Most meetings in Wellfleet are remote only, but some are being held in person. Go to www.wellfleet-ma.gov/calendar and click on the meeting you want to watch, then follow the instructions on the agenda.
Thursday, Oct. 13
- Nauset High School Building Committee, 4 p.m.
- Nauset Regional School Committee, 6 p.m.
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 18
- Select Board, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 20
- Energy and Climate Action Committee, 7:15 p.m.
The O-Fest Is Back
The Wellfleet OysterFest returns this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, after a two-year pandemic pause. Much has changed, but if ticket sales are any indication, its popularity has not diminished.
About 14,000 tickets have been sold, which means the 7,000-person daily limit has been reached for both days, said Jim Gilbert, who chairs the membership committee of SPAT — Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, the nonprofit organization behind the OysterFest.
Though the festival took place on Main Street for years, it has moved to Baker’s Field for now to assuage the fears that overcrowding downtown would compromise the safety of the participants. “In our hearts, we would like to go back downtown,” Gilbert said. But that will depend on SPAT’s ability to limit ticket sales with a new online system.
Nonetheless, all the same attractions — a shucking contest, beer tent, children’s games, food, and plenty of raw oysters — will be on offer. There is free parking at Wellfleet’s ocean beach parking lots and there are buses to take people to Baker’s Field. Parking at Mayo Beach is reserved for the Bookstore Restaurant, vendors, accessible ticket holders, and Wellfleet recreation.
Gilbert said the Covid break gave the SPAT board time to come up with other means to fund the scholarship and shellfish industry support missions of the organization. Before the pandemic, the festival was the organization’s only source of revenue, he said. But during the pandemic, the SPAT board launched a membership drive.
There are now 230 members, Gilbert said. Individuals can become members at three levels. Silver Oyster Supporters pay $25 a year; Gold Oyster Supporters give $150 a year; and Belding Society members donate $500 a year.
The top-tier membership society was named after David Belding, a medical doctor who became heavily involved in marine biology and is credited as the “founder of modern aquaculture,” Gilbert said.
Of course, Gilbert said, Dr. Belding had a home in Wellfleet.
Cyanobacteria in Duck Pond
Cape Cod National Seashore monitoring discovered scum on the edges of Duck Pond on Oct. 11 that indicated cyanobacteria may be present in the pond at dangerous levels, according to Wellfleet Health and Conservation Agent Hillary Greenberg-Lemos.
The Seashore and the town have posted an advisory against swimming or allowing pets to swim in or drink the water, Greenberg-Lemos said. Cyanobacteria blooms can be toxic to dogs and humans.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod tested bacteria levels at Duck Pond a week ago and found a spike in cyanobacteria. The concentration was still within acceptable limits, but the appearance of scum could indicate levels have increased. —K.C. Myers