The Ocean State celebrates it 4th annual Oyster Fest featuring oyster farms from Rhode Island, live music and great food on the boardwalk along the Providence River. We caught up with Frank Mullin, one of the founders on how it all started!
Chrissy : Celebrating your 4th year! What inspired the fest and how are you involved?
Frank : Yep, this is our fourth year pulling this together, been quick as they say! All started about four and half years ago downtown at the newish Dean Hotel during a crazy snowstorm- I was having a raw oyster special, missing summer, when the idea first struck with friend Don Nguyen, now founding partner, we then kinda ran with it.
Chrissy: Thats awesome to see ideas grow like that! How many oyster farms do you work with?
Frank: As many RI-based oyster farms as we can get there! This year there are 18 growers at the fest. Most are from down in south county along Ninigret and Salt ponds, but some are up by Sakonnet as well.
Chrissy: So many farms in lil ol’ Rhody, great to have an event that highlights them. What other food and drinks can people look out for?
Frank: Beyond the raw bars and littlenecks, the Shuckin Truck will be there with lobster rolls, etc.; Open Season truck as well, they have a great hunterly menu; Hometown Poké also, super fresh raw salads there; and fresh gelato with Pompelmo. Revival and GreySail are holding it down with the craft brews, and we’re going to have Beer & Bubbles there also! Vino tapped out of a vintage Italian trike!
Chrissy: My mouth is watering already. What else can you expect at the fest?
Frank: Big fun on the boardwalk along the river with a beautiful view of the city celebrating some of the best seafood in the Northeast, and a shucking contest!
Chrissy: Woah, I will not want to miss watching the shucking contest! I see there is live music too, what bands are playing?
Frank: Thee (incredible) Z-Boys; new to Providence transplant Matthew Stubbs’ project GA-20; Soul Power’s Ty Jesso spinning vinyl; and DJs Nick deParis and DJ Red Dawn!
Chrissy: Oh nice, glad you got Matthew Stubbs on there, I’ve heard a lot about his talent. Who are your sponsors and collaborators ?
Frank: We’re partnering with The Nature Conservancy of RI who will be collecting all of the used oyster shells for a reef building project they have in the works, and Granny Squibb’s Iced Tea stepped up to sponsor the Squibb Stage music tent, so that’s fun.
Chrissy: Reef Building Project! That is so smart, what a great way to cut on waste! How has it grown over the years?
Frank: Like an oyster shell, slow and steady!
Chrissy: haha well said. Thank you Frank, looks like you will have a beautiful day for it.
4th annual Ocean State Festival is this Saturday September 22, 2018 from 1:00-7:00 pm. Entry ticket gets half-dozen oysters from the array of RI farms, plus a beverage. Additional oyster and drink tickets available to purchase separately.
Advance ticket sale ends at MIDNIGHT tonight $20 // $30 at gate
for more info visit the site here
interview by PVDlive founder, Chrissy Stewart