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Activities on the waterfront during Oyster Festival

The “Iva W.” and “Propwash” will again be among the historic boats on display at the Urbanna waterfront.  (Photo by Tom Hardin)
Visitors to the Oyster Festival waterfront at the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point will once again be able to step back in time and enjoy several maritime heritage exhibits.

This year festival-goers will again be able to step aboard historic oyster buyboats that once worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay to bring the delectable mollusk to our markets. The “East Hampton” and the Deltaville-built “Propwash” (formerly “Agnes Sterling”) and “Iva W.” will be welcoming guests. 

The schooner “Serenity,” now a resident of Urbanna’s docks, will be taking visitors on cruises of the river.

For all ages, Seaworthy Small Ships will provide their model sailboat pond and the opportunity to build a working sailboat.

Coastie, the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s miniature boat that monitors the parking lot, will be back to entertain the children.

The Deltaville Maritime Museum also will have boats, including their John Smith shallop “Explorer” and a Wright skiff built during Family Boatbuilding Week.

Waterfront exhibits will feature the Virginia Aquarium, which packs up the ocean and brings it to Urbanna in a 30-foot truck with their mobile aquarium, “Oceans in Motion,” with touch tanks for the kids (and their parents). Visitors can also learn about (and eat) the oyster that is at the center of the festival.

Some of the diverse methods of restoring the oyster to the bay will be demonstrated by exhibits by Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company, Tidewater Oyster Gardeners, an oyster reef restoration project funded by the Army Corps of Engineers, and Commonwealth Pro Dive.

Christchurch School and Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School will share with the public what they have learned.

The National Park Service’s John Smith Water Trail will join with the Maritime Museum Education Consortium to explain the Native American’s relationship with the oyster and the bay.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will return to help teach us how to do our part to save the bay.

The edifying aspects of the waterfront are many—bringing Urbanna’s maritime heritage back to life is a focus of the Oyster Festival Foundation’s Waterfront and the Marine Science Legacy Program. 

The Legacy Program funds Chesapeake Bay Foundation boat trips for Middlesex students and Education Day, which will be held today, November 5, at the waterfront.

“Children often bring their parents back to show them what they’ve learned,” said Vera England, director of the festival’s Waterfront and the Marine Science Legacy Program. “But having good-time fun is at the core—come sing along with bluegrass on Friday, and dance to the tunes of oldies band ‘The Reapers’ on Saturday. The party’s down at the waterfront for the whole family, the whole weekend!”

posted 11.04.2009

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