Oyster Fest launch party previews oyster sampling


The 3rd annual Long Beach Oyster Fest is set to take place on Sept. 15, where guests can enjoy live music, beer, and oyster sampling.

The festival — sponsored by Heineken — is organized by West End resident Terence Mulligan, who also puts together the annual Wee Craic Festival, a showcase of Irish short films and music, as well as the Rockaway Oyster and Music Festival.

Dozens of people are expected to gather at JJ Coopers, located at 124 W. Park Ave, between 2 and 5 p.m. for the festivities.

“Last year was a success in the church lot and it puts [this event] on another level,” Mulligan said. “This year we are moving close to the Long Island Rail Road to attract more people from outside Long Beach.”

A kickoff launch party was held at JJ Coopers on Aug. 14, where guests were invited to eat oysters and sip beer as a preview of what’s to come.

Mulligan has partnered with CORE, the Community Oyster Restoration Effort, to collect the used shells, which would be used to help build oyster reefs around Long Island. The festival will be a zero-waste event. Volunteers from the Town of Hempstead, Adelphi University and Long Beach High School will help with the effort.

“Come next season, we’ll be recycling the shell, and we’ll be setting small oysters onto it and creating new oyster reefs in the bay,” said Hempstead Town Biologist Stephen Naham, the director of the shellfish hatchery.

The oysters are local — they come from Peconic Gold Oysters and Lucky 13 Oysters from the Great South Bay Area. Local musician Trish Torrales will provide music for the evening.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.thecraicfest.com.