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May 27, 2010 07:22 AM

Which Oyster Festival & Why?

Comments from those that attended previous...which if you could only pick 1

Milford CT
Norwalk CT
Duxbury MA
Wellfleet MA

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  1. Ok, I'll bite. I can only speak to the Wellfleet Oyster Fest and I love it. It's a wonderful small town festival that has no admission charge (Island Creek Oyster Fest is a one-day affair and it costs $50/ticket). At Wellfleet, you just pay for whatever you buy. Wellfleet oysters?? They don't come any better (sorry, Duxbury!). The oysters are $1 each. Great food, beer and wine, local vendors selling wares from homemade chocolate to jewelry to art to pottery to clothing and on and on. There are great live bands and an old fashioned shucking contest (with qualifying heats!). The entire downtown is transformed into a pedestrian street fair. Pedestrian as in "people on foot", rather than "boring and dull"! It's all outdoors, so you pray for good weather. It has gotten very popular, FYI. Many accomodations are booked a year in advance. I love Cape Cod in the fall more than in the summer.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ciclista

      Can't speak for the MA festivals.
      In CT, I guess I'd opt for the Norwalk fest.
      Though there's an admission charge, the food has always been better organized and tastier, and the headlining entertainment far superior to Milford. Norwalk's festival spans 3 days - Milford's is only one.

      1. re: GatorMan

        Absolutely, the oysters seem secondary to the arts and crafts vendiors in Milford. Norwalk is more about the food.

        1. re: bagelman01

          ive never heard of norwalk or milford oysters.duxbury is on the ocean,better.ive had alot of wellfleets,a truely great oyster,im guessing wellfleet would be the best.

            1. re: taboo

              Norwalk's fest is usually the 2nd weekend of September.
              Milford's is about the 3rd weekend in August.

            2. re: im hungry

              both Milford and Norwalk are harbor towns on the Long Island Sound. The area near Milford has been oyster grounds for centuries.

              The OP questioned the festival, not a specific variety of oyster, so that is why I explained that the Milford festival suffers from an over emphasis on the craft vendors.

              That being said, I'll be there anyway, for the oysters, not the craft tents.

              1. re: bagelman01

                We went to the Norwalk festival last year and were hard pressed to find fried oysters there. There was a huge barbecue competition and some very good barbecue vendors. Also many other food vendors (lobster seemed as popular as the barbecue). We finally found one place to buy fried oysters, and found them expensive and disappointing.

                1. re: junescook

                  I guess I would also recommend Norwalk over Milford to a first time visitor because there's much more to see and do in the general vicinty of the park where the festival is held. It's right on the water, and across the bridge from a slew of shops and restaurants in downtown SoNo, in addition to the Maritime Center. Not much in downtown Milford other than some good eating spots (and if you're going to eat at the festival, they may not intrigue you).

              2. re: im hungry

                Im Hungry. there is no oyster named Norwalk. Instead, try "Blue Point." an Atlantic oyster that is as highly regarded as Welfleet. Norwak has a centuries old tradition in the oyster trade and is one of the great oyster towns on the East Coast. It is directly on LI Sound... a renowned bed for oysters.

                That said I've always been disappointed in the Norwalk Oyster festival. It is driven by the entertainmen rathert than the mollusks. It seems there is only one stand (run and manned by a local non-profit). So the shucking and service can be a bit slow and the wait long. The other food is no better than a street fair. Also the traffic is a nightmare and parking and taking a shuttle can be up to an hour each way.

                Hopefully the Wellfleet festival is more oyster-centric . I may have to give it a try this fall..