Oysters are a delicacy of the Chesapeake Bay region. Locals eat them raw, steamed, fried, grilled, baked, in casseroles, soups, stews, bisques, and even in drinks. While the bivalves can be eaten year round, they are the best in the colder months of September through April because during the warmer months oysters tend to be thinner due to devoting their energy to reproducing. To celebrate the beginning of prime oyster season in the Chesapeake Bay, festivals are planned across the region with activities from oyster shucking contests, to cook-offs. Check out a few of the oyster events below!

October 19th | 2nd Annual Shucktoberfest and Beer and Oyster Festival
Village at Shirlington
2700 S Quincy St, Arlington, VA

The 2nd Annual Shucktoberfest Beer and Oyster Festival is back and better than ever! Don’t miss out on Arlington’s best festival of the year! Shucktoberfest will include over forty craft beer tents, double the number of Oyster Tents from last year, local food & merchant vendors, family & pet-friendly activities, sectioned off kid zone, face painters, balloon artists, gaming zone, and more!

October 19th – 20th | U.S. Oyster Festival in St. Mary’s County

42455 Fairgrounds Rd, Leonardtown, MD

Celebrating the 53rd anniversary and the opening of the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster season. U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championships & National Oyster Cook-Off.

October 20th | Oyster Festival: History on the Halfshell
Agricultural and Industrial Museum
217 W. Princess St. York, PA

Save the date for the 45th Annual Oyster Festival at the Agricultural and Industrial Museum in York, PA on Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 11 am – 4 pm. Enjoy delicious seafood and non seafood fare, beer, wine and baked goods at this family friendly FREE event! It’s a fun family festival featuring gallery tours, artisan demonstrations, and live music in the rustic background of the Agricultural & Industrial Museum. Admission is free, parking is free, and food is a la carte. 

October 20th | Oyster Festival 
Early Mountain Vineyards
6109 Wolftown-Hood Rd, Madison, VA

Join Early Mountain Vineyards Sunday, October 20th from 12 pm to 5 pm for their Fall Oyster Festival, an afternoon of Virginia wines, soulful Americana rock from The Curry’s and fresh oysters sourced from the Eastern Shore. Early Mountain’s Executive Chef, Tim Moore, will provide a seasonal menu of crab cakes, fried oysters, clam chowder, and of course, freshly shucked oysters on the half shell. There will also be a wide variety of wines available for purchase, including several new releases.

October 20th | Captain Salem Avery Museum’s Oyster Festival 2019
1418 E West Shady Side Rd, Shady Side, MD

Relax by the Bay with music, food, and fun at Captain Avery Museum’s annual Oyster Festival on Sunday, October 20 from 12:30 -5. Voted Best Community Event of 2018 by readers of Bay Weekly, the festival that’s taking shape for 2019 is sure to be another winner!

October 26th | Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s OysterFest
213 N. Talbot St, St. Michaels, MD

Saturday, October 26, 2019 10 am- 4 pm, RAIN OR SHINE! Get ready to sip, slurp, and savor at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s OysterFest! CBMM’s OysterFest features oysters served a variety of ways, along with other local fare, craft beer, and spirits; live music on two stages, scenic river cruises aboard Winnie Estelle (weather dependent); an oyster stew competition; cooking presentations; Chesapeake Bay retriever and oystering demonstrations; children’s activities, and more.

November 1st – 2nd | Urbana Oyster Festival
Bethpage Camp-Resort | 679 Browns Ln, Urbanna, VA

Oysters, food of all types, entertainment, games, arts & crafts, Firemen’s Parade, Oyster Festival Parade, waterfront educational activities, boats, oyster shucking contest, carnival & pony rides, children’s activity area, Oyster Festival wine tasting, DJ, and much more. 

November 9th | Oyster Roast 2019
Virginia Living Museum
524 J Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA

Enjoy all-you-can-eat fresh local Virginia oysters, fried seafood, chowder, dessert buffet, craft beers, wine, full bar, DJ/live music, commemorative glass, raffles & more at the Virginia Living Museum’s eighth annual Oyster Roast.