Norwalk Oyster Festival: Everything You Need To Know To Get Shucking | Stanton House Inn
shucking oysters at the norwalk oyster festival

Norwalk Oyster Festival: Everything You Need to Know to Get Shucking

man slurping a raw oysterDid you know that the New York area used to be a major source of the worldwide trade in oysters?


Even the estuaries around New York City supplied oyster eaters with their preferred food. And builders used mortar from crushed oyster shells on more than a few buildings in Manhattan.


Southern Fairfield County, stretched along the northern coast of the Long Island Sound, was no different.


Pollution and dredging for shipping decimated New York City’s oyster trade. Meanwhile, our oyster trade lives-on.


And we celebrate it each year at the Norwalk Oyster Festival. This year, it’s happening September 8, 9, 10 of 2023.


Celebrate oyster history at the Norwalk Oyster Festival


oystermen fishing boatOne of the CT fall festivals that celebrates the unsung virtues of oysters and oystermen is the Norwalk Oyster Festival.


Oystermen are fishers of oysters., by the way.


The more you know.


When to look forward to the Norwalk Oyster Festival


The Festival always happens in mid-September. It begins at 6 pm on Friday until 11 pm, and continues throughout the weekend until 8 pm on Sunday night. This year, the 2023 Norwalk Oyster Festival happens the weekend of September 10, 2023.


What to do at the Norwalk Oyster Festival


Fans of raw oyster slurping or no will relish a day at the Norwalk Oyster Festival.


A few top attractions here include:


New England Village


pile of oyster shells at the norwalk oyster festivalYou’ll find thousands of unique and useful gifts for all tastes, budgets, and ages at the New England Village. Items on sale from over a hundred vendors include:


  • Handcrafted jewelry


  • Artwork


  • Sculpture


  • Photography


  • Decorative and functional pottery


And woodcrafts such as kid-sized toys, boxes, and furniture, clothing, accessories, wearable art, and much more!


Kids’ Cove


This area of the festival has everything to keep the wee ones entertained:


  • Games


  • Face painting


  • Carnival rides


  • Live entertainment


  • And parades


plate of raw oysters at the international food court at the norwalk oyster festivalInternational Food Court


This area serves a variety of international cuisines, from Mexican to Colombian. Plus the fair staples like funnel cake and cotton candy. This is also the place to find New England specialties, like lobster dinners, Connecticut lobster rolls, and raw oysters galore.


Because, of course.


And the craft beer tent serves more than forty different beers from the best breweries in Connecticut, among others.


Harbor Tour Cruises


And head to the dock at the Veteran’s Park dock for the Oyster Festival Harbor Cruise.


Live entertainment at the Norwalk Oyster Festival


The biggest news is always who they get to come play. The line-up is always fairly eclectic, but you can get a great performer out there at times, some from a while back and others from a more recent decade. You can get a preview of who will be playing here. Anyway, the point is that the musical appearances will be a blast, as will the rest of the Norwalk Oyster Festival.


How to get to the Norwalk Oyster Festival


serving raw oystersThe festival happens on the 35-acre Veteran’s Park on Seaview Avenue in East Norwalk.


It’s pretty much an easy walk across a bridge from downtown South Norwalk, CT.


Free parking and shuttle services are available from 30 minutes before the festival begins to 30 minutes after it concludes.


The association provides free parking and shuttles services from Calf Pasture Beach and Norwalk Community College from Friday to Sunday.


You’ll also be able to park at Norwalk City Hall and enjoy free shuttle service on Saturday and Sunday.


Paid parking is available at:

  • The Webster Street Parking Lot
  • The Haviland Street Parking Lot
  • The Maritime Aquarium Garage
  • And the Iron Works Garage

All these parking lots are within walking distance of the festival.


A little bit about the Norwalk Seaport Association


The Norwalk Oyster Festival raises money for the Norwalk Seaport Association. The Seaport is an all-volunteer organization. It is devoted to maintaining and preserving the Norwalk Harbor Islands. Part of its work includes providing ferry service and tours of the Sheffield island lighthouse, the most readily accessible of the lighthouses in CT.


Even more things to do in Norwalk, before or after the Norwalk Oyster Festival


If slurping oysters isn’t your thing, visiting the islands is a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.


map things to do in norwalk ct visitors guide Norwalk Oyster Festival: Everything You Need to Know to Get Shucking
Map design by Stanton House Inn


In fact, visiting the Sheffield Island Lighthouse and enjoying a Thursday clambake, is one of the most unique things to do in Connecticut.


But there are plenty of other fun and unique things to do in Norwalk, CT, after you’re done shucking oysters.


On a lovely September day in Connecticut, a few options for your CT day trip include:




  • Hanging out with the harbor seals and sea turtles at the Maritime Aquarium


See you there!

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