Urbanna Oyster Festival is one of the largest oyster festival on the east coast.
A two-day festival in Urbanna, Virginia dedicated to everything oysters!
The Urbanna Oyster festival is held annually, the first Friday and Saturday of November. If you love oysters this bi-valve festival is for you. If slurping oysters is not your thing, there is still plenty for all to enjoy!
The Oyster Festival offers hundreds of vendors. From crafts and artisan wares, to beer gardens and wine/beer tastings. And of course the oysters. Fresh shucked oysters, raw on the half shell, and roasted or fried. And don’t forget about an Oyster Po’Boy!
Urbanna is a small town in the neighboring Middlesex County, where there are more boats than folks! Just up the Rappahannock River, the charming and friendly, historic Colonial port town of Urbanna is just a half hour country drive from the Inn at Tabbs Creek.
The festival is a Pay as you go festival, meaning there is no cost to enter. The festival is held in the town but the streets do close to incoming and outgoing traffic. There are designated parking areas, (expect a 20$ parking fee) but there are free shuttles to take you to and from the parking areas to the festival and back. The vendors and beer gardens along with musical stages and other special events are held all over the town, so wear comfy shoes and be prepared to get your steps in! There may be an entrance fee for beer gardens and wine tastings.
Oysters, Parades, Live Music and more!
The festival kicks off Friday morning with live music on the waterfront stage, and oysters, oysters and more oysters. Renowned local oyster farmers Rappahannock River Oyster Company will be set up for oyster tastings and even a few classes and shucking demonstrations. In the wine and beer gardens you will find many Virginia breweries and wineries local to our area. Many other food trucks and food vendors will be there as well. Local non profit organizations offering oysters and BBQ, and long-standing festival favorites like funnel cakes, turkey legs and kettle corn will also be available.
Friday night don’t miss the exciting Fireman’s parade. This unique parade is held at night, and features fire engines from counties all over the state of Virginia. Including everything from giant ladder trucks to small brush trucks, ambulances and historic fire vehicles from the past. Parade starts at 7pm, and it’s one you soon wont forget. If you are hearing sensitive, you may want to bring ear protection of some kind.
Saturday is the big day of the Festival. There is an antique car show that starts in the morning, then the oyster shucking competition and the official Oyster Festival Parade on Saturday afternoon.
The Urbanna Oyster Shucking Contest is an annual event held during the festival, and the winner is declared State Champion and advances to compete in the National Oyster Shucking Contest in St. Mary’s, Maryland. The National Champion then travels to Galway, Ireland to participate in the World Championship. There are amateur and professional divisions. So don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at shucking.
This festival has it all. From the many ways to experience oysters to the live music and dancing. From crafts and art to local breweries and wineries and other Virginia made items. The Urbanna Oyster festival is sure to have something for everyone.
Love Oysters and Virginia BBQ?
The Inn at Tabbs Creek offers an Oyster Roast the same weekend as the Urbanna Oyster Festival. This is a great weekend for oyster lovers or foodies to experience an all-out oyster weekend! After the festival during the day head back to the Inn where you can participate in a creekside oyster roast and Virginia BBQ dinner with all the fixin’s that evening. Hosted by our Innkeepers, Gather ’round the fire pit and enjoy the sunset as you slurp some fresh, local oysters and enjoy cold one. sign up for our Oyster Roast Weekend when you book your room.
Stay Inn with us the weekend of the Urbanna Oyster Festival and take advantage of being able to retreat back to the quiet of the inn and the relaxation it provides. The festival will be fun, but it will be full of people and it will be busy and loud. After a full day of festival going, come back and relax here.