Which of the Mid-Atlantic's oyster festivals and roasts will you attend this season?

Which of the Mid-Atlantic's oyster festivals and roasts will you attend this season?

Raw, steamed, roasted, fried, or mixed into stews or other recipes, oysters are staples along the East Coast and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Fall brings a host of oyster festivals, roasts, and other events that put the delectable bivalve front and center for enjoyment. Many benefit local communities, as well.

The Mid-Atlantic waterways’ variations in salinity levels produce a wide variety of oysters with different tastes to enjoy. Virginia’s Oyster Country — Lancaster, Middlesex, and Gloucester counties — Virginia’s Northern Neck, and the Eastern Shore help make the state the East Coast’s largest producer of wild- caught and farm-raised oysters.

Maryland and North Carolina celebrate the oyster and the watermen who harvest them with their own events, too.

Here is a roundup of oyster events, many of which also include music, crafts, vendors, and opportunities to learn about oysters and aquaculture programs.


Oyster Academy

September–November Fridays and Saturdays

Tides Inn, Irvington, Va. tidesinn.com

Bay-to-table experience, including a morning excursion with an authentic working Virginia waterman, lunch, and a culinary demonstration by an experienced gourmet seafood chef.

Stratford Hall Wine and Oyster Festival

Sept. 15–16

Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.;

Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Stratford stratfordhall.org

Virginia wines and oysters from Chesapeake Bay and Tidewater oyster growers, plus a variety of seafood. Plenty of distinctive crafts, craft distilleries, food, and children’s activities. Free tours, as well.

Oyster Roast

Sept. 8

Deltaville Maritime Museum, Deltaville deltavillemuseum.com/events  

Classic oyster roast and dance.

Gloucester Wine Fest

Sept. 22

Gloucester oystergardener.org

Half shell and wine tasting.

Guinea Jubilee

Sept. 28–29

Rotary Club Grounds, Bena

Guinea celebrates with seafood, bands, and cultural activities.

Urbanna Wine an Oyster Stroll

Oct. 13

Urbanna urbanna.com/events

Stroll the town for intimate oyster- and wine-tasting experiences and live music.

Chesapeake Academy Community Oyster Roast

Oct. 13

Irvington chesapeakeacademy.org

Abingdon Rurita Seafood Festival

Oct. 17

Bena abingdonruritanclub.com/seafood-festival
All the seafood you can eat, barbeque, music, and dancing.

City Center Oyster Roast

Oct. 19

Fountain Plaza, Newport News citycenteratoysterpoint.com/events

Everything oyster, plus other local seafood, music, and craft beer.

Morattico Oyster Roast

Oct. 20

Morattico Waterfront Museum, Morattico morattico.org
Tickets guarantee a seat for raw and roasted oysters and other seafood.

Holly Point Art and Seafood Festival

Oct. 20

Deltaville Maritime Museum, Deltaville deltavillemuseum.com/events

Urbanna Oyster Festival

Nov. 2–3

Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Urbanna urbannaoysterfestival.com
The official oyster festival of the commonwealth. More than 50,000 attendees walk the streets of Urbanna for everything “oyster.” Parades, arts, oyster-shucking contest, children’s activities, wine and beer tastings.

Shuckin’ & Jivin’ Oyster Roast

Nov. 10

Mary Ball Washington Museum, Lancaster mbwm.org
Oysters, Lancaster stew, and other fare, plus music and tours of historic buildings.

Virginia Living Museum Oyster Roast

Nov. 10

Newport News thevlm.org Rappahannock oysters, fried seafood, chowder, craft beers, wine, and music.

Fall Oyster Crawl on the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail

Nov. 11–12


Sample wine and a variety of oyster specialties in tasting rooms at the trail’s participating wineries.

Taste by the Bay

Nov. 17

Tides Inn, Irvington tastebythebay.com

Sample wine, food, arts, and ale on the grounds of this beautiful resort. Music and artisan vendors, too.

Greenbrier Farms Oyster and South Fest

Nov. 17

Chesapeake historicgreenbrierfarms.com

Setting a thankful tone for celebrating the community.


Across the Chesapeake Bay esvaoysters.com
Virginia’s Eastern Shore also celebrates the oyster.

Eastern Shore’s Own Craft Beer and Music Festival

Sept. 8

Belle Haven

Eastern Shore seafood and craft beer from 35 breweries.

Chili-Chowder Cook-off

Sept. 29


Check out competitors’ chili or seafood concoctions and enjoy a car show.

Brew-N-Que (and Oysters Too!)

Sept. 29

Sunset Beach Resort, Cape Charles

Local oysters and a professional barbeque competition, plus craft beer tastings.

Chincoteague Oyster Festival

Oct. 6


Tickets sell out quickly for this event, where oysters are prepared every way you can imagine.

Exmore Rotary Soule Arnold Oyster Roast

Oct. 19


Roasted oysters, steamed clams, creamy clam chowder, and barbeque, too.

Island House Oyster Roast

Nov. 3


Roasted oysters, pulled pork, live entertainment, and a harbor view.

Saxis Island Oyster Roast

Nov. 3


An unusual indoor oyster roast that also features clam chowder and fried clam strips.

Terrior & Merrior Oyster Extravaganza

Nov. 10

Chatham Vineyards, Machipongo virginiawineandbrine.com
See how location affects both oysters and wine with tastings of six different Eastern Shore oysters, plus clam chowder and acoustic music.

Ducks Unlimited Oyster Roast

Nov. 17

Barrier Island Center, Machipongo

Roasted oysters, clams, and pork barbeque.

Cape Charles Historical Society Oyster Roast

Nov. 24

Cape Charles Museum, Cape Charles
Raw and roasted oysters are the star, but you can get clam chowder and fried chicken, too.

Chowder Cook-off

Dec. 9

Cape Charles

Get a taste of the best chowder from local restaurants while enjoying Chesapeake Bay views from the Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery.


Maryland Seafood Festival

Sept. 8–9

Sandy Point State Park abcevents.com Outdoor celebration of Maryland seafood with great views of the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Oyster and Wine Fest

Sept. 22–23

National Harbor oysterwinefest.com Top-rated wines paired with wild and farm-raised oysters and a wide selection of seafood dishes.


Oct. 27

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels cbbm.org
Celebrating the oyster with seafood, oyster demonstrations, live music on two stages, and the relaunch of the 1889 bugeye sailboat Edna E. Lockwood with her new log-hull bottom.

U.S. Oyster Festival

Oct. 20-21

Leonardtown usoysterfest.com
The 52nd annual national oyster shucking championship and cook-off. Taste the dishes and enjoy the excitement.


Oink and Oyster Roast

Oct. 6

Kitty Hawk oinkandoyster.org
Fresh oysters, barbeque, and all the fixings.

Rock & Roast

Oct. 13–14

Corolla mustangmusicfestival.com

Oysters and music from more than seven bands on Saturday and a barbeque cook-off with a different seven bands on Sunday.

Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Oct. 20

Nags Head outerbanksseafoodfestival.org Celebrating the importance of North Carolina’s coastal seafood industry with the offerings of a dozen restaurants and six beverage producers.

Big Currishuck

Nov. 24

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg sanctuaryvineyards.com

Steamed oysters and crabs along with barbeque, music, and wine and beer sampling.

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