Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wellfleet Celebrates Oysterfest 2008

I feared the crowds might not come, due to the economic crisis and chilly weather. I was wrong! Throngs of partygoers enjoyed Wellfleet’s eighth annual Oysterfest this afternoon. On Main Street, there were people everywhere, a line moving east and a line moving west. “Wall-to-wall people,” I heard someone mutter as he attempted to break through to buy a hot dog. Cars were sent to the beach parking lots, and shuttle buses came and went like clockwork. As Sven and I strolled past Winslow’s Tavern, we looked up at the folks, watching the action below, Bloody Mary glasses in hand. Photos of Wellfleet, pottery, T-shirts, carved birds, and natural soap were just a few of the more frequent items for sale at sidewalk stands. SPAT had a constant stream of folks in search of Oysterfest T-shirts. And, of course, at several different spots, shellfishermen sold oysters on the half shell. When I tried to buy paella at 4:30, it was all sold out. Our neighbor David Lord reported that the most delicious food under the large tent this year was shrimp tempura, which I will have to get tomorrow. Today the line seemed way too long. Children hung out behind the future Preservation Hall for fun and games. The lucky ones had their faces painted. Some twirled new hula hoops. Of course, there were activities organized all day long. The cooking classes were well attended. Fifteen fortunate people even got to dig their own oysters and then savor them with an appropriate wine. David Wright recounted history at the library. At one booth, I admired woolen goods created out of recycled sweaters. “Our Lady of Perpetual Shucking, Patron Saint of Clean Harbors” showed up on rollerblades, drawing applause. Many festival attendees were intent on Christmas shopping. One very popular stand belonged to Liza Jane Norman, whose designs and bright colors stood out. While I was shopping, a customer danced up in a skirt purchased that morning to have a photo taken with the designer. Although I know new fleece is not good for you, even though it IS made from recycled materials, I let myself be tempted and purchased several items. Our guests spent the whole day at the festival, eating oysters. They returned exhausted but happy. Day One of Oysterfest 2008, a complete success!