Sea Farm Registration

Visit Freeport invites ALL Maine sea farms & mobile shuckers to participate in this statewide celebration of Maine oysters! 

We would like to buy oysters from as many Maine farms as possible. We served over 33,000 oysters in two days at the inaugural festival, we expect to need double that in 2023! We’ve streamlined the process of participating into three basic tracks. They are outlined below. Before submitting your registration, please pick whichever is best for your business. The choice is yours!

We also are contracting with mobile shuckers, licensed caterers and independent food service professionals to handle the service of shucked oysters for farms not able to serve for themselves due to licensing requirements. If interested, visit the vendor application page. 

Any questions about The Maine Oyster Festival, may be emailed to [email protected]. Sea Farmers & Mobile Shuckers may also wish to contact friends and colleagues who participated in 2022 for advice or insight.

The Maine Oyster Festival Sea Farm Schedule: Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and/or Sunday, June 25, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For all participating sea farms: 

  • In order to ensure an accurate event brochure, the FINAL deadline to sign-up is June 2, 2023.
  • All participating farms will receive:
    • A listing on our website for almost a year until we start updating for 2024’s Festival. 
    • A listing in the festival brochure with your website address
    • Signage at the assigned shucking station featuring your logo
    • Feel free to tag our social media accounts with your content. We’d love to repost. #themaineoysterfestival
  • On Friday evening, June 23rd, four guests from each participating farm are invited to be our guests of honor at a kick-off party. An official invite will be sent closer to the event. Please save the date!
  • We’ll be pulling a few samples from your stock for a blind tasting by a special panel of judges on Saturday morning. They will be scoring based on appearance, taste and other criteria and then select a winner for a fun “Oyster of the Year” award you can display and bragging rights until next year! Winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Let me know if anyone from your farm would like to be featured in The Big Shuck Sunday, June 25 at 11 a.m. Some of Maine’s fastest are going head-to-head with the winner of Saturday’s public contests for bragging rights and a fun award to display.
  • Participating sea farms may also opt to host tours, open farm days or other events at their farm from 6/21/23 – 6/28/23 and have them included in the official Festival calendar of events. Check the appropriate box when you sign up if interested.
  • If you’d like to donate oysters for the shucking competitions, it is greatly appreciated. Just indicate your interest and the expected number on your registration form. You’ll include them in your delivery but show them as a donation on your invoice.

Option 1: Sell the Festival oysters, no onsite presence for your farm

  • We are offering a Festival price of $1.10 per oyster leaving a little bit of room to pay our dealer for processing and the shuckers for their time. All raw oysters served at the festival will be “purchased” by consumers with a ticket sold by Visit Freeport at $2 each.
  • We prefer to buy 1,000 oysters per farm, but less is also acceptable. Sell us what works best for you in balancing your other commitments. Please indicate your expected availability on the registration form below.
  • You will be responsible for delivering your oysters with a Harvester Tag on Thursday, June 22nd or Friday, June 23rd (times TBD) to The Boat Yard LLC, 123 Even Keel Road, Yarmouth.
  • If you can confirm your count with Margaret at [email protected] by Wednesday, June 21st at noon, we can
    have a check waiting for you at delivery. Otherwise, leave an invoice with your delivery (or email it to me) and
    we will mail a check to you right away.

Option 2: Sell the Festival oysters and have a booth (or share one with a partner) to promote your farm but not shuck oysters. The Festival will assign your oysters to one of our contracted licensed shuckers. Participate in person on one or both days!

