Shuck, Slurp & Toast at the 3rd Annual Rockaway Oyster Festival

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 What’s better than great oysters — great music — and great beer?

You’ll find all that and more at the Craic Oyster Fest, aka Rockaway’s 3rd Annual Oyster Festival, kicking off Saturday, September 16 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the historic Belle Harbor Yacht Club (BHYC).

Get ready to shuck, slurp, taste and toast at the waterfront, where all your senses will be further tantalized with live music from Mundy, one of Ireland's most exciting live singers/songwriters rocking the house with his celebratory folk/pop/rock style. Then get carried away by the reggae vibrations of JAHSTIX aka RastaRock, as he electrifies the crowd with his rhythmic lineup of roots reggae, roots rock, folk and blues.

According to Terrence Mulligan, CEO of CRAIC Oyster Fest, “This will be the holy trinity of oysters, music and beer.

“This year is significant because it’s a three-city event happening in Rockaway, Long Beach and Chicago. Every year, we try to change it up and do something different that always leaves folks waiting in feverish anticipation for the next year,” Mulligan said.

This year’s festival will feature Naked Cowboy and Blue Point oysters, selected by Blue Island Oyster Company, which has been harvesting oysters from Long Island Sound for more than 15 years.

“If you are an oyster connoisseur, you would know that these are robust wild oysters that mature slowly, taking three years to reach market size with richer, firmer meats,” Mulligan said.

All of the oyster shells from the event will be collected and given to the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative of the New York Harbor Foundation, aiming to restore one billion oyster shells to New York Harbor, and engaging hundreds of thousands of school children through ocean and bay reef restoration based STEM education programs.

“Our Oyster Festivals are zero waste events. This is why we partnered with the Billion Oyster Project to make sure the shells are put to good use for our marine environment,” Mullligan said.

John McCann, commodore of the BHYC, is ecstatic about the Oyster Festival being hosted at the Club. “The Oyster Festival is an excellent event for our community including our current members, visitors and those wishing to join the BYHC. We are going to give tours of the Club, and hopefully after having a great time, folks will be enticed to join our beautiful community, where we offer social activities, recreation, and services for adults and children alike in a historical location with a waterfront tradition,” McCann.

“I love Rockaway,” Mulligan said. “It’s just like Long Beach, where I live. It’s like we’re in the same church, just a different pew. Strong community, great surf and beach. What better place to do the Oyster Fest than here? It’s a new year with a new fabulous venue, the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, but the same beach vibe where folks will be shucking and indulging in oysters, sipping on great beer and vibing to spectacular music,” Mulligan said.

The Rockaway Oyster Festival will also feature raffle prizes, one of which is a trip from JetBlue.

Note that you must be 23 or older to attend the event. A $50 VIP ticket includes unlimited beer and oysters for three hours. For more information about Craic Fest visit: www.thecraicfest.com. To book your tickets in advance, including VIPs, visit: www.eventbrite.com/e/3rd-rockaway-oyster-music-fest-916-tickets-33398126696 or search “Rockaway Oyster Fest” on Eventbrite.com.

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