Annual Fests for Foodies, Virginia’s Eastern Shore

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Scroll down for a complete list of oyster roasts and seafood festivals. 

Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is home to dozens of festivals and celebrations centered around the region’s abundant fresh seafood and rich agricultural traditions.

Oyster roasts are a long standing tradition that celebrate all that bounty. Nearly every weekend in the fall is punctuated by an oyster roast or seafood feast.

A growing number of boutique organic farmers, aqua farmers and small-batch food producers are both reviving ancient food traditions and inventing new ones. The Epicurean mix ranges from down-home cooking and big seafood fests to elegant, chef-led extravaganzas.


FEBRUARY 2017

Saturday, February 25
Barrier Island Center Oyster Roast

Machipongo, VA
February may seem like a chilly time to hold an oyster roast, but the Barrier Islands Center pulls out all the stops to keep guests warm and toasty during their annual shindig. Visitors can dine on roasted oysters, clams, pork barbecue, grilled chicken and sides in the comfort of a heated tent. There are also plenty of hot, freshly roasted peanuts to keep your fingers warm – and coffee from Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Company to warm you from the inside out. For those who want something with a bit more kick to drink, there is a selection of beer and local Chatham Vineyards wine on hand.


MARCH 2017

Saturday, March 25
Cape Charles Rotary Oyster Roast at Sunset Beach
Cape Charles, VA
Gather at Sunset Beach Resort right on the Chesapeake Bay for a traditional Eastern Shore oyster roast featuring local seafood. Feast on all-you-can-eat roasted and steamed oysters, steamed clams and clam chowder.
Get Tickets

Sunday, March 26
Taste of the Shore
Melfa, VA
Sample items from the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s best restaurants at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club, one of the most beautiful spots on the Chesapeake Bay.
For Tickets, Call Charmin Horton at 757-787-2557


APRIL 2017

Saturday, April 22
Virginia’s Eastern Shore Land Trust Oyster Roast

Locations Vary
Home to thousands of acres of parks and protected land, some of the Eastern Shore’s most beautiful and historic estates are private and closed to the public. One exception is the annual Virginia’s Eastern Shore Land Trust Oyster Roast. Indulge on oysters, clams, wine, beer, spirits, dinner, and dessert while enjoying beautiful views on a local estate protected by the VES Land Trust conservation easement. Bid on one-of-a-kind auction items and take your chances in the raffle! Space is limited and this is always a popular event, so, book early!
For Tickets, Call 757-442-5885

Saturday, April 8
Beach Bash Oyster Roast

YMCA Camp Silver Beach
Come for an afternoon of fun when cook masters “steam up the beach” at the YMCA’s Camp Silver Beach, featuring an all-you-can-eat menu of steamed and roasted oysters, clams, chowder, BBQ and all the fixin’s. Sip wine from local and award-winning Chatham Vineyards, enjoy on-tap craft beer, and tap your foot to live entertainment on the gorgeous deck. A silent auction features original artwork by local carvers and artists.
For Tickets, Call 757-442-4634

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Saturday, April 29
Shore Craft Beer Fest
Chincoteague, VA
This end of spring event combines the two worlds of craft beer and barbecue, and features local food truck fare and famous Island Creamery treats. The purchase of a craft beer bracelet gives you unlimited number of craft beer samples from regional breweries. A Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbecue competition will leave your mouth watering. It’s kid and pet friendly too.
Get Tickets

Saturday, April 29
Cape Charles Historical Society Low Country Shrimp Boil

Cape Charles, VA
This classic Low Country-style shrimp feast at the Cape Charles Museum features steamed shrimp with red potatoes, corn on the cob, smoked sausage, onion and peppers. Keep an eye out for local clams as well. The shrimp boil is accompanied by homemade rolls, coleslaw, desserts and beverages. Beer and wine is available. In addition to the feast there is a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and live music.
For Tickets, Email ccmuseum@hughes.net


