The annual Fiesta Oyster Bake kicked off Friday evening with a host of musicians, plenty of food on a stick, and beer and wine to wash it down with.
The two-day event, traditionally one of the bigger parties during Fiesta, takes place on the grounds of St. Mary’s University.
This year’s event got off to a rousing start, thanks to perfect weather in the mid- to lower 70s, a gentle breeze and a clear sky for the triumphal fireworks that ended the evening.
Somewhere in that mix you can find oysters three ways: raw and served in shots, baked over hot coals, and deep fried.
But it could be possible that foods on a stick were stealing the briny bivavles’ thunder, or at least threatening to do so. There was sausage on a stick, chicken on a stick, steak on a stick and a pork chop on a stick.
On Friday night, plenty of people were stopping by the wine booth to sample some of Barefoot Bay’s line of wines, including Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, for sweet wine lovers, Moscato. That was where you could find me for the first half of the evening, pouring wine for the customers and trying to get people a wine they would enjoy.
Barefoot Bay made that easy for customers by offering some suggested pairings, such as the Pinot Grigio with the oysters or the Merlot with the sausage. For a change, the wine booth will be open on Saturday this year, so, if you make it out to the second day of the Oyster Bake, give the pairings a try.
Beer drinkers had the choice of several fine beers, including Stella Artois and Beck’s, which were $1 more than the Bud Light, yet the line was practically nonexistent. Take a tip: Get the Stella Artois. It loves the oysters, the habanero salsa on the pork chop, the butter on the roasted ears of corn.
Music choices for the evening included Smash Mouth performing a little ska mixed with its big hits, including “Walk on the Sun,” and Kevin Fowler on the country music stage. Jazz with a little surf sounds and a swinging version of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” filled the third stage.
The fun ended with a dazzling fireworks display that impressed the crowd, prompting a few old-timers to say it was the most impressive they had seen in years.
Fiesta Oyster Bake continues Saturday. For more information, click here.
For a full schedule of Fiesta events, click here.