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It’s festival time!

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The 2018 official Urbanna Oyster Festival Poster by Linda Tjossem can be purchased during the festival for $15 at the Oyster Festival Information RV on the corner of Virginia Street and Rappahannock Avenue, or by calling the festival office at 758-0368. 

by Tom Chillemi

The 61st annual Urbanna Oyster Festival, the area’s largest fall festival, takes center stage on Friday and Saturday, November 2-3. As always, there’ll be food, bands, dancing, waterfront exhibits, crafts, boats, the Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat crowning, oyster shucking contest, and two parades.

The streets of Urbanna will be lined with food vendors vying for the palates of thousands of visitors. Oysters, prepared with flair, will be everywhere offering raw on the half-shell, fried and warmed in stews. (The Middlesex Lions Club will not be serving fritters this year.)

But, save room for dessert. How about funnel cake, a festival favorite?

After you’ve eaten your fill, take a rest at one of the festival stages for some continuous live music. 

Then stroll down to the Urbanna Town Marina for the waterfront exhibits that include educational displays.

Walking will help work up an appetite, so mosey back to Festival Village to get something to eat and then visit the arts and craft booths.   

A variety of entertainment has been booked for Friday and Saturday, and there will be parades on both days.

For adults 21 and over there will be craft beer tasting in Festival Village from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Oyster Festival wine tasting will again be on Virginia Street next to the Post Office from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On Friday the festival starts at 10 a.m. and runs until midnight. 

In Festival Village there will be children’s activities, carnival rides and pony rides, clowns, games, arts and crafts, entertainment, good food and a rock climbing wall. 

On Friday, and again on Saturday, educational activities and oyster related displays will be set up at the Urbanna Town Marina, where the tall ship Lynx will be docked and open for tours. The 122-foot-long topsail schooner is a replica of a blockade running schooner from the War of 1812. The ship serves as a classroom.

Chesapeake Bay buyboats F.D. Crockett, Propwash, Peggy, and Linda Carol will also be open for tours.

Up the hill above Community Row, the historic 1763 John Mitchell Map of Colonial America, and oyster history displays will be open at the James Mills Scottish Factors Store, which serves as the Urbanna Museum and Visitors Center.

Near the firehouse, an antique auto show will be held. The winners in each class will be driven in Saturday’s parade. 

A variety of musical entertainment has been booked for the Urbanna Oyster Festival’s four stages on both days of the festival.

The Virginia Oyster Shucking Contest will start at 11 a.m. on Saturday behind the firehouse with the winners being crowned about noon. Amateurs and professionals are encouraged to enter; signup starts at 9 a.m. The winners will receive prizes. 

The Oyster Festival Parade begins at 2 p.m. 

The festival ends at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 3.

Parking is $10 on Friday and $20 on Saturday. There are parking lots on both the west and east sides of town, and also some in-town lots for early-risers inside the town limits.

Visit http://www.urbannaoysterfestival.com for more on the official Oyster Festival of Virginia.

For all the details on the festival, see special pull-out section inside.

posted 11.01.2018

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