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Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum OysterFest stew competitors, bands & activities announced

On Saturday, October 28, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St Michaels, Md. will host two live stages of music and an oyster stew competition as part of OysterFest.
Oyster stew competitors include Sunflowers and Greens of Easton, Md., Bistro St. Michaels, Gourmet by the Bay, Billie’s Catering of Crisfield, Md., at t at the General Store of Royal Oak, Md.
Festival goers are encouraged to sample oyster stews beginning at 11:00 a.m. and while supplies last. Participation is limited to the first 500 on a first-come, first-served basis, with a commemorative OysterFest mug and the tastings offered for $10 per participant. This stew competition takes place on CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing and is sponsored by Hair O’ The Dog Wine & Spirits.
The blind taste test awards bragging rights to the chef with the most votes, with the People’s Choice winner announced at the festival and later to the public. Bistro St. Michaels Executive Chef Matt Robbins has been awarded first place for the past two consecutive years.
The band Blackwater will be bringing their eclectic blend of funk, rock, reggae, rhythm and bluegrass to the Tolchester Beach Bandstand for a live performance from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by the Eastern Shore’s Justin Ryan performing pop, rock, country, folk an alternative music from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Performing from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from the Steamboat deck will be The Freewheelers bringing their breezy, melodic vibes to Fogg’s Cove and the Miles River.

Family activities include Chesapeake cornhole, giant oyster reef jenga, face painting, build-a-boat activities, and children’s storybook readings. Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s Fishmobile will give guests an opportunity to explore fish, terrapins, horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, oyster toadfish, oysters, eel, box turtles, and more.
Lead OysterFest sponsors include Kelly Distributors, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, George’s Bloody Mary Mix, and Eastern Shore Tents & Events. Chesapeake Landing is sponsoring the oyster shooter bar, and Lyon Distilling Company is sponsoring spiked cider, which will be served with other libations at Rosie’s Tavern. OysterFest is partially funded by the Maryland State Arts Council.
At the Tolchester Beach Bandstand, festival-goers can watch or participate in an oyster slurping contest, with preliminary rounds taking place on the hour from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the final contest at 1:45 p.m.
This year’s OysterFest also features the 2016-2018 restoration of the log-hull sailing bugeye, Edna Lockwood, which is now underway and in full public view at CBMM’s boatyard. In 1889, at the age of 24, John B. Harrison of Tilghman Island, Md. built Edna E. Lockwood, the seventh of 18 bugeyes he was to build. As a workboat, Edna dredged for oysters through the winter and carried freight, such as lumber, grain or produce, after the dredging season ended. She was donated to CBMM by John R. Kimberly in 1973, and named a National Historic Landmark in 1994, representing the last historic log-bottom bugeye still under sail. Project updates and more about the historic bugeye’s restoration can be found at

Special exhibitions include Robert de Gast’s Chesapeake, Potomac Waterfowling: Gunning the Nation’s River, and Bob Grieser’s Lens on the Chesapeake.
Admission to OysterFest is $5 for CBMM adult members, or $18 for adults; $15 for seniors and students with ID; and $6 for children 6-17. CBMM members at the Family & Friends level and above also receive the $5 discounted admission for two adult guests. Food, drinks, and boat rides are an additional cost, with carry-on alcohol prohibited. For safety reasons, non-service dogs need to be kept home during CBMM festivals, with leashed dogs permitted during non-festival dates. Proceeds from the event support CBMM’s education, restoration, and exhibition programs, with advanced tickets and more information at