Oyster Fest 2015
This weekend was the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay, NY. It was also two of the coldest days since last winter. Gorgeous and sunny, but very chilly. The chill didn't stop the crowds - parking was tough and the food court lines were long.
Oyster Bay's Oyster Festival has it's roots in a homecoming celebration for President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy's family summered in Oyster Bay: Sagamore Hill is one of my all-time favorite places. Since then, it has morphed into the East Coast's largest waterfront festival. And it truly is humongous - blocks and blocks of vendors, shows, attractions, food, rides, etc.
I went to high school in Oyster Bay, but I hadn't been to the Oyster Festival in years and years. Joe was excited to show me around and we had a lovely time. I even won a Monster energy drink at the Pole Position booth, hah! The myriad food booths were the best part. Although we're not too into seafood (and I don't think I could ever stomach an oyster!), there were a ton of other options.
Joe wasn't able to get a turkey leg in Disney earlier this year - and hasn't forgotten about it since - so our first stop in the food court was the turkey leg booth. Our first 45 minutes in the food court was spent on line for a turkey leg, as a matter of fact. Those legs are certainly popular. I opted for the guacamole on tostada shells, which i was able to get, and eat, with time to spare while on the leg line.
Wild Bill's Old Fashioned Soda Pop Co. had a fun booth with an expensive mug and free refills. My favorite was the Sarsaparilla Six-Shooter soda and Joe mixed the Outlaw Orange and Vintage Vanilla Cream. The line for the fried oreos nearly rivaled the turkey legs, but don't worry, we got some of those, too. One of the vendors was selling a handful of different bacon & chocolate snacks, and we got the least expensive, most straight forward chocolate covered bacon bites, but neither of us were fans.
There were a few stages - three, I think - throughout the festival. There was a really good cover band doing Billy Joel and Fleetwood Mac songs (etc). There was the Oyster Eating Contest stage (which was incredibly popular!). And there was a third stage near the food court with a few musical acts. We saw one guy playing solo while we were milling around the food.
One of the main attractions of the event was Mama Duck, the world's largest rubber duck, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Mama Duck was quite large and quite cute, but that's it, really. Other attractions included carnival rides, Chris Clark bike stunts, a pirate show, fire boat, boat race, and some that I'm sure I'm forgetting. One weirdly depressing attraction was Lil' Muffin, one of the world's smallest horses - "ALIVE" or you get $1,000.00. I felt bad for the little guy, but he seemed happy enough, munching away, minding his own business.
A few resident Oyster Bay attractions were open and participating in the festival, too. Joe was excited to show me 20th Century Cycles: Billy Joel's classic motorcyle garage. The showroom is filled to the brim with vintage bikes and paraphernalia. The Nazi replica motorcycle with sidecar and café racers and old gas pumps and vintage Harleys are super cool. Joe loves that all the bikes are plated and registered and ready to ride at any time.
I love the little train museum: The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum. They're moving in the next few months into the old historic, presidential Oyster Bay train station, and I'm sure there will be improvements to the exhibits. They had an interactive model of a diesel-engine, and a bunch of cool old railroad paraphernalia as well as a display about the Orphan Trains. I loved the poster from my year of birth celebrating 150 years of LIRR.
Lovely day on Long Island!