Nancy and I have been attending the Oyster Festival in Urbanna each year for the past 20 years, missing only a couple. It’s one of the best parties on the East Coast.
It started back in 1958 when some local businessmen were trying to drum up a little business and staged a parade.
Everybody loves a parade and people came, a few at first, then hundreds, then thousands. Nobody knows for sure how many people actually attend the two-day event on the first weekend in November, but estimates are as high as 75,000 – or more – and that’s a lot of people for a very small town.
We stay at a local cottage, do a little fishing and a lot of eating and drinking and join in the spirit of Urbanna – to have a good time.
This year’s festival took place in ideal weather – sweater weather, but not heavy duty jacket, and, thank goodness, not rainwear.
You never know what the weather will bring in Virginia in November. You might get sunburned in a short sleeve shirt and you might get snowed on. This year was perfect.
There were lots of vendors hawking food and merchandise and our ladies seemingly supported each one, returning to the cottage with multiple shopping bags. I actually bought a couple gifts for Christmas presents, so I chipped in as well.
The food is fantastic, but I’ve learned from experience to always save room for a smoked beef sandwich from Beach Bully out of Virginia Beach. Beach Bully operates as a restaurant in Virginia Beach, and they do a lot of catering and set ups at outdoor events like the Virginia State Fair and the Oyster Festival. If you ever see them at an event, you’ve got to try their beef sandwiches, They make really good pork BBQ, but the beef is the best. They slow-cook top round roasts over coals till just pink, then slice it razor thin, pile it high on a bun and you add the sauce. The sauce is nice and tangy and a perfect complement to beef. It’s good enough to eat by itself.,
Next year, pencil in a day or two at the Oyster Festival in Urbanna and be sure to get a Beach Bully Roast Beef Sandwich.