Virtual Wellfleet OysterFest reaches wide audience in effort to promote shellfish industry

WELLFLEET — The 20th annual Wellfleet OysterFest was held virtually on YouTube Live Saturday, Oct. 17, to an audience of 1,380 unique viewers or log-ins, and was viewed at least 5,600 times, according to organizers.

The event was produced by the nonprofit Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, S.P.A.T. The goal for the virtual event was to celebrate the milestone anniversary and promote Wellfleet’s oysters.

OysterFest is typically held along Main Street in Wellfleet during a mid-October weekend, and attended by more than 10,000 people. This year, the in-person event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In addition to a “brand video” created by filmmaker and shellfisherman Justin Lynch, the virtual event was co-hosted by Orleans resident G. Love who also provided the music. The music videos were filmed in Wellfleet by Lynch. Guest chefs Ming Tsai, Jamie Bissonnette and Elle Simone Scott shared their favorite oyster recipes for viewers to cook along with at home.

The signature part of the event was the Wellfleet OysterFest Shuck Off. Eight of the 10 most talented shuckers from the contest’s 19-year history convened on the stage at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater to try and seize the glory and the trophy in the ’Fest’s 20th anniversary All Star Shuck Off. The winners were William “Chopper” Young in first place, winning $1,000 and a trophy; Calen Bricault in second place, winning $500; and Kyle Morse in third place for $250.