By day, Oyster Bay bustles as the seat of the township; most nights, it's a pretty quiet place.
By Saturday, it will be Long Island's biggest "city."
Some 200,000 people are again expected to attend the 29th Oyster Festival on Saturday and Sunday, one of Long Island's premier outdoor festivals, a two-day waterfront party of crafts, food, shows a tall ship and midway rides.
Some of the highlights include:
- Three big tents will contain handmade crafts.
- Hearty pirate treasure hunts, complete with "pirates" flying the Jolly Roger.
- Musical performances from a range of artists, pleasing to young and old.
- Midway rides and an exotic petting zoo. These cost money.
- Tens of thousands of oysters, served raw or cooked in all variety of their forms. Many other foods and snacks are available for sale in the massive food court.
Proceeds from the rides and merchandise sales will be donated to the charities supported by the Oyster Bay Rotary Club, the event's local sponsor, throughout the year.
Local charities have been serving up fresh seafood, ethnic culinary delights and traditional American fare to the ever growing crowds for nearly three decades. Profits from food court sales stay with the local non-profit organization that sold the food item to help fund programming, organizers said.
The food assortment is a remarkable mix of seafood (many varieties beyond Oysters are available) and international cuisine. This year also includes a coffee bar.
The famed FDNY fireboat John J. Harvey is making a return appearance. The tall ship Peacemaker will also be on hand.
Admission and parking is free, as are most of the activities. There is no adequate parking near the site. Drivers park in remote lots along the Route 106 corridor and are bussed in and out of the festival.
See the location of the free lots and directions from various points here.
The LIRR also runs trains to and from the festival; the platform places you right in the midway.
Audrey Avenue and Shore Avenue, the principal routes into Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, are closed and occupied by vendors.