Oyster Festival draws record crowd

May 26, 2019

The sixth annual Oyster Festival was a rousing success, as some vendors sold out of oysters and festival-goers enjoyed the best weather the festival has ever had.

Linda Burke, who co-created the festival with Bob Brady, said that this year’s festival was the best attended one yet. The duo founded the festival to celebrate shellfish in Wareham— both the industry’s long history in town and present oyster farmers.

“We want the same kind of recognition and respect for Wareham oysters [as there is for Wellfleet oysters],” Burke said. While Wareham oysters may be harder to find locally, they are often served at restaurants in Boston and New York City, Burke said.

Alongside local vendors of raw oysters were 100 others serving up ice cream and pizza and selling crafts, artwork, and other local goods.

The Southcoast Jazz Orchestra and Synthesis performed in Pezzoli Square, where people enjoyed food at picnic tables.

The day began with a 5k to support the Boys and Girls Club of Wareham. Eric Holmes of Wareham came in first among the 175 runners with a time of 16:42.

Among the vendors were Susan and David Paling of “Driftwood Fish.” The Wareham residents collect driftwood from beaches across the Cape and South Coast before crafting it into unique pieces of art. The couple said that the business is a retirement project, and that their favorite part is going on long walks to collect materials— and inspiration. Some of the pieces they make are inspired by what they see while walking the beaches.

Karen Macdonald had a booth which gave attendees a preview of what to expect when she opens her boutique, October Gulls, at Zecco Marina on June 20.  Macdonald has curated a selection of nautically inspired goods including everything from candles and rugs to homemade hurricane lamps and pocketbooks made from lobster nets.

Mary Nyman, also of Wareham, sold handmade jewelry and paintings at her booth. Nyman uses a variety of materials to make her jewelry, including traditional stones like agate and jasper and more unusual materials like “bowlarite,” made from recycled bowling balls.