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Oyster Festival 2017: A guide to what’s good

Oyster shuckers compete at the 2016 Oyster Festival

Oyster shuckers compete at the 2016 Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay. Photo Credit: Lifetime Photography

Say the words “Oyster Festival” and Long Islanders start to salivate. This weekend’s event is expected to draw more than 150,000 people to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. With 40 food booths to choose from, it’s tough to decide where to start.

Here’s a taste of some homemade favorites off the menu from local nonprofit organizations:

OYSTER PO’BOY

MADE BY U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary – Oyster Bay Flotilla 22-5

PRICE $10

Those seeking a hearty sandwich need look no further than the oyster po’boy: lightly battered deep-fried oysters on a soft bakery hero with Cajun coleslaw and sliced pickles.

“It’s got a hot salty crunch with a heat kick,” says vice commander Valerie Elefonte. “You don’t need condiments. It’s got enough flavors going on.”

ALSO SERVES Yuca fries ($5), cheese or pumpkin ravioli ($10), chicken dumplings ($5), egg rolls (two for $5) and cannolis (two for $5).

CLAMS ON THE HALF SHELL, STEAMED CLAMS, LOBSTER DINNER

MADE BY North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association

PRICE $15 for a dozen clams on the half shell or steamed, $20 for a 1 1⁄2 pound lobster dinner.

No one knows shellfish like the baymen who spend their days working on Oyster Bay Harbor. They go through some 36,000 clams and 2,400 pounds of lobster over the course of the weekend.

“The people who are serving the clams are the people who are digging them,” says senior bayman Bill Fetzer. “We take a lot of pride in giving the best product to the public.”

ALSO SERVES Mussels in a white wine sauce ($15)

FRIED OYSTERS

MADE BY Mill River Rod & Gun Club

PRICE $10 per boat

With six grills all fired up simultaneously, Mill River Rod & Gun Club has been serving this popular dish since the early days of the festival. The key is freshness.

“Nothing is pre-made. Everything is done at the booth,” says booth chairman Kenny Warren. “We can’t get them off the grill fast enough. People buy 10 orders at a time.”

EMPANADAS & TACOS

MADE BY Centro Cultural Hispano de Oyster Bay-East Norwich

PRICE $7 empanadas, $10 two tacos

Not a seafood fan? Enjoy authentic dishes made by members of the Centro Cultural Hispano, who use their family recipes from Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico.

“We put a lot of love in our food,” says executive director Luz Torres. “Everything is made from scratch.”

ALSO SERVES $7 two pupusas, $8 two tostadas with guacamole

OYSTER STEW

MADE BY The Oyster Bay Lions Club

PRICE $8 per cup, $22 per quart

There’s nothing like enjoying a hot cup of oyster stew made with a secret recipe stemming back to old-school Oyster Bay restaurant Uwe’s.

“It’s very rich and has a lot of flavor,” says booth chairman Michael Corssen. “If you like oysters, it’s a must.”

ALSO SERVES Kielbasa sandwiches ($8), roasted corn ($4) and pierogies ($8).

The Oyster Festival

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14-15, at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, West End Avenue, Oyster Bay. Rain or shine.

INFO 516-628-1625, theoysterfestival.org

ADMISSION Free

GETTING THERE Take the LIRR to Oyster Bay (the stop is at the festival’s entrance) – or Syosset, where passengers will be shuttled to the festival site. There are five other designated parking lots nearby that will also have shuttle bus service.

EXTRAS

After getting your fill at the festival’s food court, check out these activities:

MUSIC The Main Stage features tribute bands to Bruce Springsteen (12:30 p.m. Saturday), the Beatles (3 p.m. Saturday), the Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers (4:15 p.m. Saturday), the Beach Boys (noon Sunday) and Tom Petty (1 p.m. Sunday). DJ Theo will pump up the volume and drop the bass at the West End Avenue Stage (4:30 p.m. Sunday)

CONTESTS Oyster eating and shucking contest on West End Avenue Stage (2 p.m. Saturday)

KIDS The Kings of the Coast will hold a pirate show and treasure hunt on the western waterfront. (12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)

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