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Norwalk Oyster Festival Sets Sail This Weekend

Mayor Harry Rilling is joined by others at the ribbon-cutting for the Norwalk Oyster Festival. See next photo for full IDs. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Patty Kolkmeyer, Carol Salvato, Rep. Gail Lavielle, Vincent Scicchitano, Mayor Harry Rilling, First County Bank President Robert Granata, Mike Reilly, Judy Birney, Norma Zukin, Carol Pote and Sen. Bob Duff cut the ribbon for Norwalk's Oyster Festival Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk is gearing up for its annual Oyster Festival, which starts this Friday and promises a weekend full of music, events and family fun.

The Norwalk Seaport Association held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday with volunteers and presenting sponsor First County Bank to kick off the annual event, which is now in its 38th year. The Oyster Festival begins Friday at 6 p.m. at Veterans Park, and continues from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

"The Norwalk Seaport Association is a great organization that we've been partnering with for many years," said First County Bank President Robert Granata."This is a great event that connects individuals, families and businesses within the community."

"This year we have a tremendous musical lineup," said Oyster Festival Chair Mike Reilly.

The Oyster Festival Main Stage will feature three national acts as headliners this year. On Friday, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band will take the stage, followed by Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX on Saturday and Smash Mouth on Sunday. The Hour-Heineken Stage will feature dozens of local and regional bands playing throughout the weekend.

Other attractions will include the Nerveless Nocks Thrill Show, featuring aerial stunts, motorcycles and sway poles. The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show will also return with logrolling, axe throwing, tree climbing, dragster chain sawing and more. There will be a Craft Beer tent featuring more than 25 beers, an expanded food court, the largest-ever Arts and Crafts Pavilion with more than 100 artisans and crafters, an oyster-slurping contest, and the ever-popular Kid's Cove with rides and games.

"It's going to be a great weekend for the family," Reilly said. He also praised the people who work to make the event a success. "It's all about the volunteers. We have more than 1,200 people who put this all together."

Money raised will benefit the full restoration of the Sheffield Island Lighthouse, and maintaining the lighthouse and grounds as a museum and nature preserve. Reilly said this year 500 kids, many of whom have never been out on a boat, will take the ferry to visit the lighthouse.

Admission to the Oyster Festival for adults is $10 on Friday, and $12 on Saturday and Sunday. Admission for kids ages 5 to 12 years old is $5. U.S. military personnel on active duty get in for free. All entertainment is included in ticket prices, and tickets can be purchased at www.seaport.org.

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