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Ryleigh’s Oyster Announces Dates for 7th Annual Oysterfest and 3rd Annual Baltimore Oyster Shucking

Ryleigh’s Oyster Announces Dates for 7th Annual Oysterfest
and 3rd Annual Baltimore Oyster Shucking Championship

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – September 13, 2013 – On October 9-13, 2013, Ryleigh’s Oyster will host its seventh annual Oysterfest, a four-day festival centered on the appreciation and preservation of Chesapeake Bay oysters. The free, family-friendly festival in the historic Federal Hill neighborhood features Buck-a-Shuck $1 oysters from as many as twenty different oyster farms and live musical performances from singer-songwriter Jenny Leigh and the Baltimore cover band Hot Tub Limo, among others.

Ryleigh’s Oyster launches into the Oysterfest weekend on Wednesday, October 9th at the annual kickoff party, The Moet Oyster Ball, a ticketed, dress-to-impress function complete with unlimited Moet Imperial champagne, open bar, seafood-centric hors d’oeuvres, and a fully-stocked raw bar featuring over 15 varieties of oysters( tickets at The festivities pick up again as Cross Street, lined with vendors staffed by local artisans, watermen, restaurants and community organizations, closes down on Saturday and Sunday, October 12th & 13th.

Saturday promises the highlight of Oysterfest VII with the third annual Baltimore Oyster Shucking Championship. Professional and amateur oyster shuckers from the Country best restaurants and oyster bars will compete for cash prizes and a paid sponsorship to the National Oyster Shucking Championship in St. Mary’s County. George “Hannibal” Hastings will defend his title as Baltimore’s champion since the competition’s inception in 2011. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, who in 2011 declared October 5th Baltimore Oyster Shucking Day, will preside over the 2013 ceremonies.

Cultivating local interest in the rich history of the Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore’s favorite bivalve has always been a top priority for Ryleigh’s Oyster. “We are committed to educating people on the past, present and future of the oyster” said Brian McComas of Ryleigh’s Oyster. “We feel we have a responsibility to do so since the oyster is such an important part of our business. Oysterfest is just our way to jump start things each Chesapeake Bay Oyster Season!”

Proceeds from Oysterfest VII will benefit two local nonprofit organizations, the Oyster Recovery Partnership and The Living Classrooms Foundation Shipboard Department. The Oyster Recovery Partnership is a 501(3c) organization devoted to restoring the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay through the recycling of discarded oyster shells. Ryleigh’s Oyster recycles over 30,000 shells during OysterFest alone. Additionally, proceeds will benefit the maintenance of the historic skipjack Sigsbee through The Living Classrooms Foundation. The Sigsbee, built in 1901, is a traditional Chesapeake Bay skipjack, a sailing craft designed to dredge for oysters. The ship, adopted by Ryleigh’s Oyster this past year, served in the Chesapeake Bay Oyster fleet for 88 years and today serves thousands of students every year with hands-on educational programs.

About Ryleigh’s Oyster:

With locations in Historic Federal Hill and Padonia Road in Hunt Valley (October 2013), Ryleigh’s Oyster specializes in only the freshest seafood, meats, poultry and produce. Combining excellent service in a relaxed but vibrant Oyster Bar atmosphere, Ryleigh’s Oyster has become recognized as one of the Nation’s and Baltimore’s best.