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Why is the NC Oyster Festival Such a Popular October Event? Find Out Here!

Nothing quite says October in Ocean Isle Beach like the NC Oyster Festival! It’s that time of year again and as always, we’re excited about this year’s event.The weather is gorgeous on the North Carolina coast, the seafood is always fresh, and the community spirit is strong. If you haven’t been to the festival before, you may be wondering why it’s such a popular favorite in OIB. Well, great question! Here are a few of the many reasons why this annual fall event is loved by residents, visitors and vacationers alike. Bring on the oysters, baby!

NC Oyster Festival in Ocean Isle Beach, NC | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals

Ocean Isle Beach NC Oyster Festival 2022 Fast Facts & Information

Before we explore why the NC Oyster Festival is so popular, let’s go through a quick list of things you need to know about this year’s event. Here’s your cheat sheet! Tell your family and friends, then make plans to be here.

  • NEW IN 2022!Community Night happens on Friday, October 14th, to kickoff the festival with a flag raising, the unveiling of our commemorative t-shirts, remarks from town officials, and a concert by The Entertainers Band. The evening is free to attend and everyone is invited! It’s held on the festival grounds.
  • DATES: The 41st Annual NC Oyster Festival is located at Town Center Park on 11 East Second Street in Ocean Isle Beach on the weekend of October 15-16, 2022.
  • TIMES: Saturday’s festival hours are 9am to 6pm; Sunday’s festival hours are 10am to 5pm.
  • ADMISSION is $5 per adult, cash only. Children ages 12 year and younger are admitted free!
  • ATMS are available outside the festival grounds.
  • FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE is provided from two designated lots near the festival. The shuttles run non-stop during festival hours. During the hours of 11am-2pm, there is high traffic volume onto the island. Allow extra time as you may have to a longer wait time to get onto a shuttle.
  • FREE PARKING is available at Lowes Foods (7278 Beach Dr.) and Odell Williamson Municipal Airport (6080 Beach Dr. ). The Ocean Isle Pier (1 W 1st St.) offers parking for a fee.
  • NO SMOKING, no e-cigarettes, and no vaping is permitted on the festival grounds.
  • NO PETS are not allowed within the festival grounds. Service Animals are welcomed (please see the ADA Guidelines).
  • PORTABLE RESTROOMS are located throughout the festival.
  • FIRST AID STATION is located at the Brunswick County NC Chamber of Commerce pavilion.

You can read more details about these items and more helpful festival information here.

Oysters in the shell with shucking knives | | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals

All About the NC Oysters

This sweet, salty delicacy that is abundant this time of year is the star of the show. Freshly shucked oysters, oyster stew, oyster roasts—it’s all about the NC oysters here. Indulge in your favorites or try something new. Not an oyster lover? That’s okay too! There are plenty of other options for the non-seafood eaters in the group.

Fabulous Festival Food

Beyond the fresh oysters, there is plenty of other festival food to enjoy during your day. You’ll see some of your favorite Ocean Isle Beach restaurants on hand serving up their most loved dishes. There’s also the typical fair-style fare you know and love including gyros, funnel cakes, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and more. Bring your appetite!

Crowd lined up and waiting for oysters | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals
Oyster shucking contest at the NC Oyster Festival | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals

Oyster Shucking Contest

The Oyster Shucking Contest is an crowd favorite here at the NC Oyster Festival. Whether you’re trying your hand at shell shucking or just joining in as an observer to cheer on the participants, there’s plenty of action for everyone. This is not the only crowd-gathering event going on, so keep your eyes open for more.

Toe-Tappin’ Live Music

Each year has its own unique entertainment lineup and this year is one of the best yet. Get ready for a full schedule of wonderful performers for your listening and dancing pleasure. From beach music and country to rock and R&B, you’ll enjoy music from different genres all festival long. Check out the full festival lineup of live music, bands, and entertainment right here.

Crowd dancing to live music | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals
Arts, crafts, and local vendors at the NC Oyster Festival | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals

Arts, Crafts & Local Vendors

Shop the local vendors from the community showcasing plenty of arts, crafts and homemade goods. This event is run by a lot of hardworking volunteers and supported by the community at large. Shop and buy local to support these small businesses in Ocean Isle Beach.

Celebrating the Community Spirit

Maybe oysters aren’t the primary celebration here. It goes above and beyond just fresh, local seafood and extends to the greater community spirit found in Ocean Isle Beach and the neighboring Brunswick Island coastal communities.Honoring coastal history and tradition, coming together to celebrate, and having a good time with family friends. That’s what it’s truly all about. Happy Festivaling!

Community spirit and celebration at the NC Oyster Festival | Williamson Realty Ocean Isle Beach Vacation Rentals


There are only a few short weeks left to book your Ocean Isle Beach vacation rental and be here in time for the festival.The time is now!

Why is the NC Oyster Festival Such a Popular October Event? Find Out Here!
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