Fall Festival Season
Leaf peeping can be an adventure all its own, or it can be a sidebar to a day of fun during fall festival season. Consider the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta October 7–9. The Maine event features a giant pumpkin parade, giant pumpkin drop, and pumpkin derby. Oh, and pumpkin regatta using hollowed-out giant pumpkins with outboard motors. Yep, that’s right.
Boaters access the festival via the Damariscotta River located a 40-minute cruise upstream from South Bristol. Contact the Damariscotta harbormaster (207-563-3398) for docking and mooring arrangements.
Bay State boaters should enjoy the 18th Annual Wellfleet OysterFest October 13–14 in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on the eastern shore of Cape Cod Bay. Celebrating the town’s famous oysters, clams and coastal culture, this event features local cuisine, fine art, crafts, culinary programs, children’s activities, live music, a road race, and the Oyster Shuck-Off competition. It’s produced by nonprofit organization Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, a group devoted to sustaining the area’s shellfishing and aquaculture. Contact the harbormaster (508-349-0320) for transient docking and mooring information. The harbor needs serious dredging, so avoid the two hours either side of low tide.
Another seafaring celebration scheduled for October 13–14 is the 35th Annual Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay, New York. It’s one of the largest waterfront festivals on the East Coast with over 200,000 attendees, many arriving at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park by boat. Enjoy live entertainment, tall ships, pirate shows, oyster eating, and shucking contests, and a food court where volunteer chefs and culinary pros work side-by-side to serve up dozens of unique oyster, clam and seafood concoctions along with traditional festival fare. Contact dockwa.com for mooring reservations and information.
By Tom Schlichter, Southern Boating October 2018