The oysters are coming: Family-friendly festival in York on Sunday


The 41st Annual Oyster Festival is bound to make those in attendance as happy as clams, offering both its classic features and attractions and many brand-new this year.

The festival, which is the York County Heritage Trust's oldest fundraiser, is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the trust's Agricultural & Industrial Museum, 217 W. Princess St.

"Admission is free," said Melanie Hady, the trust's marketing director. "Food is the centerpiece of the event, and you pay for it on an a la carte basis."

Food and fun: The event, as always, will offer oysters in many varieties along with steamed shrimp, pork barbecue, creamy mac and cheese and other kid-friendly dishes. For those 21 and over, the event will have wine, beer and a special offering of General Gates Porter brewed by Black Cap Brewing Co. in Red Lion.

Native American dance performances by Frank Little Bear will be presented hourly, beginning at noon with a final show at 3 p.m. Bradley's Grist Mill will offer demonstrations at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Artisan crafts and demonstrations by members of the York Town Craft Guild will take place throughout the day. Some of the featured demonstrations are glass blowing by Michael Peluso, spinning by Patricia Huddleston, chair caning by Patricia Erickson, Fraktur — a style of lettering and folk art created by the Pennsylvania Dutch — by Adele Lynham, woodworking by Joe Henney, soy candle-making by Graceful Heart Candles and historic carving and lathe demonstrations by Thomas Deneen.

Frank Stroik will demonstrate the making of red oak side-lap shingles to be used for the replacement roof of the Golden Plough Tavern.

"The roof is badly, badly in need of repair," Hady said. "It needs to be completely repaired in a way that's authentic to the building, so there will be this demonstration on how to make these shingles."

The roof repair to the 18th-century building is being funded by a campaign called "Top the Tavern."

New: One of the event's new offerings is a transportation service from the Susquehanna Commerce Center on West Philadelphia Street.

Beginning at 11 a.m., a van will shuttle between the Commerce Center parking lot and the museum.

This year, for the first time, the festival will boast a kickoff by the Central York Middle School Colonial Fife & Drum Corps. The performance will begin at 10:45 a.m. on West Princess Street.

The Getz Steam Calliope will perform at 11:45 a.m. in front of the museum.

A calliope makes music by forcing steam or compressed air through large whistles. The Getz Steam Calliope, built by Noah Getz of Lancaster County in the 1960s, is thought to be the largest operating, mobile and self-contained steam calliope in the country.

For more information about the festival, visit or call 848-1587.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at