Boston is a fascinating city to visit at any time of year, but the summer and autumn brings an additional draw with the advent of the renowned New England Seafood Festival Season. These festivals draw seafood lovers from all over the US and beyond with some festivals ranked in the ‘Top 100 Events in the US’ according to visitor numbers.
Seafood festivals are a way of life in New England with some festivals dating back more than half a century. It’s hardly surprising given the world-class quality and huge variety of seafood on offer. The Seafood Festival Season runs from June to September with events being held most weekends, some specialising in a particular type of seafood. There are dedicated oysters festivals where you can try out 19 different varieties of oysters, lobsters festivals offering delicious lobster rolls and lobster stew and even clam festivals where you can try clam cakes, quahog clams or the synonymous clam chowder (a thick creamy soup made with clams).
Whilst the consumption of fresh seafood is central to the festivals, there’s also a fun side with quirky competitions from the fastest oyster shucking (the tricky process of opening the clam) to lobster eating contests. Live music, arts and crafts stalls, fairground rides and even firework displays are also a feature of many of the larger festivals. It’s clear to see why these festivals are so popular.
There’s also an educational and ethical side to the festivals though. They help to showcase the range of regional seafood specialities, from scallops and oysters to lobsters and fish, providing information about how the food is sourced and fished to ensure sustainability. Whale-watching trips are organised at some events where in addition to whales you’ll be able to spot seals and porpoises. Many of the festivals directly support the fishermen and fishing communities that host them.
Boston holds it own seafood festival on August 5th. Why not check it out ? It will be a day of sensational seafood, clambakes and chef demos, educational events, and family fun.
Or if you’d like to try one of the more established seafood festivals you could try one of our top 5.
- Yarmouth Clam Festival July 20-22
- Maine Lobster Festival August 1-5
- Milford Oyster Festival August 18
- Eastport Salmon & Seafood Festival Labour Day Weekend
- Hampton Beach Seafood Festival September 7-9