I hope you are not tiring of the Oyster Fest posts. It was such a fun weekend, and I wanted to show you a little more of what it had to offer. The following information was provided courtesy of the official Urbanna Oyster Festival website.
Welcome to the 51st Anniversary of the Urbanna Oyster Festival!
We are pleased and proud to carry on this wonderful tradition begun by a dozen or so local merchants and "town fathers" in 1957. Originally called "Urbanna Days," the festival was established to promote the town and it's economy. In those first years the event was a relatively small gathering of local folks highlighted by a parade comprised primarily of antique cars.
In 1961 the name was officially changed to the "Urbanna Oyster Festival" in recognition and honor of the succulent bivalve that was such an important part of the local economy. The crowning of a Queen and "Little Miss Spat" (a "spat" is a baby oyster) along with the selection of a grand marshal to honor local or state individuals held in high esteem became an important part of the tradition.
In 1986 the prestigious Friday night Fireman's Parade began a truly exhilarating experience. In 1988, the General Assembly of Virginia designated the festival as the official Oyster Festival of the Commonwealth. In 1991, the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation was established to produce and manage the annual festival.
The festival has grown and so have the crowds. Crowds for the two-day event now number nearly 75,000. Food and craft booths number over 125 and the Fireman's Parade features over 80 engines of every size and description. The Oyster Festival Parade on Saturday features over 80 units including numerous marching bands, antique cars, locally produced floats and the renowned Khedive Temple Shrine Club of Norfolk.
Things began to spring to life early Saturday morning. Spirits didn't seem to be dampened by the cloudy skies and light drizzle that blanketed this little water town.
People lined up early to get their pickles. It was encouraging to know that the people running the Pickle Palace were advocates of cleanliness! I'm sorry. I just thought this was hysterical!!!
Some highlights from the parade included:
The Queen and Little Miss Spat contestants........if you do not know what a 'spat' is, you didn't read the intro. from their website:)
The parade mascot........for those of you looking at the sign behind the oyster jeep, the full word is "Middlesex". It's the county in which this event is held. Get your mind out of the gutter!
One delighted little boy........his family stood next to me, and I missed half of the parade because I was so busy watching him laugh and wave!
Hillbillies........bet ya didn't see THAT one coming!
I have one more post saved up from this great event. I'll give you a hint - "SHIVER ME TIMBERS!" There will be pictures.