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Connecticut's Leading Summer Experience at the Milford Oyster Festival

Milford, Connecticut, is a one-of-a-kind vacation destination that features a rich living history, great festivals, a vibrant art scene, ample activities and breathtaking vistas.


Milford was founded in the late 17th Century, making it one of the oldest cities in the state. With so many activities, you may need multiple visits to Milford, to get the full scope of this great city. You’ll encounter beautifully preserved historical buildings like the The Eells-Stow House, The Clark-Stockade House, and The Bryan-Downs House, all of which will give you a new perspective to many aspects of life from that era. The art scene flourishes here thanks to artisans embracing influences from past and present time periods, along with beautiful natural surroundings. Throughout town you’ll see great examples of local art and culture at places such as Eastbound Theater and the Firehouse Art Gallery.


Without question, a major factor that inspires and attracts residents and visitors is the natural beauty of the area. You’ll love the local beaches (Walnut Beach and Gulf Beach) as well as local parks and public areas, which offer a chance to relax and partake in outdoor activities. Make sure to plan a visit to Silver Sands State Park, Eisenhower Park and Wilcox Park. Not only do the residents of the city love its history and scenery, but they they also enjoy celebrating with big festivals like the Milford Oyster Festival.


The Milford Oyster Festival is ramping up for another great celebration, heading into it’s 42nd year. This is the largest festival in Connecticut and event organizers are expecting attendance to be around 50,000 people. The festival has something for everyone, making it a great destination for the entire family. The festival will feature 19 varieties of oysters from eight different states on the East Coast, with a total oyster count of over 35,000. In addition to the oysters, you’ll find an art and craft show, kids activities, live music, boat rides, contests, races and more. If you're over the age of 21, there will be a great selection of craft beers and wine to enjoy as you peruse the Festival. With so much to offer, the Milford Oyster Festival will turn your next East Coast vacation into a getaway you won't soon forget. got the chance to interview Michele Dibella, Head of Publicity for the festival, to talk all about this great event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

MD: Started in 1975, the Milford Oyster Festival is the largest one-day festival in Connecticut, drawing 50,000 people every year to this family-oriented event. Located in downtown Milford, it’s main purpose is to promote civic and nonprofit organizations, the local businesses of Milford, and the downtown area as a destination. All of this is done with an event that celebrates the importance of the oyster industry that existed in Milford.


The Milford Oyster Festival is the largest tourism event in Milford bringing in thousands of visitors from around the area and helping to showcase the beautiful charm of the Milford Green, Milford harbor, and the downtown area.


The event is planned and coordinated by the Annual Milford Oyster Festival, Inc., an IRS-defined 501c(4) non-profit organization consisting of an all-volunteer committee.


RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?

MD: There is something for everyone and people of all ages attend.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MD: This is the largest one day event in Connecticut, and it's all free!


RAL: Walk us through the activities attendees will find at the festival.

MD: Oyster Eve, the festival kick-off event, will be held on Friday, August 19th, from 6pm to 10pm at Lisman Landing. Performing at Oyster Eve and at the festival will be Eaglemania, a Eagles tribute band. Craft beers, wine, oysters and other great food will be available during the kick-off. Oyster Eve has a $5.00 cover and children under 14 are free but must be accompanied by an adult.


Here is a list of the activites you'll find at the festival on Saturday 8/20.

  • Arts and crafts show

  • Big toys

  • Car Show

  • Music

  • Children's activities

  • Nonprofit groups

  • Schooner rides

  • Canoe and kayak races

  • Oyster shucking contest

  • Amusement rides.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

MD: Yes, this year we will feature the Marshall Tucker Band and Blue Oyster Cult as well as Eaglemania on our second stage.


RAL: What will people find for dining options?

MD: The Milford Oyster Festival has the largest variety of oysters at any festival in the USA. There will be 35,000 oysters composed of 19 varieties from eight states on the East Coast. Try one of each along with all types of foods, craft beer and wine.


RAL: Why should people come?

MD: The Milford Oyster Festival is the largest one-day festival in Connecticut. The event has activities for everyone and it is free! We run shuttle buses from two locations, or you can take the train, which is one block from the Green.

For more information about the Milford Oyster Festival, please visit their website.