Fresh Harvest at the Ocean State Oyster Festival

By Phoebe Gallo / Photography By Phoebe Gallo | September 23, 2015
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Fresh local oysters being shucked at the Rhode Island Oyster Festival

Last weekend, Edible Rhody ventured to the inaugural (and hopefully annual) Ocean State Oyster Festival, held at the scenic Riverwalk Park in Providence. As September’s blue sky and sunshine bathed Oyster Fest attendees, we collected our six oyster tickets and two drink tickets at the entrance and strolled into the Fest. Large tents, packed with oyster purveyors and shellfish enthusiasts, lined the Riverwalk Park, complemented by food trucks parked along the river roadway.

Phoebe enjoying Rhody-grown oysters

Our tickets allowed us a half dozen oysters each, and we could choose any among the dozens of booths showcasing Rhody grown oysters. Our game plan: take a stroll around, identify those that gave the most appeal, whether it was provenance, size of cup or size of oyster. The verdict: by the final slurp we had sampled some of the best oysters we have had the pleasure of tasting, leaving us hungering for those we hadn’t tried.

The Oyster Festival was conceived to celebrate the ever-growing and currently flourishing oyster market in Rhode Island. According to their website, OysterFestRI.com, with data provided by Coastal Resources Management, more than 6.4 million Rhode Island oysters were sold for diners to slurp in 2013, with over 50 aquaculture farms and growers making more than $4.3 million in revenue. In short, oysters are a delicious and thriving business here in little Rhody.

Local oyster producers at the Rhode Island Oyster Festival
Rhode Island oysters at the Festival

The Fest did not disappoint—the celebration was an oyster biz blow-out, allowing attendees the chance to chat with growers, environmental activists and other bivalve enthusiasts, all set against the backdrop of scenic Providence on a sunny Saturday. Just another reason why Rhode Island is one of the best food (and shellfish) destinations in the nation.

Crowds enjoying a sunny afternoon at the Rhode Island Oyster Festival
Rhode Island oysters at the Festival

Were any of you at the Fest? Send us your photos and stories on any of our social media platforms! On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ediblerhody. For more information on the Ocean State Oyster Festival, as well as facts and additional information about the Rhode Island oyster scene, visit OysterFestRI.com.

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