The 40th Annual Fulton Oysterfest, which raises money for the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department among others, opened Thursday at the Fulton Festival Grounds at Fulton Harbor.
“Fulton Oysterfest is our primary fundraiser for the year,” Fulton Fire Chief Rickey McLester said.
While the fire department does receive money from the government, Chief McLester says Oysterfest provides the bulk of his department’s funding. The festival is also vital to other departments’ budgets.
“Our neighboring fire department, Rockport Fire Department, sells fried shrimp and oysters, and it’s their primary fundraiser as well,” Chief McLester said.
As expected at an oysterfest, most of the food is oyster-based, but a Rockport man who’s selling gumbo there went with shrimp instead to be different.
“There’s oysters everywhere else,” gumbo cook Darren Cole said. “[Other vendors] don’t want us using products that they’re going to be using, so everyone has their own products.”
And it’s not just food-products. Oysterfest features a vendor tent with all sorts of art work and crafts. There’s also carnival rides, live music, and contests for oyster eating, shucking, and decorating. And that’s not all.
“Join us for our parade Saturday morning,” Chief McLester said. “We’ll be here Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”
For a schedule of events, hours of operations, directions to the Fulton Festival Grounds, and more information on Fulton Oysterfest 2019, click here.