Events

55th Annual U.S. Oyster Festival

Enjoy a weekend of oysters here in St. Mary's County. Try a variety of fresh, local oysters, watch the cook - off and shucking competition, listen to live music, and so much more!

55th Annual U.S. Oyster Festival

With being surrounded by water and fresh seafood, it only seems fitting that St. Mary's County is home to the Annual U.S. Oyster Festival. This weekend event (October 16th-17th) brings fresh and local oysters by the bucket load. You can enjoy them raw, grilled, fried, steamed, and everything in between! Watch as contestants put together amazing oyster dishes for the cook - off (you can even purchase a cookbook) and gather for the main event, the shucking competition.

There are also a wide variety of other activities to enjoy on Saturday and Sunday, including kid-friendly shows and activities, live music throughout the day, shopping with local vendors, a beer tent, and more. This is one weekend you won't want to miss in St. Mary's County. Make sure to order your tickets today.

Single and Two Day Tickets

Saturday, October 16th Schedule

  • Gates Open at 10 a.m.
  • Live Music from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. featuring Unfinished Business, Tell You Monday, Richey Family, and Groove Span
  • 42nd Annual Cook-off from 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.; Awards at 2 p.m.
  • Oyster Shucking Competition
    • Amateur Shucking Heat from 3 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
    • Women's Early Shucking Heats from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Men's Early Shucking Heats from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Gates Close at 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 17th Schedule

  • Gates Open at 11 a.m.
  • Live Music from 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. featuring Bushmill Band, The Bootleggers, and One Trick Pony
  • Oyster Shucking Competition
    • Amateur Shucking Heat from 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
    • Women's Final Shucking Heat from 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    • Men's Final Shucking Heat from 4 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    • Championship Shucking Heat from 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Gates Close at 6 p.m.

Cook - Off Competition

The Cook - Off features nine contestants preparing their own oyster recipes for hors d'oeuvres, soups and stews, and a main dish. Enjoy a sample of these handmade dishes as the judges decide which dish will be the winner, but if you loved them all, you can purchase a cookbook that has the recipes for you to try at home!

Oyster Shucking Competition

The main event of the U.S. Oyster Festival is the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship Contest. Saturday and Sunday features the fastest men and women shuckers representing ten states and the fastest local tidewater shuckers for the championship spot. In previous years, the winners have traveled to Ireland to compete in the International Oyster Festival. Watch in awe as you witness the speed and precision of oyster shucking by the best of the best (and even get the chance to eat the oysters after judging)!

Weekend Stays

Worried that you won't be able to do and see all the great things that the Oyster Festival has to offer? We've got you covered! St. Mary's County is home to several limited service hotels, beautiful bed and breakfasts, waterfront vacation rentals, and much more. Come spend the weekend in St. Mary's County and be a part of this unique event to celebrate it's 55th year.

Find Your Vacation Rental

Ready for a weekend full of oysters and good times. Order your tickets today! Purchase a ticket for a single day or for the whole weekend. We can't wait to see you there!