21 Mar 2022
The first Saturday in May always marks Chincoteague’s Annual Seafood Festival! This year, May 7, 2022 12-4 PM is the date. The event is hosted by The Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce at Tom’s Cove Campground, and is in it’s 52nd year! It gives the opportunity for our local seafood industry to really shine - and give you a taste of everything the island has to offer in one place.
Raw oysters and clams, steamed littlenecks, single-fried oysters, fried fish, steamed shrimp, clam fritters, clam strips, Chincoteague-style clam chowder, grilled chicken, salad bar, sweet potato and boardwalk fries, hush puppies, and cornbread are ALL on the menu. So, come hungry!
Gates open at 10 AM sharp; lighter fare starts serving at 11 (clam chowder, salad bar, fries and hushpuppies), with the heavy-hitters starting at 12 - along with the live band, Front Page News.
Beer tickets can be purchased on-site (bring your valid ID - they check EVERYONE) and exchanged for a variety of great beers and cider options - including local favorites like Black Narrows. You can also pack your own cooler and bring your own beer, wine, or spirits. Margaritas in a Igloo cooler is always a great way to make new friends! Soda and bottled water are available too, at no charge.
INSIDER'S TIP: Many folks come when the gates open to reserve a picnic table to have a “home base”. You can bring your own chairs and folding table to find somewhere to set-up on festival grounds as well. Lines are usually the longest in the beginning, so be prepared to wait. But rest assured the hard-working volunteers are churning out the goodness as quickly as they can - and lines move pretty quickly. Also, by 2 PM many have cleared out to the dance floor and have a belly full, so lines dwindle down later in the festival.
Another great tip is to bring a tray of some kind for carrying your food from the line to the table. The Chamber sells trays along with commemorative beer mugs (which come with a beer ticket), but they sell out early - so if you want one, don’t wait. That booth is found in the back corner of the festival, by the water - shuffle on over and grab one before they sell out! A baking sheet from home also does great, or if you forget you can grab a soda case from the drink station.
What to do with all those leftover oyster and clam shells piling up on your table? Save that shuck! A shell recycling program is employed at this event - with stations for shell disposal set up throughout the festival.
The Nature Conservancy from Brownsville Preserve come around and dump those shells into a flatbed trailer in the middle of the grounds. Towards the end of the festival take a stroll by to see how many have accumulated. Those are then dumped back in our local waters/oyster beds to help encourage growth of new baby oysters that can be enjoyed in the years to come. How cool is that?!
Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes as well - or lose your shoes and dance barefoot. By the end of the festival at 4 PM it’s a packed house. Local artisans aland vendors are also on site selling their wares, if you're in the mood for some shopping (and who isn't?). Grab a jar of local honey to take home... it can't be beat!
The music, the vibes, the island - you can’t help but feel like summer is in full swing when you're here!
It’s a wonderful event that you don’t want to miss - and Chincoteague Resort Vacations has a little extra incentive to bring you here the first weekend in May!
*** And last, but certainly not least - CRV'S SEAFOOD FESTIVAL GIVEAWAY! ***
Book ANY 3+ nights between May 5th - 9th, and be entered to win this basket full of Seafood Fest necessities, valued at more than $500!
6 SEAFOOD FEST TICKETS, 2 Seafood Fest shirts, 2 CRV shirts, 6 CRV beer cups, 2 CRV insulated tumbler cups, 2 CIVA trucker hats, Primal Kitchen cocktail & tarter sauces, Old Bay & Old Bay Travel Keychain, Old Bay Hot Sauce, seafood utensils & knockers, hand wipes, seafood bibs, 2 food trays, and 2 Toadfish can coolers to keep your beverages cool!
You must book your May stay between now and April 4th, as the winner will be drawn on April 5th!