This hometown oyster festival is a Maryland favorite. Photo: Captain Avery Museum

Community Oyster Festival Celebrates 25 Years

A beloved community festival celebrates 25 years this weekend. The Captain Avery Museum in Shady Side, Md. hosts the annual Oyster Festival Saturday, Oct. 15.

The event is a celebration of local music and local food, featuring oysters served up in a variety of ways. The museum’s namesake, Captain Avery, made his living by oystering on the Bay and selling his oysters up in Baltimore. The Anne Arundel Waterman’s Association will bring the bivalves to you, serving up fresh Bay oysters raw, with sauce or in a shooter.

If raw oysters aren’t your favorite, Skipper’s Pier out of Deale will serve food from their renowned menu, and Chesapeake Grille will have crab soups, burgers, and hotdogs. Top it off with a beer from Forward Brewing in Eastport, or wine, soda, and water from Captain Avery’s bars. Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. will have brewed coffee to pair with cookies and cakes from the Avery Bake Sale.

This year features four musical groups performing at two locations on the property: Eastman String Band, Kenney Holmes Rhythm & Blues, Jonathan Stone Bossa Nova, and The Polythene Band (a Beatles tribute band).

Guests also have a chance to win cash prizes of $1,000, $750, and $500.

Choose It items will be for sale, which are your chance to purchase unique entertainment (like tickets to Rams Head), gourmet dinners (like a crab feast at Silver Water, or a homecooked Italian dinner), family vacations (on the coast of Maine), airplane rides and much, much more.

Kids will enjoy free crafts—decorating a picture frame or painting an oyster shell. They can also get in touch with their inner pirate by posing in the selfie spots.

Step inside the newly-reopened museum to learn more about three centuries of Chesapeake history.

The 25th Oyster Festival begins at 12:30 p.m and runs until 5 p.m. Parking is available off-site (less than 1 mile) at Shady Side Park with a courtesy shuttle. Purchase admission online at or at the festival; $10 for adults and $5 for children.

-Kathy Knotts