FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jane Harrison, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-513-0122
Governor Roy Cooper has officially declared North Carolina Oyster Week to be Oct. 11 through 15. The statewide “shellebration” will feature a series of in-person and virtual events for the public to engage with oyster growers and harvesters, seafood restaurants, seafood retail markets, recreational outfitters, coastal conservation and education organizations, and seafood festivals. (See the list of events below; some will be taking place outside of the Oct. 11 – 15 timeframe.)
“North Carolina has a valuable and productive coastal ecosystem and many champions who work to protect it. North Carolina oysters, as a keystone species, benefit the state’s marine and coastal environments with food provision, filtering capacity, and fish habitat,” Gov. Cooper’s proclamation states.
North Carolina Sea Grant, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources are organizing the NC Oyster Week festivities in partnership with the NC Oyster Trail. Events will occur along the coast and in the Triangle region, and are listed on the websites of the NC Oyster Trail and NCDNCR.
October is a key month for N.C. oysters harvested from state waters. “The wild-caught season begins on Oct. 15 and continues through April,” says Jane Harrison, North Carolina Sea Grant’s coastal economics specialist.
For those who crave oysters all year, Harrison adds that cultivated, or farmed, oysters always are available. “The idea that oysters can only be eaten in ‘R’ months — that is, September through April — is a misconception,” she says. “You can eat cultivated oysters any day with a ‘Y.’ In other words, Monday through Sunday, all year long.”
North Carolina Oyster Week events will include both cultivated and wild-caught oysters. For example, on Oct. 12 at 2:30 p.m., a live-streaming event on YouTube will feature oyster farmer Ryan Bethea of Oysters Carolina, who will delve into the variety of oysters available on our coast.
On Oct. 15 at 5 p.m., Shuckin’ Shack in Surf City and Wrightsville Beach Brewery near Wilmington will host in-person parties for folks to sample these succulent shellfish. Both establishments are part of the NC Oyster Trail, which offers year-round opportunities to taste, learn about, and protect oysters. The Trail’s mission is to help sustain and grow N.C. oyster supply and demand, resulting in economic, environmental, and social benefits to the state’s seafood industry and coastal communities.
Tuesday, Oct. 10 – Friday, Oct. 15 | 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 16 | 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
1414 S Saunders Street, Raleigh
For every N.C. oyster purchase you make the week of October 10 – 16 at Earp’s, receive a free bottle of sauce for your seafood cooking adventures. Cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, teriyaki marinade, hot sauce — go wild!
Monday, Oct. 11 | 9 – 11 a.m.
Morris Landing, 898 Morris Landing Road, Holly Ridge
Join the North Carolina Coastal Federation to assess the development of shoreline oyster reef and salt marsh restoration projects along the coast. No special skills or knowledge are required. Volunteers will also clean up marine debris from the marsh.
Monday, Oct. 11 – Friday, Oct. 15 | 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
8211 Market St Unit DD, Wilmington, NC 28411
$1.50 N.C. oysters all week long! Tidewater Oyster Bar offers farm-raised oysters from Stump Sound, Topsail Sound, Masonboro Sound, Beaufort, and other N.C. locales. Their menu features oysters on the half shell, oysters Rockefeller, oysters bienville, blackened oysters, oyster chowder, steamed oysters, and even fried oyster po’ boys. Yum!
Monday, Oct. 11 – Saturday, Oct. 16
2519 Fairview Road, Raleigh
Mandolin is a premier destination for celebrating North Carolina cuisine and has been named one of the “50 Best Southern Restaurants in America.” As usual, they will offer their N.C. oyster happy hour from Sunday to Thursday, 5:30 – 6:30 pm, $1.50 each. And Chef Sean Fowler will offer baked N.C. oysters throughout the week.
Monday, Oct. 11 – Friday, Oct. 15
Wilmington (multiple locations), Leland, Spout Springs, Stanford
Seaview Crab Company is dedicated to providing fresh seafood, including N.C. oysters, to their customers. Be sure to visit them during NC Oyster Week for their oyster specials. Ask to sample their many varieties of cultured and wild oysters so that you can get exactly what you’re looking for.
Monday, Oct. 11 – Friday, Oct. 15
2000 Sailfish Drive, Manteo
Blue Water Grill’s signature oyster shooter will feature an N.C. oyster for NC Oyster Week. Their daily oyster happy hour (4 – 6 p.m.) is your chance to get N.C. oysters for $1 each!
Monday, Oct. 11 – Friday, Oct. 15
223 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh
St. Roch Fine Oysters & Bar is dedicated to the soulful, seafood-focused cuisine of New Orleans. They will be offering a special week-long Oyster Happy Hour from 4 – 6 p.m. the week of Oct. 11 – 15, $1.50 each.
Oct. 11, 14, and 15
1 S. Front St., Wilmington
Set in a historic building in downtown Wilmington, Seabird celebrates the seasonality of the seafood and ingredients found in North Carolina and its storied coast. Chef Dean Neff has collaborated with oyster man Matt Schwab of Hold Fast Oyster Company to source oysters farmed exclusively — and named for — Seabird! Visit from 5 – 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11, 14, 15, and enjoy all the shucked Seabirdie oysters you can eat for just $1/each!
Tuesday, Oct. 12 | 2:30 pm
This is a virtual event.
Ryan Bethea started oyster farming on Harkers Island because he wanted to make a difference in providing fresh and local seafood. His job has connections to the food industry, to sustainability, and to the culture of N.C. seafood. Join us as we talk with Ryan about why he got into aquaculture, the challenges he’s faced, and the importance of education in his field.
Oct. 12 – 16
6623 Market Street, Wilmington
Catch Restaurant prepares modern seafood cuisine with international flair. On Wednesdays, they serve local oysters half off. During NC Oyster Week, ask for their “Dirty South Oysters,” local oysters roasted on the half shell stacked with pimento cheese, herbies collards, bacon pimento cheese, and butter crunch.
Friday, Oct. 15 | 5 p.m.
6201 Oleander Drive, Wilmington
Wrightsville Beach Brewery is committed to serving sustainable seafood and only serves oysters from North Carolina — and from within 60 miles, whenever possible. Kick off the start of the wild oyster season with a mini party at the Brewery on October 15th.
Wednesdays in October: Oct. 13, 20, 27
Inside Transfer Co. Food Hall, 500 E. Davie Street, Raleigh
Inside Durham Food Hall, 530 Foster Street, Durham
Locals Oyster Bar is a taste of the coastline in the middle of landlocked North Carolina. Every Wednesday during October you can order their $1.50 local oysters all day, all night. Enjoy!
Friday, Oct. 15 | 5 – 8 p.m.
13460 NC Highway, Surf City
Join Shuckin’ Shack in Surf City for their first oyster roast of the season. Slurp down oysters while you listen to tunes from the band Back of the Boat. The event will benefit the North Carolina Coastal Federation and feature local Permuda Island oysters from Three Little Spats Oyster Company, which is co-sponsoring the event.
Saturday, Oct. 16 | 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
6800 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head
The Festival celebrates and honors North Carolina’s coastal seafood heritage. Listen to some great music, check out a working commercial fishing vessel, and don’t miss the oyster shucking demos at 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.!