Get ready, seafood lovers. It’s time to “shellabrate” again.
A year after it debuted, Shellabration is coming back to Greenport Village this weekend, letting locavores sample oysters, clams and more pulled from Peconic Bay, with wine and beers made on the North Fork.
“The people who went last year really loved it,” said event chairman Joseph Pagano.
“Nobody really knew what was going to happen,” said founder John Kramer. “It was a fantastic success.” More than 740 visitors attended the event last year, organizers said.
Thirteen restaurants will be participating this year, offering sample dishes, gifts and a specially paired wine from a nearby winery from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The Greenport Business Improvement District has also asked stores in the village to remain open late so that “Shellabrators” can go shopping once they’ve finished sampling restaurant fare.
BID president Peter Clarke said he thinks local merchants will benefit more this year thanks to better promotion of the event.
“Last year it was not as well organized or as publicized as I think it is this year,” Mr. Clarke said, adding that nearby bed and breakfasts are preparing for an influx of visitors.
“I think most of the restaurants are going out of their way to do something,” Mr. Pagano said. “What Shellabration is becoming is a competition between restaurants.”
A $15 donation nets visitors wristbands for the two-day food festival, and lets attendees join in a beer-tasting and a shellfish sampler from the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training at Cornell Cooperative Extension, a program that encourages locals to grow shellfish.
The donations will be split 50-50 between Southold Project in Aquaculture Training and the Greenport Rotary, which took over managing the event this year.
The event will once again be capped at 1,000 customers to make sure “people have a good experience,” Mr. Pagano said. About half the available wristbands have been sold thus far, he said.
“It’s a quiet time of year, and we’re trying to bring in business for the holiday season,” he said.
For more information about Shellabration, including how to purchase wristbands in advance, visit shellabration.li. Wristbands can be picked up at the East End Seaport Museum on Third Street next to the Shelter Island Ferry dock.