MAY TO OCTOBER 2017

Fridays
Steamers, Suds & Sounds on C-Pier Concert Series

Cape Charles, VA
This Friday night outdoor concert series starts in May and goes through late summer. Feast on steamed blue crabs, oysters, clams, shrimp, potatoes, and sweet corn at The Oyster Farm at Kings Creek, a restaurant and marina with breathtaking views out over the Chesapeake Bay from every corner. Free admission; food and drink purchase optional.
Get Details


MAY 2017

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Saturday, May 6
Chincoteague Seafood Festival

Chincoteague, VA
Held in the tiny resort island of Chincoteague, this festival has been a tradition for over four decades. This seafood extravaganza gives you a taste of the best local seafood featuring raw oysters and clams, single fried oysters, clam fritters, shrimp, steamed clams, fried fish, clam chowder and clam strips. There are also plenty of sides with a full salad bar, sweet potato and boardwalk fries and hush puppies. There is live entertainment and beer is available for purchase.
Get Tickets

Saturday, May 20
Crabby Blues Festival
Cape Charles, VA
Cape Charles’ annual Crabby Blues Festival boasts fun for the whole family with a selection of live music, fresh-caught steamed crabs, a kids play area, arts and crafts vendors, a silent auction and pop-up food. In addition to great local music this festival serves up the freshest crabs in town, as boats bring in their day’s haul of crabs to the park, where they are steamed and served by the dozen. It’s a great finish to a day at the free beach steps from the busy town center.
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June 2017

Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays and Saturdays June 21 through July 8
Wachapreague Fireman’s Carnival
Wachapreague, VA
Nothing says small towns in the summer like a fireman’s carnival. On the Eastern Shore of Virginia, carnival food isn’t limited to cotton candy and snow cones. At the Wachapreague Carnival, you’ll find oyster fritter sandwiches, clam fritter sandwiches, crab cakes and soft shell crab sandwiches right alongside the hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and fries. You can even try your luck winning dessert. On Fridays and Saturdays cakes from local bakeries are raffled off. If you don’t have the winning ticket don’t worry. There’s plenty of ice cream, funnel cakes, cotton candy and fried Oreos to go around.

Fridays and Saturdays June 23 through July 22 and July 24 through 29
Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival
Chincoteague, VA
Many people visit the Chincoteague Carnival during Pony Penning when the wild Chincoteague ponies are corraled at the carnival grounds after they make their swim from Assateague Island, but before they are auctioned off. Perhaps and even better reason to visit the carnival would be to get a taste of all the delicious food there is to sample. Of course, fries, pizza, burgers and hot dogs are on the menu, but local specialties like clam and oyster fritter sandwiches are the stars of the show. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth check out the cotton candy, ice cream and funnel cakes.


JULY 2017

Saturday, July 15
Reel and Raw
Cape Charles Yacht Center, Cape Charles
An annual film fest in the tiny beach town of Cape Charles, Experimental Film Virginia brings filmmakers from the all over the world to shoot short films each summer. It all culminates on premiere night, with a big outdoor bash right on the water, featuring oysters and signature dishes from local restaurants and live music that’s just perfect for dancing.
Get Tickets

Saturday, July 15
Barbecue and Bluegrass
Chatham Vineyards, Machipongo
Enjoy a barbecue dinner with all the fixings and a little bluegrass at a beautiful winery. Tickets include dinner, a glass of wine and dancing. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs.
Get Tickets

Friday/Saturday/Sunday, July 21 to 23
Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival

Chincoteague, VA
The Eastern Shore of Virginia is one of American’s oldest agricultural hubs and all of that bounty is celebrated at this three-day event packed with artists, crafters, vendors and, of course, blueberries. You’ll be filled with anti-oxidants by the time you leave this festival! Blueberries are on the menu for breakfast and lunch, with blueberry muffins and pancakes dominating the morning and blueberry-studded chicken salad served for lunch. To top it off the Island Creamery, voted America’s Number One Ice Cream Parlor, serves up blueberry ice cream. Each day features a full line-up of live entertainment.
Purchase Tickets At Door


