Oysters galore at annual Oyster Festival Aug. 17 and 18

(2018) Festival organizers say the 44th Annual Milford Oyster Festival will be the center of the oyster universe on Aug.17 and 18.

The reigning U.S. oyster shucking champion, Honor Allen, is coming up to Milford from Panama City, Fla. And the Guinness record holder for the most oysters shucked in one minute, Patrick McMurray, is coming down from Canada.

They will compete against another 20 of the fastest shuckers in the world for a $1,000 first place prize.

Also returning from Panama City is last year’s Milford champion, Max Dawson.

On the ladies side, Lisa Bellamy from North Carolina will also be competing. Bellamy has won the women’s side of the U.S. national shucking competition five times.

The Milford Oyster Festival shucking competition will kick off on Friday evening at 5:45 p.m. with two heats to determine the three competitors who will appear in the finals on Saturday. Saturday’s shucking finals will start at 11 a.m.

The Oyster Eating Competition will immediately follow at 11:15 a.m.

Both the Friday and Saturday competitions will be held on the Lisman Landing Harbor Stage.

The East Coast Shellfish Growers Association sponsors the shucking contest and supplies oysters to the festival. This year more than 20 varieties of oysters will be available.

The East Coast Shellfish Growers Association and the festival committee co-sponsor the Milford winner to compete in the U.S. national shucking championships held in St. Mary’s Maryland in October.

Patrick McMurray’s Guinness record is 39 oysters opened in one minute.

Oyster Eve, a pre-festival tradition, will be on Aug.17, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Lisman Landing.

Frontiers, the ultimate Journey Tribute Band, will be playing. They will play at the festival on Saturday as well.

There is a $5 cover and children under 14 enter free.

All minors must be accompanied by an adult.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 18.

This year Eddie Money will perform on the main stage. Opening for Eddie Money will be John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band.

Starting the show is Milford’s own Mark C. Daniel.

Other events include the classic car show, children’s stage, harbor activities, arts and crafts on the green, amusement rides, craft beer garden, and food.

Neither dogs or coolers are allowed.

For more information visit milfordoysterfestival.com.