If you find yourself near Milford, Conn. this weekend, shuck (pun intended) your plans and attend the free 34th Annual Milford Oyster Festival.
Things get started Friday at 5 p.m. and continue until Saturday at 6 p.m. The schedule is still being finalized, but you can expect lots of the usual festival farea classic car show, arts and crafts, live music, and canoe and kayak races. Plus, there is an oyster-eating contest (participants have to eat a dozen in record time) and an oyster-shucking contest (first one to shuck two dozen wins). But the pearl of this event (too easy!) is the aptly named "Pearl Trail"a treasure hunt for 20,000 of the precious orbs, donated by a local jeweler and hidden in downtown buildings.
Milford is about 11 miles from New Haven, Conn. The waterfront town is the sixth oldest in Connecticut; oyster farming was once a major industry. The festival attracts about 50,000 people a year.
The festival grounds are located in downtown along Milford Harbor; you can map "High St. Milford, Conn. 06460" for directions. Admission to the festival is free, but there is a Wine & Oyster tasting on Friday night that costs $40 per person. Call the festival hotline at 203/878-5363 for more info.