As the old saying goes, "the world is your oyster," but that's particularly true in Rockaway this month. NY1's Shannan Ferry has a preview of the first annual Rockaway Oyster Festival.
They may be slimy and squishy but Rockaway residents are betting oysters will draw hundreds of people to the neighborhood.
It's all part of New York Oyster Week. On September 19th this empty lot on Beach 116th Street will be transformed into an oyster hotbed of activity for the first annual Rockaway Oyster Festival. Besides the magnificent mollusks there will be performances from local band and lots of beer on tap. Coordinators say Rockaway was an obvious choice for the celebration, given revitalization efforts since Hurricane Sandy.
"Oysters are hot right now, looking throughout the city there's oyster bars, you know if we're gonna do a festival that hasn't been done, we thought well - oysters and beer and music would be the right fit for Beach 116th Street," said Rockaway Oyster Festival Producer Terence Mulligan.
And if oysters just aren't your thing, the Dalton Seaside Grill and the Bungalow Bar here in Rockaway Beach will both be cooking up plenty of other options.
"Some sausage and pepper heroes, some cheeseburgers, hot dogs, uh, just to give a little variety, " said Bungalow Bar and Restaurant Owner Dan Tubridy.
Organizers will be donating all of the shells from the festival to the Billion Oyster Project. The non-profit recycles oyster shells and uses them for restoration projects in New York Harbor.
"So it really all ties together beautifully, we're trying to protect salt marshes, and those are the same kinds of environments that would protect homes and businesses from Hurricanes," said New York Oyster Week Co-Founder Kevin Joseph.
VIP tickets are sold out, but there will be general admission available at the door for $25.
The festival starts at 2 p.m. September 19.