Shucking oysters at Shelter Island Historical Society’s annual festival

Almost 2,500 oysters were consumed this past weekend at the Shelter Island Historical Society’s third annual Oyster Festival. About 250 guests filled up Haven’s Barn on Saturday night to enjoy live music, a raffle, wine and food.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Nanette Lawrenson, the executive director of the historical society said.

The first event aimed to honor the Shelter Island Oyster Company, which was in operation until the 1960s and played a big role in the Shelter Island economy. Ms. Lawrenson combined that idea with the current day need to replenish oyster beds and keep the waters clean. It grew into an event that draws in hundreds of people each year and helps the historical society balance its operating budget.

Throughout the night guests snacked on food from Sylvester Manor’s organic farm, cheeses and homemade hummus while they walked around the barn and perused an exhibit on the Shelter Island Oyster Company. The event also included representatives from The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve, which featured a display on how oysters can filter water and teaching people how to grow their own oysters.

“Every event that we have always has an educational component to it,” Ms. Lawrence said. “But, it’s also a good fun party.”

Employees from Alice’s Fish Market were stationed at the back of the barn and spent the night shucking and serving oysters. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
Employees from Alice’s Fish Market in Greenport were stationed at the back of the barn and spent the night shucking and serving oysters. (Credit: Krysten Massa)
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