More oysters, more tents, even a food truck: Welcome to the second annual Shucktoberfest, hosted by Copperwood Tavern and taking place in the Village at Shirlington. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, 11a.m. – 5 p.m.
The event, which has its origins with the longtime Capital City Brewing’s Oktoberfest event, has taken a new angle and gotten new life over the past couple of years as Copperwood has taken the mantle from the fallen Cap City and made the event its own.
“The main event is obviously the oysters and the beer tent,” said Copperwood Tavern’s Lindsey Shields. And while last year, oysters were in high demand and, thus, shorter supply than intended, this year Shucktoberfest has ensured a plentiful supply of the bivalves.
“Probably double the oyster tents is going to be the largest difference from last year,” said Copperwood marketing director Mackenzie Ryan. “People were really upset that it took so long … to get an oyster, so we made that a top priority this year.”
In terms of raw numbers: That means festival-goers will have their choice of 25,000 oysters this year, served a number of different ways, including champagne shooters.
Along with the oysters, breweries will be well-represented at the event. About 50 local and regional craft brewers, including Old Ox, Devil’s Backbone, 2 Silos and Fair Winds, will be on hand to pour their wares for guests. The Meggrolls food truck will also be on hand for some non-oyster fare.
Shucktoberfest operates on a ticket system. While entrance to the festival is free for passersby, in order to try the food and drink, guests need to belly up to the cash register. Each ticket is $35, which earns guests 10 tasting tickets. Each ticket is good for a 5-ounce tasting of beer or two oysters.
Coming with a group? Shucktoberfest also offers VIP packages. A $300 price tag nets guests 80 event tickets to disperse among the group, as well as an eight-person table, eight commemorative beer mugs and a private test. Of five existing packages, two have already been sold, Ryan said.
Shucktoberfest aims to be a family-friendly festivity, and along those lines, the Kid Zone will be hopping. Those young and young at heart can play a round of cornhole or giant Connect Four; little friends can also partake of face-painting and balloon art.
At its heart, the event runs on volunteers, and this year Shucktoberfest sports 200 volunteers from various civic and sport groups, as well as individuals who just want to pitch in. And pitch in they will: Organizers are expecting 3,500 to 4,500 people, Shields says.
IF YOU GO
Village at Shirlington, 2700 S. Quincy St., Arlington
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets: $35 for a package of 10 tasting tickets; $300 for a VIP entry.