Saturday & Sunday: Oyster Fest

Oct. 14 and 15

Mothershuckers of all ages are hereby summoned to Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill for the 11th running of the Oyster Fest. Beer and live music round out the festivities, which benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership and the Living Classroom Foundation. On stage will be Jenny Leigh, Neverending Fall, and the Crawdaddies. There will be “carefully-curated tasting tents” and, at 3:30 on Saturday, the sixth annual Baltimore Oyster Shucking Championship, because of course shucking oysters is a competitive sport, complete with $1,000 in prize money. But the stakes used to be much higher. For over 100 years people pillaged the bay for oysters at night, battling each other with guns for the best and most poachable beds, dodging bullets from the state police. People were killed here for oysters as late as 1959. Oysters once formed the bedrock of Baltimore’s economy, so much so that the shells remain the foundation of many of the houses in South Baltimore. Don’t take them for granted. Admission is free, but oysters’ll cost ye. Oct. 15. noon-9 p.m.; Oct. 15, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Ryleigh’s Oyster, 36 E. Cross St., (410) 539-2093, ryleighs.com, free admission ($17 and up to eat). (Edward Ericson Jr.)

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