WHO: The Wellfleet OysterFest is brought to you by Wellfleet SPAT, Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc., a non-profit organization chartered in 2002. SPAT is devoted to sustaining Wellfleet’s shellfishing and aquaculture industries. The festivities are generously supported by individual contributors, local businesses and hundreds of fantastic volunteers who donate their time to make the OysterFest an incredible success each year.
WHAT: The Wellfleet OysterFest is an annual celebration of the town’s famous oysters, clams and its deep-rooted shellfishing traditions. Wellfleet’s town center comes alive for this two-day family festival that brings together locals and visitors for a weekend full of food, art, music, fun and games. Sorry, no pets or outside alcohol allowed. All bags are subject to search.
WHEN: The ‘Fest happens annually the weekend after Columbus Day, – October 15 & 16, 2016. Please check the Schedule of Activities for Main Street activities which take place on Saturday and Sunday, and Around Town for additional activities starting Friday, October 14th.
WHERE: The main action happens in the center of town, on Main Street in Wellfleet, located on Cape Cod. There are lots of fun and educational activities at various locations all around town. Check the Schedule of Activities and Around Town for more information.
WHY: Each year, SPAT creates educational activities designed to improve knowledge and awareness of area shellfishing traditions and techniques. Proceeds from these activities and the ‘Fest fund the organization’s educational mission which includes a local college scholarship program, community grant awards and initiatives to support Wellfleet’s shellfishing and aquaculture industries. To date, SPAT has given more than $380,000 back to the local community.
WEATHER: The OysterFest goes on rain or shine! Dress for fall weather!
TO DO: There is something for everyone at the Wellfleet OysterFest. There’s music, storytelling, cooking demonstrations, nature walks, oyster grant tours and much more. Take a fun fall weekend get-away and experience:
- Local cuisine: Throughout the weekend, local shellfishermen and women come in off the flats to offer their briny, luscious oysters and clams. Alongside the rawbars, restaurants serve up chowders, stuffed clams, and other traditional New England fare. Check out participating food vendors here. Culinary programs and cooking demonstrations featuring local chefs cooking with local ingredients, of course including the Wellfleet oyster, are offered throughout the weekend. For more info, click here.
- Music: Cape Cod has a great local music scene, and that includes the OysterFest! Enjoy local musicians playing everything from bluegrass and rock, and other family-fun music and performances, happening all day throughout the ‘Fest. Click here for the Entertainment Schedule.
- New England brews: Enjoy New England beers and ales – considered classic accompaniments to oysters. Locally made wine is offered too!
- Beautiful arts and crafts: Over 80 carefully selected artisans and artists show off a stunning range of arts and crafts including handmade jewelry, pottery, ceramics, clothing, paintings, photography, furniture, and more. Find more info about participating artists here.
- Competitive fun: Wellfleet’s Recreation Department organizes a 5K road race and a Tennis Round Robin. Test your spelling skills in the marine-themed spelling bee, held at the Wellfleet Public Library! Click here for more info.
- Oyster Shuck-Off: The OysterFest’s most popular attraction! Round one on Saturday afternoon and the final shuck-off 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 for the top three winners. Interested in competing? Click here for more info.
- Recycling: The OysterFest strives to be a “green event” by recycling as much as possible, but most importantly all of the oyster and clam shells. It’s one of the most important things we do. Click here to learn more about our Oyster Shell Recycling or click here to Volunteer to help!
- Family Fun: Children revel in an area set aside especially for them. The Family Fun area is located in the garden behind Wellfleet Preservation Hall. There is music, craft activities and the ever-popular moonbounce. 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 too! Click here for more info.
- Lots to learn: The ‘Fest 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. Click here to learn more!
- Community Partnerships: Come enjoy lively, hands-on exhibits presented by Non-Profit Organizations in order to raise awareness about their important missions. Find a complete list of Non-Profit Participants here.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFO:
- Cost: Tickets for entry into the ‘Fest are $10 per day. All food and retail items are priced individually. Some satellite events such as the cooking demonstrations require an additional fee. All activities for children are free. Click here to purchase tickets now!
- Alcohol: No outside alcohol is permitted. All bags are subject to search.
- Pets: Pets – except for service animals – pets are prohibited in the ‘Fest.
- Parking: Strolling replaces car traffic on Main Street from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Parking is available at the town beach parking lots with frequent shuttle service to town center from 9:30 am until 5:30pm. Please be advised that most of the municipal lots and private businesses charge a fee for parking. Free parking with walking access to the ‘Fest is located at the Wellfleet Elementary School on Lawrence Rd., Cove Corner on Route 6 and the Mayo Beach Parking Area. Click here for more information.
- Accessibility: All main festival areas are handicap accessible. Handicap parking is available in the Mayo Beach parking area with free handicap accessible shuttle to and from Main Street. In the main festival area, one handicap accessible restroom is available in the parking lot across Wellfleet Preservation Hall with three additional restrooms located behind the food tents in Town Hall parking lot. Drivers are permitted and encouraged to drop off persons in wheelchairs at either entrance and park cars in any of the available lots. OysterFest staff or Wellfleet Police will assist upon request. Click here for more information.