Monday, October 17, 2011

Where Can I Park at Wellfleet Oysterfest?

Rather, the question should be, where did all these people park for Oysterfest? With Main Street closed to traffic, best for festival-goers to think ahead. Parking is available at the Wellfleet marina. The town also runs shuttle buses from two ocean beach parking lots, Newcomb, and White Crest.
When Sven and I went up to inspect yesterday afternoon at lunchtime, the Newcomb lot was almost full. The buses are frequent and present a reliable transportation option. Everyone I saw riding one of the school buses seemed happy. Either they were eager to reach Oysterfest, or on their way home, tummies full.

I hate to imagine what the Newcomb lot was like on Saturday, the day that brought numerous day-trippers from Boston, at least 15,000 by some counts. 150 kegs of beer were drunk on Saturday, the same amount organizers provided last year for the whole weekend. That's a lot of beer!

Yesterday morning Kai Potter told us a shellfisher friend sold twice as many oysters Saturday as at Oysterfest 2010. We were walking down Long Pond Road together. A few bikes zipped past, but not as many as the day before when we saw a young man at the intersection of Long Pond and Main, hawking parking spaces for $10. On Sunday, he had raised his price to $20. Further up Main Street, parking spaces were going for $15 at the Congregational Church. The Methodist Church offered parking for the handicapped. These lots filled up fast. By Saturday afternoon, some drivers, who had spurned the shuttle bus option, were desperate to ditch their cars.

“A friend, walking along Commercial Street, had paused by an empty driveway,” Kai said. “A car stopped and the driver asked if he could park for $100. Thought the space belonged to him. Incredible!”

The evening drive out of Wellfleet was apparently horrendous. Blog reader Nancy Deppen reports, “David left our house at 6:30 to drive to Barnstable to get our daughter on the bus. Fifteen minutes later he called to say that he was no further than the police station! Fifteen more minutes and he made it to Dunkin Doughnuts. All in all it took him 55 minutes to get out of Wellfleet.”

Those who were unwilling to take the shuttle buses had parked at the elementary school, beside the water tower, along the cemetery. Anyone who chose to ignore the No Parking signs along the road, got a ticket. And, meanwhile, down on Main Street, the shellfishermen shucked away. Tens of thousands of oysters were opened, sold, and consumed. Everyone seemed happy. It was a special day. Wellfleet celebrated the oyster. I bet even the folks who got those parking tickets didn’t mind ... Note: As soon as I get the official number of festival-goers, I will post it here. Anyone want to hazard a guess? Did you enjoy Oysterfest?