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Welcome to the 57th Annual Urbanna Oyster Festival

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On the cover: Urbanna bursts into activity for the Oyster Festival, as depicted in this collection of photos that include five festival queens (left side) and Mr. and Mrs. Oyster. (Designed by Chris Fowlkes)

When leaves change color and the air is crisp, it’s time for the Urbanna Oyster Festival—Virginia’s official Oyster Festival!

This year’s 57th edition of the area’s premier fall festival takes center stage Friday and Saturday, November 7-8. There’ll be food, bands, historical boats, crafts, antique cars, crowning of the festival queen, two parades, and the official Virginia Oyster Shucking Contest. 

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—raw on the half shell, fried, warmed in stews and sandwiched as fritters. But, save room for dessert. How about a funnel cake, a festival favorite?

In addition, visitors can enjoy crab soup, crab bisque, seafood chowder, clams, crab cakes, shrimp, fish, corn dogs, sausages, hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey legs, roast beef, kettle corn, roasted nuts, ice cream, cotton candy, snow cones, candy apples and many other goodies. 

As always, the Middlesex Lions Club will serve its sizzling oyster fritters, the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex will offer its raw and roasted oysters, the Woman’s Club will dip up its famous crab bisque, and Christ Church will once again tempt you with its delicious clam chowder, and fried clams and oysters.

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

Then stroll down to the Urbanna Town Marina at Upton’s Point to see and tour restored oyster buyboats and the tall ship “Godspeed” from Jamestown.

At the waterfront visitors can try the hands-on oystering exhibits, touch tank ecosystem and enjoy the music and displays.

Walking will help work up an appetite. So, mosey back up town to Festival Village, get a snack. If it’s Friday, get a seat for the crowning of the Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat at 4 p.m. inside the Urbanna Firehouse.

Stick around on Friday for the Firemen’s Parade at 7 p.m. It’s just the first of two parades.The firemen’s dance featuring the reggae sounds of “Stuck on a Name” follows Friday’s parade at 8 p.m. 

Again this year, antique and classic vehicles will be on display at the corner of Waverly and Virginia streets, across from the Urbanna Firehouse, on Saturday, November 8, starting at 9 a.m. 

On Saturday, the Virginia Oyster Shucking Championship is at 11 a.m. behind the firehouse. If you’ve ever tried to open an oyster, you’ll marvel at the speed and dexterity as professional contestants shuck two dozen oysters in less than 3 minutes. You’ll also enjoy watching the amateurs wrestle with opening the tight bivalves.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the popular Urbanna Oyster Festival Parade with dozens of entries winds its way through town on a route that bypasses the main part of Virginia Street.

Community Row, featuring local vendors, will be on one side of Virginia Street on the way to the waterfront.

On Saturday, 30-passenger trams will shuttle visitors across the bridge to and from parking areas on the Rosegill (east) side of town. 

A variety of entertainment has been booked for the Urbanna Oyster Festival’s three stages and on the porch of the Old Tobacco Warehouse on both Friday and Saturday. See pages 12-13 for a full entertainment schedule.

The festival runs from 10 a.m.-midnight on Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

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 lots inside town limits for those who arrive early.

Police headquarters will be on the second floor of town hall.

Come early, stay late and wear walking shoes, because there’s lots to see, hear and do at the Oyster Festival. It’s all happening only in Urbanna, as it has since 1957. 

Visit http://www.urbannaoysterfestival.com for more information on the festival.

posted 11.06.2014

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