The Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay is a local tradition, drawing in over 150,000 attendees to the ocean on the north shore of Long Island. The festival is known for its “shuck-offs,” where men see who can shuck the fastest — their job is oyster — and various oyster-eating contests. To this day, one man still holds the record he set in 1998 for the most oysters consumed, having slurped down 480 of them in two minutes and five seconds, winning himself $50 and a plaque we can only assume says “Holy shit, dude.”
Oysters, fresh and shucked onsite, are the main attraction of the festival, with everything from oyster stew and fried oysters to the classic raw oyster option — served in the shell with various toppings and sauces — available. However, there are plenty of other options to choose from if that image of hundreds of oysters nauseated you, including steak sandwiches, Belgian waffles, seafood quesadillas, crab cakes, pulled pork sandwiches and lobster rolls. In addition to food, the festival hosts live music, with some of this year’s acts include jam band The Electrix, That 90’s Band (you can guess what they’ll be playing), a children’s music group, and man described as being “on the pulse” DJ Theo — hopefully he means your pulse should you decide to compete in any food contests.
- The Oyster Festival attracts over 150,000 visitors each year.
- Entry to the festival itself is free, however, some individual events may be ticketed and vary in price. Food and drinks are not included and are purchased individually.
- Visiting New York? Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to the state here and a hotel recommendation for the festival.
Where is the nearest airport?
LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) are equidistant from the festival grounds, each about 27 miles and a 45-minute drive away.
Where’s the festival happening?
The festival takes place at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, Long Island, located about an hour outside of New York City.
Will there be music? I can only eat oysters with live music.
Yes. The festival hosts live music in addition to artisan markets, carnival rides, a petting zoo, treasure hunts, and more entertainment for all ages. So far, musical acts in attendance will include DJ Belal, The Electrix, DJ Theo, That 90s Band, and Rebecca Wygand from Kapica Kid’s Music.
Is Oyster Fest a family event?
Yes, this event is open to all ages.