Friday, October 16, 2009

Soggy Forecast for Oysterfest 2009

Every day this week I’ve peeked at the forecast and moaned. Oysterfest happens this weekend, in case you have been hiding out in Upper Mongolia and hadn’t heard. So far the weather looks dismal here on Cape Cod. I can already hear heavy rain pounding at the window. According to NOAA, 100% chance of rain on Friday; Saturday, 30%; Sunday 90%. NECN has the raindrops icon up for each of the three days. The wind chill today is in the 30s. I feel so sorry for all the organizers and participants, who will still show up tomorrow no matter what, not to mention the shellfishermen, out gathering last-minute oysters in less than perfect weather. For this type of festival, there can be no rain dates, because many of the shops and restaurants shut down on Monday for the winter. 20,000 visitors usually troop out from Boston and points west/south/north. Tourists, non-residents, and residents alike all gather for a huge party on Main Street. This year drivers also have to fight traffic to get across the Sagamore Bridge, under repair. Oy!

And yet Wellfleet's ninth annual Oysterfest does sound amazing, billed as “hometown flavor, bigtime fun.” Check out the calendar on the Oysterfest site and sign up now for limited enrollment events. All the cooking demos seem to have space. Bob Prescott of Mass Audubon will lead a group across an oyster reef at sunset on Saturday. And, of course, the must-do activity in my mind is “Taste the Terroir” at the Masonic Hall, where David Wright, author of The Famous Beds of Wellfleet, which I edited, will speak. There also seem to be more fun activities for children scheduled this year, including a spelling bee at the library from 4 to 6 on Saturday, and several performances by The Elbows at Preservation Hall.

If you do come, be sure to pick up a Wellfleet Visitor Survey. They will be handed out at the WHAT booth, as well as at the Chamber of Commerce stand. Your answers will help our new tourism office figure out how to promote our lovely town in the off-season.

Arm yourself with patience and rain boots. Enjoy the oysters! Bring an umbrella!