Captain Avery Museum is preparing its 26th annual oyster festival, with this year’s waterfront gathering featuring good community company, fine regional music, an array of choice gifts for purchase, 50/50 raffle, local food and drink and the best oysters anywhere.
Come out for the festival and fundraiser — winner in the past of the prestigious Best of the Bay award for Community Events — Saturday, October 14, from 12:30-5, on Captain Avery’s broad green lawn on the banks of the West River in Shady Side.
Admission is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Children 12 and under are free.
There’s a reason to arrive early: The museum’s popular Choose It! program is back, first-come, first-serve for many delights. Festival-goers can snatch up one of many coveted gifts and entertainment offerings, including a gourmet Italian dinner, a family vacation on the Maine coast, an expert landscaping consultation — even a flying lesson.
This year’s array of items is offered by generous donors who value how Captain Avery Museum keeps us in touch with our roots in Anne Arundel County community and beyond.
“Thank you to all who share our vision. Now let’s live up to our reputation for one of the biggest and best fall festivals around,” said museum executive director Elaina Lill Uhl.
A large part of that vision is preserving the heritage of our community, deeply rooted in the home and land of legendary waterman Salem Avery, who helped transform a swampy, sparsely populated peninsula into what would become Shady Side in the late 19th century.
The Anne Arundel Watermen’s Association and the Project Oyster West River are among those taking part in educational displays and activities reflecting our heritage and sensitive environment.
There’s also a real cannon, games and crafts for kids, including face painting, fall pumpkin crafts, boat crafts, pumpkin bowling and pirate photos.
Whether or not you’re on hand, you can participate in the 50/50 raffle. Raffle tickets are sold online, and at Renno’s Quality Market in Shady Side. Raffle tickets are also sold at the festival.
Gary Wright, Leah Weiss and fellow musician Jimmy Jacobs will start performing American roots music, followed by The Eastman String Band’s heartfelt originals and soaring harmonies.
The menu includes raw and steamed oysters from shuckers, beer, wine, water, and soft drinks, and delicacies from the annual Avery bake sale, along with coffee and cider. Skipper’s Pier will serve food from their renowned menu, and Chesapeake Grille will have its crab soup, burgers, and hotdogs. Don’t forget to try locals’ favorite George Mixes Oyster Shooters!
Parking is located at the Lula Scott Community Center and Shady Side ball field and other off-site lots, where shuttles will transport people to and from the Museum.
Payment: Food concessions accept cash only. Credit cards may be used at admissions and Choose It! ATM Machines will be onsite (with surcharge fees).
See you on Saturday October 14th (rain date, Sunday October 15th).