The 32nd annual Oyster Festival is coming back to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay on Oct. 17-18. One of the largest events of the year, it typically draws more than 150,000 people over the course of the weekend.
"Last year we sold 45,000 oysters on the half shell," said James Fuccio, co-chair of the Oyster Bay Rotary Club, at a kickoff news conference Friday. "We're trying to up that this year."
Also new this year: The World's Largest Rubber Duck -- a six-story-high vessel that weighs 11 tons -- will be docked in Oyster Bay Harbor for photo ops along with the John J. Harvey Fireboat, which shoots water in all directions. Dix Hills singer/songwriter Ryan Star, whose hits include "Stay Awhile," "Last Train Home" and "Breathe," will perform Oct. 17.
"As a Long Island kid, it's in my DNA to fit in with the audience here. I think I'll be very comfortable," said Star, who sang the national anthem at the news conference.
New York Giants fans can meet two-time Super Bowl champion Sean Landeta, the famed punter who spent 10 years on the team. The Nassau County resident will be part of the Long Island championship of the NFL's Punt, Pass & Kick for kids ages 6-15 on at 9 a.m. Oct. 18.
"I like to let kids know that I was just like them growing up playing and loving sports," Landeta said. "If there's any way I can help or inspire them, I'll do that. It should be a great morning."
The free, two-day event features a food court with more than 40 specialties prepared by local organizations, most starring oysters raw, steamed, stewed or fried.