And while benefitting a good cause surely brings people in, the main attractions are the scrumptious small plates and sips of Long Island wine and beer.
“Last year I only went one day. This year I cleared my calendar [to attend Saturday and Sunday],” said Jackie Smith of Shelter Island. “I’m coming back tomorrow, it’s so, so worth it.”
Here’s how it works: restaurants offer wristband-wearers $5 small shellfish plates paired with $3 sips of Long Island wine or beer. Wristbands are $25, although organizers have almost certainly already sold the maximum of 1,000 bracelets by now.
Proceeds benefit Cornell’s Back to the Bays Initiative as well as the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training (SPAT), a Cornell Cooperative Extension program that encourages locals to grow shellfish.
SPAT volunteer Bob Gatehouse of Laurel said he and his wife Sue were inspired to attend the festival to both benefit the program and to enjoy the offerings.
“We had fresh oysters for Thanksgiving and we’ll have them for New Year’s Eve,” Ms. Gatehouse said.
The festival continues tomorrow, Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m. Visit Shellabration.li for more details.
See more pics below.
Vera Chinese has been the editor of northforker.com and northforker magazines since May 2014.
Prior to that she spent two and a half years as a staff reporter for the New York Daily News.
She joined the Riverhead News-Review as a staff writer in January 2010 and was named Associate Web Editor nine months later.
She previously worked for the Southampton Press Western Edition and was named the third place 2008 Rookie Reporter of the Year by the New York Press Association. She graduated from Wagner College in 2006 where she received a bachelor's degree in English. She earned a master's degree in English education from New York University in 2007.
She is a 2002 graduate of Eastport High School and has lived on the East End for more than 20 years.