36th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival

This weekend marks the 36th Annual North Carolina Oyster Festival that is taking place on Saturday, October 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival is being held at 8 East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.

The festival is where you’ll find oyster shucking contests, shaggin’ dance competition (the “Carolina Shag), arts and crafts, an oyster stew cook-off, great music and, as hinted at before, plenty of dancing. Events during the weekend include:

The Muddy Oyster Challenge


An obstacle mud course that challenges participants with climbing over walls, carrying heavy objects, traversing bodies of water, and crawling under barbed wire. Individuals and teams can sign up for The Muddy Oyster Challenge.

The Shaggin’ Oyster Challenge


Get your Shag on Sunday, October 16 at 1:30 p.m. and compete in one of three divisions. Contest divisions will be Amateur, Novice, and Junior. The Shaggin’ Oyster Challenge is sponsored by the Coastal Shag Club of Shallotte.

Oyster Shucking Contest


Send your fastest oyster shuckers to gain fame and prize money by competing in this contest. Join us on Saturday, October 15 at 3:00 PM to put your shucking skills to the test.

Oyster Stew Cook-Off


Participants of the Oyster Stew Cook-Off will compete for title of best oyster stew in the state. The cook-off is open to all restaurants. The winning stew will be named the “People’s Choice”.

Live Entertainment


The NC Oyster Festival is one of the top venues for amazing local and regional musical talent. This year’s lineup includes everything from beach music to country. Artists include Whitney Layne, Darrell Harwood, and many others. Make sure you join us for some great live music!

Meet Ozzy the Oyster


Be sure to meet Ozzy and have your photo taken with him at our photo booth! Ozzy is our official oyster aficionado. He has been waiting all year to welcome you back to the North Carolina Oyster Festival!

Parking spaces are limited on the island. A free shuttle services will be provided from designated lots on the mainland. The shuttles will run non-stop throughout the festival. Please keep in mind during the times of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., we experience high traffic volume onto the island. Please allow extra time as you may have a longer wait time to get onto the shuttles.

The festival is held rain or shine. Admission is $5. Children under 10 are admitted free. Pets are not permitted on the festival grounds. Service animals are welcome.

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