A 25 minute ride from Plainview will get you to one of the premier shorefront festivals on the East Coast this weekend.
The 28th annual Oyster Festival is this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, along the waterfront of historic Oyster Bay.The event is held rain or shine.
From great food to boat tours, carnival rides and craft fairs, this outdoor waterfront festival is considered the largest of its kind on the East Coast. It draws thousands of people, some of whom arrive via special LIRR trains to Oyster Bay Station.
Start your journey by stopping at the Capital One Welcome tent by Firemen's Field where the shuttle drops you off. Pick up a map, find out about star attractions, and get the times of all performances. Be sure to have your portrait taken and leave with your free souvenir photo resembling their mascot, a Visigoth.
Work up an appetite by walking back to Audrey Avenue, stopping along the way to check out the sidewalk antiques sale, meet members of the charities that benefit from the Oyster Festival, and say hello to local shop owners.
Once finished, turn around and head back to the end of Shore Avenue to the amusement park and arcade. After a Ferris wheel ride and some games of chance, cross the railroad tracks and be greeted by the wafting aromas from 60 different foodstuffs created by 25 local charities at the Tom Reardon Memorial Food Court, located within the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park lot.
Besides the obligatory oysters on the half shell, sample some seafood sliders, oyster stew, bay scallops, clam fritters, crab rolls, lobster bisque, seafood gumbo, as well as a plethora of International fare.
For those who have an appreciation of arts and crafts, within the same parking lot on the west side you will find 120 artisans selling hand crafted wares in a designated pavilion.
There are several major seafaring vessels on hand and available for tours, including a U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Bollard, the Privateer LYNX tall ship, and the famous John J. Harvey fireboat.
There are two staging areas to check out free live entertainment:
1. The Main Stage can be found in the northern most corner of the parking lot in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. Starting at 11:30am, you can hear the sounds of High Strung, Jerome Bell, Pearl Street Band, Charlie Dane, and The Electrix, respectively, about every hour ending at 6pm. The following day will be Trone, Turnpike Joe and the Traffic jam, Todd Miham and Downside Joyride, The Legendary Murphys, and New Dawn.
2. For arts, entertainment, and contests go to the West End Stage, located on West End Avenue south of the petting zoo. Come view the Island Xtreme Cheerleading Team, the Oyster Eating & Shucking Contest, Jungle Bob and his creatures, and the Long Island High School for the Arts. Most of these performances will be held both days.
Over 200,000 are expected to turn out for this annual event so taking alternate transportation is recommended. The free shuttle bus at the Syosset train station will be picking up passengers on the northeast side of the parking lot, courtesy of Cold Spring Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.
When: October 15 and 16, from 11am until 6pm
Where: Audrey Avenue, Shore Avenue, and West End Avenue, Oyster Bay
Most activities are free
Parking: is extremely limited in the hamlet of Oyster Bay. Many parking lots are available along Route 106 on the way into town where shuttle buses ferry visitors to the waterfront.