Rock this inaugural oyster party! The Shuckapalooza ticket is your backstage pass to the hottest new oyster scene. This self-guided driving tour event gives you celebrity access to private oyster farms, harvest methods, ecology with a real-life waterman, samplings of oysters, plus wine and beer pairings. You’ll feel smarter when you leave this insanely intimate event with our awesome partner, Friends of the Rappahannock.
Grab your besties and hit the road to experience these amazing places. 1 ticket gets you into 7 bucket-list-worthy experiences from 10 AM to 4 PM. This is an intimate event with only 250 tickets to be sold. Tickets on sale now!
(These experiences are open to ticketed guests only on April 12th or our rain date of April 26, 2019).
Get Started at Shuckapalooza Headquarters at Christchurch School: Check in, grab your back stage pass & special Shuckapalooza gear & get your questions answered. Then head on out to take 1 tour or all 7. You set your course!
EXPERIENCE: OYSTERS 101
LOCATION: CHRISTCHURCH SCHOOL 49 Seahorse Lane, Christchurch, VA
- One Roasted and One Raw Chesapeake Gold Oyster tasting
- One tasting of Ingleside Wine
Christchurch School is a small private boarding and day school located on the Rappahannock River. Using funds made from recycling aluminum cans, this student-run oyster program began as an environmental/ educational project. The school now leases 101 acres of river bottom at their waterfront to use for oyster farming. Students watch the growth of the oyster from a 2 millimeter seed to a harvestable adult (3 inches or larger). With cleaning and sorting it takes approximately two years to grow an oyster from seed to adult size. Students also gain a lesson in entrepreneurship and business since the final product is marketed for sale. For this site visit, students will be on-hand to explain the process of growing their oysters from seed.
Students that work on the project will be available for tours and to answer questions. Visitors will be allowed to taste Christchurch’s Chesapeake Gold oysters paired with a tasting of Ingleside wine.
Know before you go: Come with questions, the students and teachers here are so passionate about the ecology of oysters! This is a waterfront tour, dress appropriately.
…And while you’re here: Christchurch School will offer tours of the school campus to Shuckapalooza guests.
EXPERIENCE: BABIES & BEER
LOCATION: RAPPAHANNOCK OYSTER COMPANY: 784 Locklies Creek Rd, Topping, VA
- One Rappahannock River Oyster tasting
- One Oyster Stout tasting
Rappahannock Oyster Company has been a part of local oyster history since 1899 when Ryan and Travis Croxton’s grandfather founded an oyster business on the Rappahannock River. A century later, the cousins are back at the oyster business and are mainly responsible for sparking the growth of oyster farming in Virginia’s River Realm. Attendees will be able to tour the farm operation and see what it takes to get the oyster babies from seed to table.
A natural partner on the farm tour located a few steps from the Rappahannock River Oyster Company, Merroir is consistently rated as the best restaurant in Virginia. Included in our farm tour; attendees will taste a locally grown oyster along with a tasting of the Chesapeake Oyster Stout. Developed by Flying Dog Brewery, this English style bold flavored stout is washed over Rappahannock River oyster shells for that salty bay flavor. Drinking the Stout actually helps clean the bay since part of the profits go to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, an oyster shell recovery program.
Know before you go: Parking is limited here, please drive carefully down the road. If parking is full, there will be a Shuckapalooza representative to direct you to overflow parking.
…And while you’re here: Merroir is the tasting room to the Rappahannock Oyster Co and one of the Shuckapalooza’s lunch spots. Everything is either served raw or cooked on an outdoor grill, small-plate-style, and beautifully paired with craft brews and world-famous wines. Each menu item is singularly-focused, seasonal, and ever-changing, so there’s always a surprise in store. Beautiful majestic views and fresh from the river oysters is an experience you cannot miss!
EXPERIENCE: TOOLS OF THE TRADE
LOCATION: URBANNA SEAFOOD AND RAW BAR 453 Johnsons Dr, Urbanna, VA
- One Wild Harvest Oyster tasting
Urbanna is the epicenter of the Virginia oyster history and culinary adventure. The village is also the site of the Urbanna Oyster Festival, the official festival of the Oyster in Virginia. On this stop, guests will have a rare opportunity to tour one of the few oyster shucking houses still in operation. View a small Oyster vessel for a short lecture on the tools of the oyster industry in the Rappahannock River from a native waterman. In addition, attendees will also be able to tour a crab shedding facility at this location. While definitely not an oyster, crabs provide income to waterman during the summer months of June-August, when they are unable to dredge for oysters. At the Urbanna Seafood and Raw Bar restaurant, attendees will view a demonstration from a local oyster shucker on how to best open those tasty bivalves, and will be provided an oyster to taste freshly shucked.
