Travel the DMV for these area oyster festivals

Venues in D.C., Maryland and Virginia will host events celebrating these saltwater mollusks.

Photo by shaiith, Adobe Stock

Though they can be eaten year-round, the colder months are the best time to enjoy oysters’ unique flavors. From D.C. to Virginia, there are a number of festivals for oyster-lovers to choose from.

Chincoteague Oyster Festival
Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitors to the island’s annual oyster festival will find the bivalve available in a variety of preparations: steamed, fried and on the half-shell. Other attractions include live entertainment and a raffle, plus beer available for purchase. // Tom’s Cove Park: 8128 Beebe Road, Chincoteague

Ryleigh’s Oysterfest 2017
Oct. 14-15, noon-9 p.m.

Immerse yourself in Maryland by meeting local oyster farmers and listening to live music by Baltimore artists at Ryleigh’s Oysterfest. There will be a shucking championship. The event spans two days, so you have plenty of time to join in on the fun. // Ryleigh’s Oyster Federal Hill: 36 E. Cross St., Baltimore

Chesapeake Oyster and Beer Festival
Oct. 21, noon-6 p.m.

Raw, grilled and steamed oysters, food trucks, games, beer and a wine pavilion are among the attractions at the Chesapeake Oyster and Beer Festival. // Capitol Riverfront at First Street SE and N Street SE, Washington, D.C.

51st Annual U.S. Oyster Festival
Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

A shucking championship and oyster cook-off will put festival guests’ competitive edge to the test. Some competitors even travel from across the county to claim the top spot. Beer, arts and crafts and family activities will also be available. // St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds: 42455 Fairgrounds Road, Leonardtown, Maryland

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum OysterFest
Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

At the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, guests can enjoy demonstrations, an oyster stew competition, boat rides and plenty of oysters for slurping. // Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum: 213 N. Talbot St., St. Michaels, Maryland

Urbanna Oyster Festival
Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The 60th Urbanna Oyster festival brings together history, beer, wine and, of course, oysters. Live music will accompany the festivities, and attendees can peruse educational activities and, on Saturday, an antique car show. // Town of Urbanna, Virginia

Old Ebbitt Grill’s Oyster Riot 2017
Nov. 17, 7-10 p.m.; Nov. 18, 1-4 p.m. & 7-10 p.m.

Old Ebbitt Grill’s 23rd annual Oyster Riot will feature wine, music and activities. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Potomac Riverkeeper Network. // Old Ebbitt Grill: 675 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C.