The Downtown Annapolis Partnership is bringing back the popular Annapolis Oyster Fest sponsored by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to help boost sales for local restaurants, Maryland’s watermen, and to welcome every back to Annapolis March 6-19. This event also supports the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to raise funds for Chesapeake Bay restoration projects including shell recycling and oyster restoration efforts.
The restaurants in the downtown Annapolis area will feature a wide variety of oyster dishes including oyster Rockefeller, oyster po’boys, oyster shooters, and raw and grilled oysters on the half shell. A few of the restaurants have already announced some of their oyster menu items including:
- Blackwall Hitch – fried local Oysters on the half shell, roasted corn salsa, cherry pepper remoulade, and pickled Fresno chili
- Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs – specials on Local Oysters on the 1/2 shell, Oyster Rockefeller, and Oyster Chesapeake
- Harry Browne’s Restaurant – baked Oysters with chorizo and melted mozzarella and Oysters on the half shell
- Luna Blu Ristorante Italiano – baked local Oysters with leeks, parmesan & bacon with a dash of cayenne
- Latitude 38 Waterfront – local Oysters raw, smoked, and Rockefeller Style
- McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar – local raw Oysters specials, Oysters Rockefeller, grilled Oysters, fried Oysters, and Oyster Po’Boy
- Middleton Tavern and Stan and Joe’s Saloon will have Happy Hour Oyster specials
You will find another dozen restaurants posting their oyster special menu items at www.AnnapolisOysterFest.com.
To add some fun to the event the Downtown Annapolis Partnership and the events sponsor Maryland Department of Agriculture will be giving away 100 dozen oysters during Annapolis Oyster Fest! To enter for a chance to win a dozen oysters just post a picture with you and oysters on Facebook or Instagram and tag #AnnapolisOysterFest
Oysters have been a local favorite for centuries and with modern oyster farms, you can now have fresh oysters year-round in Annapolis. With most oysters consumed in restaurants, these past few years have been particularly tough for local oyster farms as restaurants had to cut back indoor seating capacity. The slow down in sales has not only impacted the restaurants and waterman, but it also affects the Chesapeake Bay. Most oyster shells from restaurants are recycled and used for establishing new oyster beds in the bay and its tributaries. The event is hoping to also raise funds on its website for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s oyster restoration efforts.
“This event supports our local restaurants, suppliers, waterman, and the environment,” says Erik Evans, the Executive Director of the Downtown Annapolis Partnership who partnered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Katchef Brothers, Visit Annapolis, and others in creating a marketing event to safely help several local industries recover from the past few years and to welcome everyone back to start dining out at local restaurants.
At the end of this event, the Downtown Annapolis Partnership will be launching Annapolis Restaurant Week (March 20-27) which will feature several new local restaurants along with many of your favorite established local restaurants offering special priced 2-course breakfast, 2-course lunch, and 3-course dinner deals. This is typically one of the most popular weeks to dine out in Annapolis.
During the final weekend of Annapolis Restaurant Week, the Four Rivers Heritage Area is also hosting Maryland Day Weekend (March 25-27) which will be hosting over 60 free and $1 events at local historical and cultural sites throughout Annapolis and Anne Arundel County including the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II docked in downtown Annapolis. Combining local events and dining should create an atmosphere where everyone will want to get back out and experience Annapolis.