TODAY'S PAPER

Oyster festivals coming to West Sayville and Long Beach

Oysters and clams on the half-shell at The Village Raw Bar in Rockville Centre. Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Terence Mulligan of Long Beach calls the offerings at his event the “holy trinity.” It’s one of two Long Island oyster festivals scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15.

“We do oysters, beer and music – that’s why people get excited about it,” says Mulligan, organizer of the Long Beach Oyster Fest. “There’s unlimited beer and raw oysters for three hours.”

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Terence Mulligan of Long Beach calls the offerings at his event the “holy trinity.” It’s one of two Long Island oyster festivals scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15.

“We do oysters, beer and music – that’s why people get excited about it,” says Mulligan, organizer of the Long Beach Oyster Fest. “There’s unlimited beer and raw oysters for three hours.”

There will be the holy trinity at the other gathering of oyster lovers as well – the Blue Island Oyster Fest organized by the Blue Oyster Company in West Sayville to benefit Save the Great South Bay. Unlimited beer from Blue Point Brewery and raw oysters will be available for four hours, in addition to music.

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But the festivals aren’t competing, says Marshall Brown, executive director of Save the Great South Bay, a group that he says has 14,000 Facebook members who want to keep the bay free of pollution. There are enough oyster lovers to go around.

“We’re a good distance away from each other,” Brown, a Sayville resident, says of the two oyster festivals. “We’re not stealing each other’s audience.”

Both events are adults-only and rain or shine.

IN LONG BEACH

The third annual Long Beach Oyster Fest is scheduled to take place at JJ Coopers bar and restaurant on West Park Avenue, and Mulligan says he expects about 350 people to attend. He says that while other oyster festivals are good, his will be one of the best.

“We’ve looked at what other festivals have done to see what we could do better,” Mulligan says. “We’ll have specialty oysters that are some of the best in the country — Peconic Gold and Lucky 13.” He adds, “They come from the Great South Bay and Peconic Bay, and they’re sweet and creamy.”

Music will be provided by Long Beach resident Jah Stix.

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“He can play to any crowd,” Mulligan says. “He can play reggae, rock blues, soul.…”

JJ Coopers has on outdoor patio, so the fun will be both inside and out, Mulligan notes. Attendees can win a trip to a Jet Blue destination of their choice, including international locations. “The world is their oyster,” he adds.

The oyster shells will be collected by high school students and used to protect the marsh at Lido Beach. Mulligan says oyster shells and oyster reefs reduce coastal erosion around Lido Beach.

Long Beach Oyster Fest

WHEN | WHERE  2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at JJ Coopers American Restaurant & Bar, 124 W. Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-431-3133 

INFO thecraicfest.com 

TICKETS $50 ($40 advance online)

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IN WEST SAYVILLE

At the third annual Blue Island Oyster Fest, where about 500 people are expected, there’ll be Drink the Bay Clean beer from the New Point Brewery, a beer created to raise money to save the Great South Bay, as well as other beer choices. “We’ll be raising money for a good cause,” Brown says.

Soundswell will provide the music. “It’s a jam band,” Brown says. “Think of Phish – in that direction.” Members of Soundswell come from such Long Island communities as Sayville and Blue Point.

Ten different types of oysters, mostly from Long Island’s Great South Bay, will be featured, all with a different taste, Brown says. “We don’t fool around.”

Raffles will be part of the festival, and Save the Great South Bay T-shirts, made by autistic children, will be for sale.

Festivalgoers can meet the farmers who grow and harvest the oysters.

Blue Island Oyster Fest

WHEN | WHERE Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Blue Island Oyster Co., 136 Atlantic Ave., West Sayville, 631-750-5986 

INFO blueislandoysterfoundation.com

TICKETS $70