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A beloved community festival turns 25 this weekend. The Captain Avery Museum in Shady Side, Maryland hosts the annual Oyster Festival on Saturday, October 15.

The event is a celebration of local music and local cuisine, with oysters served in a variety of ways. The museum’s namesake, Captain Avery, made his living farming oysters in the bay and selling his oysters in Baltimore. The Anne Arundel Waterman association will bring you the bivalves by serving you fresh oysters from the bay raw, in sauce or in a shooter.

If raw oysters aren’t your favorite, Deale’s Skipper’s Pier will serve dishes from its renowned menu, and Chesapeake Grille will offer crab soups, burgers and hot dogs. Top it all off with a beer from Forward Brewing in Eastport, or wine, soda and water from Captain Avery’s bars. Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. will have brewed coffee to accompany cookies and cakes from the Avery Bake Sale.

This year, four musical groups perform at two venues on the property: Eastman String Band, Kenney Holmes Rhythm & Blues, Jonathan Stone Bossa Nova, and The Polythene Band (a Beatles tribute band).

Guests also have a chance to win cash prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500.

Choose It items will be on sale, giving you the opportunity to purchase unique entertainment (like tickets to Rams Head), gourmet dinners (like a crab feast at Silver Water or a home-cooked Italian dinner), family vacations (on the coast of Maine), airplane rides and much more.

Kids will enjoy free crafts, like decorating a picture frame or painting an oyster shell. They can also get in touch with their inner pirate by posing in the selfie spots.

Enter the newly reopened museum to learn about three centuries of Chesapeake history.

The 25the The Oyster Festival begins at 12:30 p.m. and lasts until 5:00 p.m. Parking is available off-site (less than 1 mile) at Shady Side Park with a free shuttle. Purchase admission online at or at the festival; $10 for adults and $5 for children.

– Kathy Knotts

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes