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A small-town event on a grand scale

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Click the image to download our special Oyster Festival Section or find it inside this week’s issue of the Sentinel.

Urbanna Oyster Festival is Friday & Saturday

by Tom Chillemi

When birds fly south, it’s time for visitors to flock to the feast of the Urbanna Oyster Festival.

By the thousands, visitors will cross the Urbanna Creek bridge and awaken the small town in a grand way, as they have every autumn since 1957.

This year’s 54th edition of the area’s premier fall festival takes center stage this Friday and Saturday, November 4-5. The festival opens at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The streets of Urbanna will be lined with food vendors vying for the appetites of thousands of visitors. There will be bands, dancing, performances, and the crowning of the Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat. There’s so much going on at the Oyster Festival we’ve listed it all in a special section inside this issue of the Southside Sentinel.

Oysters, prepared with flair, will be everywhere: raw on the half shell, warmed in stews or “sandwiched” as fritters. But, save room for dessert. How about a festival favorite, a funnel cake?

The town will be alive with music. After you’ve eaten your fill, take a rest at one of the stages. Then stroll down to the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point and see three restored oyster buyboats and other water-related exhibits.

The walking will probably help you work up an appetite. So, mosey back to Festival Village on Rappahannock Avenue and get a snack. And if it’s Friday, get a seat in Taber Park for the crowning of the Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat at 4 p.m.

Stick around on Friday for the Firemen’s Parade at 7 p.m. and the dance at the Urbanna Firehouse that follows.

On Saturday, the Virginia Oyster Shucking Championship is set for 11 a.m. on the grounds behind the firehouse. If you’ve ever tried to open an oyster, you’ll marvel at the speed and dexterity of the contestants that include reigning national women’s champion Clementine Macon and three-time women’s world champion Deborah Pratt, both of Middlesex.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, the Oyster Festival Parade winds its way through town, heading west on Virginia Street (see more on the parade route in the festival special section inside this issue).

Come early, stay late and wear your walking shoes, because there will be lots to see, hear and do at the Oyster Festival. It only happens in Urbanna.

posted 11.03.2011

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