First ever Annapolis Oyster Fest begins

The first-ever Annapolis Oyster Fest is now underway. It means you can find deals at 19 participating restaurants – and help a couple of different industries out along the way.

The idea for the three-week event came from the Downtown Annapolis Partnership. Executive Director Erik Evans explained that they pitched it as a way to help out both the local restaurant industry and the state’s seafood industry, especially the people who sell oysters.

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"We’ll pick crabs but evidently we don’t want to shuck our own oysters," Evans said, explaining why the oyster industry has been among those hit the hardest during the pandemic.

It leaves people like Spike Meatyard in a tough spot. He’s the co-founder of Double T Oyster Ranch on the Lower Potomac River in St. Mary’s County.

"Over the pandemic we’ve had to train people how to shuck their own oysters, which has been difficult," Meatyard explained. "How do you do that in a virtual way?"

He added that the Oyster Fest has the potential to help, both by creating buzz around his oysters and by sending people into the restaurants where you can find them, including Annapolis Market House.

Not to mention, even if you don’t think you like oysters – Lorenza Aznar, the executive chef at Sailor Oyster Bar, said maybe you should try again.

"Let your server guide you," she explained. "Tell them what you like. Tell them what you don’t like, but there’s definitely going to be a way to enjoy an oyster."

The Annapolis Oyster Fest is scheduled to run through March 21. You can find more information here.