Know before you go: This is a hidden gem. Follow the Shucka signs, even if you think you are lost.
…And while you’re here: As a Shuckapalooza lunch spot, this waterfront location is a beautiful backdrop for eating the freshest seafood in the area! Known for their wild caught and aqua-farmed oysters and fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crabs you won’t want to miss specialties like Crab Balls with a Zesty Remoulade Sauce, Crab Bites, Spicy Tugboat Shrimp, Low Country Boil for two, Little Neck Clams, Crab Cakes, Steamed Mussels, and Fish Tacos.
EXPERIENCE: THE ‘SHUCKING’ SANCTUARY
LOCATION: TIDES INN, 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA
- a specially prepared fried oyster tasting
Located at The Tides dock in Irvington, this stop on the tour features a short boat trip provided by our partner, Friends of the Rappahannock, to the Ellery Kellum Oyster Sanctuary. Learn how the oyster plays a part in restoring the bay by filtering over 50 gallons of water per day. At the reef sanctuary there will be plenty of opportunity for hands on learning and discussions about Friends of the Rappahannock’s oyster restoration programs and ways you can help protect the Rappahannock River.
Know before you go: You will be on the water; dress for comfort.
…And while you’re here: As a Shuckapalooza lunch spot it’s casual yet refined dining in the Chesapeake Room or grab a Lancaster Lemonade out on the Terrace for a spectacular view of Carter’s Creek. The menus at the Tides always deliver. Superior food, service and views make the Tides a “must” when in the River Realm.
EXPERIENCE: EAST VS WEST ‘SHUCKDOWN’
LOCATION: DOG AND OYSTER VINEYARD 170 White Fences Dr, Irvington, VA
- One Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay Wine and Oyster tasting
- Once Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay Wine and Oyster tasting
Wine and Oysters take the taste of their homes. Compare the pairing of award winning wines of the Dog and Oyster Vineyard with Rappahannock River oysters (Western Shore) vs. the wines of Chatham Vineyards and Shooting Point oysters (Eastern Shore). It’s where terroir and merroir meet!
Know before you go: You will be on the water; dress for comfort.
…And while you’re here: The Dog and Oyster’s SIP & SLUP dining will be open until 5:30 PM for noshing.
EXPERIENCE: BEACH ROAST
LOCATION: WILLABY’S ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK 327 Old Ferry Rd, White Stone, VA plus MISS MARY SEAFOOD just off shore
- Two Roasted Oyster tastings (One Roasted Oyster sample from Willaby’s & One Roasted Oyster sample from Miss Mary Seafood (Back Bay Golds Oysters from Back River)
- Two craft beer tastings
Ever wonder how coastal Virginian’s host a Southern Oyster Roast? The process is not complicated once you see it in action. Hit the beach at Willaby’s Restaurant, located adjacent to the Rappahannock River Bridge. A culinary expert will give you a hands-on experience on setting up a traditional oyster roast. Your visit will include a wild-harvest oyster tasting with more available for purchase.
Miss Mary Seafood, in White Stone, will feature a local waterman demonstrating harvesting techniques. Just anchored off of the beach, you will view the deadrise boats still used by watermen today. Miss Mary Seafood will offer an oyster tasting of their Back Bay Golds from the Back River.
Know before you go: If the parking lot is full, park along the entrance road to the restaurant and walk down the hill to the beach.
…And while you’re here: As a Shuckapalooza lunch spot, enjoy this local favorite for classic American comfort food while overlooking the Rappahannock River. Stick around in the evening for live music and an incredible 28 craft beers on tap.
Location: HPP OF VIRGINIA 27 Industrial Dr., Topping, VA 23169
- One HPP oyster tasting
HPP takes the struggle out of opening oysters, a high-tech way to shuck oysters. Visitors will discover a revolutionary pressure machine for opening oysters before they go to markets. The process leaves the whole, delicious, natural product, plumped with its own brine and completely separated from the shell. HPP of Virginia, is providing restaurants, grocery stores and events, with an alternative option to laborious hand-shucked oysters. In addition, Oyster Company of Virginia has also acquired rights to Reeftek, Inc.’s “Oyster Eco Reef Module”, you will be able to see one reef on site! Your guided tour of the facility will end with a sample of an oyster prepared out of the HPP machine.
Know before you go: It may look like an industrial park, so don’t be alarmed. Park in the parking lot outside the facility; experience newly engineered technology for the oyster industry.
…And while you’re here: Don’t forget to visit the ‘Oyster Eco Reef Module,’ a uniquely engineered design!