AUGUST 2017

Friday/Saturday/Sunday, August 4 to 6
Annual Oyster Buy Boat Reunion and ShucknSuck Festival

Cape Charles, VA
Come and visit a restored piece of Chesapeake Bay history as the Oyster Buy Boats return to Cape Charles for their annual reunion. This also kicks off a culinary weekend of raw oysters, roasted oysters, fried oysters and more from all over the shore –all at the Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Contests include the Boat Docking Contest, Smith Island Skiff Races and much more. Plus live music and of course oysters, oysters and more oysters!
Learn More

Saturday, August 5
Shore Craft Beer Festival
Cape Charles, VA
Taste over 30 varieties of beer from regional breweries, while taking in views of the Chesapeake Bay at this beer festival. The kids and the dog are welcome too. The event will feature live music, food trucks and kids activities. If you’re worried about traffic you can even boat or kayak up to this beachside event. Hotel, RV, cottage and camping packages are available.
Get Tickets

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Saturday, August 12
Annual Fish Fry & Chicken BBQ

Onley, VA
Make plans to attend an annual Eastern Shore tradition held right next door to Edward’s Seafood, one of over a dozen seafood grocers on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. You get your choice of just-caught fried local fish or chicken BBQ, along with all the rest of the fixings to round out your plate – coleslaw, sliced tomatoes, baked beans and hush puppies.
For Information Call 757-442-3312

Friday, August 18
Serving Up The Shore
Wallops Island, VA
Enjoy a gourmet dinner created with locally sourced ingredients and cooked up by some of the Eastern Shore’s most talented chefs. This four-course farm-to-table dinner, at the Chesapeake Bay Field Station, is a collaboration between local chefs and farmers that celebrates the bounty of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Regional craft beer and wine is included in the ticket price.
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Saturday, August 19
Clamboree
Melfa, VA
The Clamboree is the shore’s biggest celebration of the fabulous clam and serves up endless steamed clams, a buffet dinner and live music while guests enjoy a stunning view over the water at the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club. Proceeds help protect the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s pristine coastlines.
Get Tickets


SEPTEMBER 2017

Saturday, September 9
Eastern Shore’s Own Craft Beer & Music Festival
Belle Haven, VA
Those who want to discover more about craft beer and Eastern Shore seafood should look no further than ESO’s Craft Beer and Music Festival. Sample craft brews from over 35 breweries alongside juicy steamed oysters, plump steamed clams and locally made smoked barbecue. The meal is finished off with fresh fruit and sumptuous desserts. Bring your own lawn chair. 
Get Tickets

Saturday, September 17
Paws Down Hoe Down

Cheriton, VA
Work up an appetite while learning how to line dance in a historic barn, then fill up on barbecue with all the fixings and vote for your favorite sweet treat in a dessert bake off. Then test your brain power in a game of trivia lead by a Jeopardy contestant. With a live band on top of that, this event has a little something for everyone.
Call 757-787-7385 for ticket information

Saturday, September 23
MARSH Fest
Chincoteague, VA
The process of making beer is basically a whole lot of science, delicious, refreshing science. MARSH Fest combines beer and science into one event, with a little food and art for good measure. Sip brews from 20 plus local craft breweries while interacting with local farmers and artisans and learning about the environment through some hands on science. A line up of local musicians will add to the fun.
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Friday, September 29
Taste Of Chincoteague
Chincoteague, VA
Mark your calendar for this event, which kicks off Chincoteague Island Restaurant Week. It’s an evening of fine food samplings from some of Chincoteague’s best eateries and showcases local oysters, clams and fish. Enjoy live music and unique local and regional artwork. Beer and wine is available for purchase.
Call 757-336-0614 for tickets
Learn More

Buy local seafood and cook up your own feast.

