Press Releases

Mystic River Oyster Festival Comes to Mystic Seaport September 30

Mystic, Conn. (September 18, 2017) — The Mystic River Oyster Festival at Mystic Seaport will be Saturday, September 30, offering visitors glimpses into the history of oystering and a look at (and taste of) the modern-day resurgence of the industry .

This one-day event is a celebration of all things oyster, and features six local and regional oyster purveyors who will have oysters available for tasting and will show off their shucking skills.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food service will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Mystic River Oyster Festival is free with regular Museum admission. Food is subject to an additional charge.

This year the festival includes:

  • Fishers Island Oyster Farm
  • Jonathan Island Oysters
  • The Noank Aquaculture Cooperative
  • Matunuck Oyster Bar
  • Walrus and Carpenter Oysters
  • Behan Family Farms

Visitors can learn about the history of oystering on Long Island Sound and take in tonging (harvesting) demonstrations. They can also hear firsthand about the life of a modern-day oysterman during a talk by Ben Franford, a dentist who owns Jonathan Island Oysters. His oyster trade name is “Pearly Whites.” Another talk during the Festival is by Bill Lucey, the Long Island Soundkeeper, who works for Save the Sound as the watchdog for the bays and harbors, monitoring water quality, and making sure there are no infractions of the Clean Water Act. Oysters need clean water!

Traditional sea music entertainment will be provided by the Mystic Seaport chantey staff:

  • Craig Edwards & David Iler, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Geoff Kaufman & Anayis Wright, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be presentations and booths by:

  • Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH), a grassroots environmental organization that operates out of Stonington in an effort to monitor water quality and educate the public about how to improve local water quality.
  • Connecticut SeaGrant, an environmental organization funded by NOAA and the State of Connecticut. They encourage the stewardship of marine resources through education and research and provide the resources for the Connecticut Shellfish Commission, which works with local oyster farmers to help with water quality, aquaculture, and education. They will also be offering information about shellfish conservation efforts.

Vendors during the festival include R. Murphy Knives, who sell premium oyster knives and other tools and equipment.

About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.