The crowd: There were a total of 18,178 admission tickets sold, 11,486 of them on Saturday. This is about average compared to other years. Before we go on with more stats on the OysterFest, let’s set the scene with a few pictures.
OysterFest by the Numbers
Serving those 18,178 festival-goers were 190 volunteers.
The money: The net amount raised for Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting (SPAT), the nonprofit that sponsors OysterFest, was about $90,000 after expenses. (It will be used largely for marketing and promotion of the Wellfleet brand of oysters.)
The oysters: Based on shellfish booth inventories, 109,500 raw and 13,350 cooked oysters were sold.
The cups: This was the first year SPAT banned plastic cups and replaced them with cans and collectable cups. The preliminary estimate on cup sales is 3,500, sold for $5 each. Another 1,500 wine cups were sold.
The beer: 25 barrels of stout (the only beer on draft) and 15,072 cans of beer.
The shells: Three dumpsters filled with shells were collected. Usually only two are filled, a gain attributed to more visible recycling shell receptacles. The shells will overwinter at the transfer station and then be put out in propagation areas in the harbor to help raise more oysters.
The shucking contest: Calen Bricault won first place by shucking 24 oysters with a final time of 2 minutes and 55 seconds. Steve Boreen took second with a time of 3:13 and Jordan Sawyer placed third with 3:35. —K.C. Myers
(Source: SPAT Executive Director Michele Insley)
WELLFLEET — Liberty Schilpp and her daughter, Alyia Vasquez, have tested their prowess for years at the spelling contest held during OysterFest at the Wellfleet Public Library. This year, both mother and daughter prevailed, taking the bee’s two top prizes.
Ed Miller, the Provincetown Independent’s editor who is host of the annual bee, said that he has to work a little harder each year to update his list with new spelling words. All the words in this bee are related in some way to shellfish, aquaculture, marine or coastal ecology, seafood, or the natural environment of Outer Cape Cod.
The Littlenecks (age 12 and under) opened the show. Alyia, a seventh-grader at Nauset Regional Middle School, won the top prize in the division by correctly spelling “constable” with barely a hesitation.
Gemma Sloan, a nine-year-old fourth-grader from Port Murray, N.J., took second place, followed by Niev Witnauer, 12, of Wellfleet in third place.
Schilpp was one of 15 contestants in the Quahogs division (13 and up). She edged out others from as far away as San Francisco by correctly spelling “hyacinth.”
Bryan Giudicelli of Boston and Nico Sloan, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Port Murray, N.J., battled it out for several rounds in a runoff for second place, correctly spelling words including “volute,” “synergy,” and “benthos.” Giudicelli eventually took second prize and Nico third when he missed on “pinniped.”
Nico is the older brother of Gemma, who competed in the Littlenecks division. Clearly the Sloans will be a family to reckon with if they return for next year’s bee.
Two young women from off Cape who arrived at the library just in time to join the Quahogs round after apparently indulging in some of the OysterFest’s liquid refreshments did not make it past the first round, misspelling the words “carcass” and “pincer.” —EM