Saturday, September 30
Chincoteague Chili-Chowder Cookoff

Chincoteague, VA
Chincoteague Island is famous for its wild ponies but in September it’s all about chili and chowder. Contestants serve up everything from spicy five alarm chili to rich chowders overflowing with fresh, local seafood. Amateurs and professionals go head-to-head for this culinary throw down and the public can purchase bowls of everything. In addition to the soups and stews, look for famous crispy clam fritters (a local specialty) – – a deep fried, tender nugget of dough studded with local clams. Once you’ve had your fill of tasty treats you can take in some hot rods at the car show, enjoy the live music or get a dose of cuteness at the Little Mr. or Little Miss Hot Stuff children’s pageant. This is a pay as you go event.
Learn More

Saturday, September 30
Brew-N-Que (and Oysters Too!)
Cape Charles, VA
This festival puts a spotlight on smoky scents and frothy craft beer at Sunset Beach Resort in Cape Charles. Brew ‘N’ Que (Oysters Too!) includes a professional barbecue competition — some of the best BBQ in the nation, unlimited craft beer tastings and local oysters. Big fun is in store with lots of activities for families and children, as well as live music.
Get Tickets


OCTOBER 2017

Saturday, October 7
Chincoteague Oyster Festival
Chincoteague, VA
Chincoteague oysters — known for their salty, briny flavor — bring the island community together every October to celebrate the famous bivalves, which are shipped all over the world. Sample crispy single-fried oysters, freshly shucked raw oysters, golden oyster fritter sandwiches, succulent steamed oysters and bowls of Eastern Shore style clam chowder. The feast is rounded out by some greens in the form of salads, and crispy onion-studded hushpuppies. Beer is available on site or you can load up your own cooler and bring it. Tickets for this party sell out quick!
Get Tickets

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Saturday, October 7
Harvest Home Dinner
Eastville, VA
Eat a gourmet meal at an inn built in 1724. Fill your plate with beef Bourguignon, rockfish, saffron rice and vegetable pian, layered tomato; eggplant and zucchini, at the buffet. Pair it all with local wine and then end the evening on a sweet note with a helping of Eton mess, an English dessert of meringues, whipped cream and fruit. There will also be live music to entertain you while you eat.
Learn More

Saturday, October 14
Swine and Wine
Accomac, VA
As the name suggests there is plenty of swine at this event — in the form of tender, smoky pork barbecue, as well as smoked chicken. Guests get a true taste of a southern barbecue dinner with all the fixings, as the meal is accompanied by collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and coleslaw. A variety of wine and beer is available including vintages from local winery Chatham Vineyards. There is live music to keep guests entertained, and a silent auction features Eastern Shore art, golfing trips, fishing gear and many other items. Get a real taste of what parties are like on the Eastern Shore of Virginia at Swine and Wine.
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Friday, October 20
Exmore Rotary Soule Arnold Oyster Roast
Exmore, VA

Gathering in a town park to feast on fresh, local seafood is just about as down-home as it gets on the Eastern Shore of Virginia … and the Soule Arnold Oyster Roast and Clam Steam offers just that! This annual event boasts an all you can eat buffet of salty, roasted seaside oysters, fresh steamed clams, creamy clam chowder made by the folks at Terry Bros Seafood, smoky pork barbecue, coleslaw and desserts. A cash bar is available for the purchase of beer and wine. There’s a silent auction too!
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Saturday, October 14
Cork & Canvas
Chincoteague Island, VA

Cork & Canvas is a wine festival and art show held on picturesque Chincoteague Island. Admission includes live music, great food, an artisan market and kids’ entertainment. This day-long festival offers samplings from various Virginia wineries. Ticket price includes unlimited wine tastings throughout the day and a souvenir tasting glass.
Get Tickets


