Yes, the River Realm is known for being gorgeous, for its eight great small towns, and our charming people. More than anything, however, we’re known for the little guys that live in our rivers and bays. We are totally crazy about our oysters! People around the country travel here to order them from our creative restaurants. Foodies near and far also have them shipped to their homes from our many online seafood markets. We truly believe the Virginia oyster is the tastiest of them all. Every November, we give it a proper celebration during the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival. However, this year will look a little different. We’re throwing a physically distanced and socially connected virtual event.
We’ve packed as much excitement and flavor into the celebration as we could! We think we did a pretty good job, too! We hope even more people than ever can join in on the foodie fun with new virtual options that bring you close no matter where you are. Below are a few pointers, helpful links and inspiration to join in on the 2020 Urbanna Oyster Festival.
We’ll begin broadcasting the event live on Facebook at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 7. Make sure you are following us on Facebook (Click Here). We’ll share live footage during the event on the Urbanna Oyster Festival Facebook page. We’ll also share news and updates leading up to the festival. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by following us there now.
You can also RSVP to the event via email on this web page (Click Here). You’ll be added to our email list. You’ll receive announcements, updates, reminders, and helpful tips to participate in the celebration. If you like checking your inbox instead of your feed, this is a great option!
This is still a foodie event! That means you need something to eat–oysters, to be exact. Host your very own VIP Oyster Party. We have several options available to put together the perfect spread. Options include ala carte purchases of 2020 festival tees, beer and wine glasses, and sweatshirts. You can order oysters for your crew in-the-shell or already shucked in a jar from Rappahannock Oyster Company or J & W Seafood or Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company. Order now and get your items shipped directly to you (or pick them up) and tune in on November 7th. Visit our Urbanna Oyster Festival Shop.
It wouldn’t be the Urbanna Oyster Festival without a little bit of friendly competition. We’re still hosting our famous contests. Below are details to join in on the fun.
- The Virginia State Oyster Shucking Contest: This will take place on October 31. The event is not open to the public, but it will be recorded and then broadcast on November 7. Professional shuckers who are over the age of 18 and a Virginia resident can apply to participate. There are 3 cool prizes! Sign up here.
- Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen + Little Miss Spat Competition: This competition is about more than a crown. The Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen and Little Miss Spat contestants are hard at work on their community projects. You can help them raise funds for important organizations and efforts. Donate to the competition here. We are documenting the story of each contestant’s journey and will broadcast the crowning and award ceremony during the November 7th virtual Facebook event.
We’re still open for business! During the virtual festival weekend, November 6-8, Urbanna welcomes you to visit their small town of just 500 people. We’re calling this special weekend Urbanna Days–the original name of the festival. Stroll down Virginia Street and Cross Street for socially distant boutique shopping and dining. Head down Oyster Road to Urbanna Creek and stand in the Watermen’s Way boots for an Instagram worthy photo.
Without the more massive crowds, you will be able to see and discover more in Urbanna. We’re talking 300 years of history shared via our Museum in the Streets, historic walking tour. Stay and relax at local lodging. Click here for all of our lodging options.
A Bit of Urbanna Oyster Festival History
It all started in 1957 when a group of locals came before Town Council and requested $150 for “Urbanna Days.” Within two years, this local festival was named The Urbanna Oyster Festival. By 1988, it was designated as the “official” Oyster Festival of the Commonwealth.
Annually, up to 50,000 people come to explore the region, indulge in local oysters, sip on Virginia craft beer and wines, shop fine art, learn about America’s early history, and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay. The festival is big and bad. As we enjoy it from home, we will honor this history and sense of community.
We’ll continue to update and share news at www.2020urbannaoysterfestival.com.
Follow along on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theurbannaoysterfestival.
Join us on the Gram at @urbannaoysterfest.