By Ryan Russo
Lobster rolls, clam chowder, and locally brewed craft beers! All this and more at the Town of Oyster Bay’s 40th Annual Oyster Festival. Thousands of people from all over Long Island and New York City packed into Teddy Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay this past weekend for fun for the whole family.
A day at the Oyster Fest is filled with activities, but the main attraction is the food. The famous food experience includes a packed parking lot of vendors selling everything from truffle cheesesteaks, oysters, and other seafood to corn on the cob on a stick. After all this savory goodness, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with zeppole, fried Oreos, and much more.
Five Towns student Kyle Martinez explained what he most looks forward to at the Oyster Fest. “I probably look forward to the food the most. There are an incredible amount of options, but to me, there’s only one. I’d wait for hours for an Oyster Fest lobster roll.”
However, eating is just one of many things to do, as the park also exhibits a petting zoo, thrift shops, face painting booths, and carnival rides and games. Local festival-goer James Losee stated, “I’ve been going to the Oyster Festival since I was born, which is over 20 years. I think I’ve played the basketball game every year and have only won it once or twice.” As you can tell, this is one of the more challenging games included. Many tried and failed, and only a few went home with a stuffed animal or a basketball as a prize.
The festival had live performances from local bands and multiple oyster-eating contests. And even though Oyster Fest closes at 6 pm, the fun didn’t end. West Main Street in Oyster Bay was closed to traffic and filled with antique booths, more games from local sponsors, and famous fried pickle stands. The strip’s bars and restaurants remained open, like Teddy’s Bully Bar, The Oyster Bay Brewery, and the newly founded Wine Line.
Though the Oyster Fest technically ended at 6 pm, the excitement didn’t stop in Oyster Bay until after midnight!