and outside alcohol are not allowed. The entrance fee is $10 per day, per
person. Some satellite events, such as cooking demonstrations, require a separate fee. All children’s activities are free. For more event information, visit

By Ann Luongo
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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