Down East 2013 ©
That man up there? He’s the Oyster Czar. Translation: He’s in charge of all-things oysters at the Pemaquid Oyster Festival in Damariscotta this Sunday.
From noon to dusk, head to the Schooner Landing Restaurant & Marina on Main Street in downtown Damariscotta to sample some of the 15,000 oysters that will be shucked and served fresh on the half shell, broiled, stewed, and baked as Oysters Rockefeller.
Thanks to the Czar, cocktail sauce has been shunned at this year's festival. And I truly am thankful already. Why? Just read the list of toppings local restaurants, caterers, and companies will offer in its place: “Lime-Sake Sauce from Swan's Way Caterers ; Sea Bean Slaw from Primo Restaurant;  Cider Mignonette from Francine Bistro;  Pico de Gallo from Amalfi on the Water; Lemon-Leek Mignonette from Newcastle Publick House; Jalepeno Relish from the Anchor Inn/Damariscotta River Grill; Prosecco Preserved Lemon Mignonette from Atlantica; Green Tabasco Mignonette from Augustine's and Lemon-Fennel Salsa from the Bradley Inn. Gourmet horseradish will be provided by Morse’s Sauerkraut and Schooner Landing will furnish Tabasco sauce and lemons. Salt Bay Cafe is still brewing up a surprise oyster topping.”
Yum. Just in case the 15,000 oysters weren’t enough motivation.
Plus there’s a children’s area for shell painting and other crafts, along with education exhibits that explore the working waterfront. Plenty of local musicians will take the stage, too. One of the most popular attractions of the festival since its inception in 2001 is back — catch a boat ride to the oyster beds on the Damariscotta River.