NOVEMBER is Virginia’s Eastern Shore Wine and Brine

VA Wine and Brine

During the month of November, Virginia Wine and Brine spotlights the sheer delight of tasting wines and oysters grown side-by-side here on the Eastern Shore. There are only a few places in the world where these two delicacies are grown in the same watershed, and Virginia’s Eastern Shore is one of them. So feast on roasted oysters and clams and sip award-winning wine from Chatham Vineyards. The month-long fete includes culinary tours, cultural events and special Wine and Brine hotel packages

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Saturday, November 4
Island House Oyster Roast
Wachapreague, VA
There are few places on the Eastern Shore that feel closer to the sea than Wachapreague, so breathe in the salty air and savor views of the Wachapreague harbor while you crack open freshly roasted oysters. There is plenty of fork-tender pulled pork, too, with classic sides like baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw to complete the feast. Beer and local Chatham Vineyards wine will is available and the Island House’s bar is stocked with cocktails. The event features a silent and live auction, as well as live entertainment.
Tickets on sale October, 1
Get Tickets

Saturday, November 4
Saxis Island Oyster Roast
Saxis, VA
Saxis Island is one of the Eastern Shore’s best kept secrets, tucked away on the Chesapeake Bay coastline of the 70-mile peninsula. Visitors have the perfect opportunity to explore this unique area at the Saxis Island Oyster Roast. Unlike many other oyster festivals, this oyster roast is held indoors – and features table service. Just hold up a sign and a volunteer delivers steamed oysters, single fried oysters, clam chowder and fried clam strips to your table. You can also gather around a shucking table and slurp fresh, raw oysters. If you like, bring a cooler with your choice of (alcoholic) beverages since there is no alcohol served on site.
Email Mayor Denise Drewer for tickets at ddrewer53@gmail.com

Saturday, November 11
Terrior & Merrior Oyster Extravaganza
Machipongo, VA
This Virginia Wine and Brine feast is a food and wine lovers dream. Based on the concept that a wine’s taste reflects the region it is grown in, or terroir, this event, held on the grounds of Chatham Vineyards, pairs Chatham Vineyard’s wines with oysters that are cultivated in the waters surrounding the winery. Just as wines are flavored by their region, oysters are also known for developing a distinct flavor, or Merroir, based on where they are grown. The winery perches on Church Creek and is dotted with buildings that date to the early 1800’s.
Get Details

Saturday, November 11
Blue Crab Bay’s Oysters a la Carte
Melfa, VA

This late morning, early afternoon brunch/lunch Virginia Wine & Brine event is under the pavilion at Virginia’s Eastern Shore’s famous gourmet grocer Blue Crab Bay Co. and features Chatham Vineyards wines, oysters on the half shell, fried oysters and steamed shrimp and oyster-and-vodka shooters. Get your holiday shopping knocked out with great shopping discounts too. No admission price, purchase menu items a la carte.
Get Details

Saturday, November 18
Ducks Unlimited Oyster Roast
Machipongo, VA
During the annual Ducks Unlimited Oyster Roast, on the grounds of the Barrier Island Center, which was formally a historic almshouse, feast on smoky, roasted oysters and clams, and juicy pork barbecue, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw and assorted desserts. Festival goers can unleash their competitive side with both a silent and live auction.
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Saturday, November 25
Cape Charles Historical Society Oyster Roast
Cape Charles, VA
Oysters are the star of this traditional Eastern Shore roast on the grounds of the Cape Charles Museum, and will be served both roasted and raw. Spicy bacon and potato studded clam chowder will also be available. Non-seafood lovers can chow down on fried chicken, three bean salad, potato salad and homemade rolls.
For Tickets, Email ccmuseum@hughes.net

You might also like:

Culinary Tours on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

The Ultimate Oyster Trip to Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Tour an Aqua Farm

Growing List of Raw Bars on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Find Farm-Fresh Food on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Nine Charming Small Museums on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Six Great Beaches on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

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