  • We are offering a Festival price of $1.10 per oyster leaving a little bit of room to pay our dealer for processing and the shuckers for their time. Please note that this year all raw oysters served at the festival will be “purchased” by consumers with a ticket sold by Visit Freeport at $2 each.
  • We prefer to buy 1,000 to 1,500 oysters per farm, but less is also acceptable. Sell us what works best for you in balancing your other commitments. Please indicate your expected availability on the registration form below.
  • You will be responsible for delivering your oysters with a Harvester Tag on Thursday, June 22nd or Friday, June 23rd (times TBD) to The Boat Yard LLC, 123 Even Keel Road, Yarmouth.
  • If you can confirm your count with Margaret at [email protected] by Wednesday, June 21st at noon, we can
    have a check waiting for you at delivery. Otherwise, leave an invoice with your delivery (or email it to me) and
    we will mail a check to you right away.
  • You’ll need to bring in your own booth set-up including a white 10 X 10 tent, tables, chairs, brochures, signage, etc.
  • You are welcome to sell anything except raw oysters or other food products. T-shirts, farm hats, book private tour, etc.
  • Bring lots of brochures, business cards, etc – even if we run out of your oysters you should stay and continue to promote your brand.
  • Festival is rain or shine.
  • Set-up time for sea farms & mobile shuckers is from 7 am – 9:30 am each day. Overnight security is provided so if you participate in both days, you may leave your booth set-up overnight.
  • Attend the mandatory Sea Farmers meeting led by Ken Sparta at 9:30 am on Saturday and Sunday before the Festival opens for the day
  • Breakdown on Saturday, June 26 is to begin no earlier than 6pm, and on Sunday no earlier than 4pm.
  • L.L.Bean prohibits games of chance (raffles, etc), direct solicitation of donations, or collecting contact information from Festival goers (for instance, sign-ups for email newsletters.) This does not include collecting what is required in the course of a sale or transaction.
  • Public WiFi is not readily available and cellular coverage varies greatly by carrier and location within Freeport. We recommend that you bring any devices to your exact booth location in advance to test your signal strength and reliability.
  • There are no outlets available adjacent to your booth. If necessary, only whisper-quiet generators are permitted.
  • Free Underground Parking is available at the Freeport Village Station across the street from L.L.Bean. Additional parking, including for large trailers, is located at the Freeport High School off Holbrook Street. We recommend parking off-site so your customers may find convenient parking. Parking is not assigned because spaces are easily found in the morning.
  • Vendor Insurance Coverage: All vendors participating in person at The Maine Oyster Festival are required to have insurance coverage no less than $2M and must supply a copy of their Certificate of Insurance in advance of the festival. For inexpensive, per-event event coverage, please visit https://www.actinsurance.com
  • In the event that there is guidance from the State of Maine and CDC regarding SPECIAL EVENTS AND FESTIVALS and any infectious disease, any recommendations or requirements in effect at the time of the Festival will be enforced by Visit Freeport. This includes, but is not limited to, masking for participants and vendors, hand sanitizer stations, social distancing, etc.
  • We will provide a special “Wanna Shuck” pin and additional marketing to anyone who is willing to demonstrate how to shuck at your booth. DHHS says that sampling is not regulated by the same food service rules as the licensed shuckers have to follow. They consider sampling “giving product away for free”. So, if you want to bring some oysters specifically to have in your booth to demonstrate shucking you can! Ice will be provided for you.

Option 3: Have a booth (or share one with a partner) to promote your farm and shuck and serve your oysters. Participate in person on one or both days!

  • To operate in this model, you (or your partner) must hold all the required licenses and permits outlined by DHHS and DMR. Start early if you plan to apply for new or renewals of these licenses and permits! See our easy-to-read PDF for details.
  • This year ALL raw oysters served at the festival will be “purchased” by consumers with a ticket sold by Visit Freeport at $2 each.
  • $1.75 per ticket will be paid to the sea farm serving directly to the public. In this mode, payment will be made to participating farms within 7 days of the close of the event, quicker if you are able to accept electronic payments. Farms are responsible for collecting tickets as they serve oysters. At the end of each day, Visit Freeport will collect and tally your totals.
  • We suggest you bring 1,000 to 1,500 oysters per farm depending upon the number of shuckers you have available. Please indicate your expected availability on the registration form below.
  • You’ll need to bring in your own booth set-up including a white 10 X 10 tent, tables, everything you need to shuck and serve (unless listed below), chairs, brochures, signage, etc.
  • If you operate out of a trailer or food truck, please note that there are additional required permits from the Town of Freeport. Owners of these businesses should make themselves familiar with the additional permits required by the Town of Freeport. Visit Freeport staff will assist with the application process but all additional fees and permitting are the responsibility of the exhibitor.
  • As long as you hold all the appropriate licenses, you may sell other food products from your booth. Be sure to make a note of what else you will be serving in your farm description on your registration so that we can promote that for you! Please also bring t-shirts, farm hats, book private tour, etc.
  • Bring lots of brochures, business cards, etc – even if we run out of your oysters you should stay and continue to promote your brand.
  • The Festival will provide service wares (plates, napkins, picks) for raw oysters that are fully composable. If you are serving other foods, please bring compostable wares, if possible, to help keep our event planet-friendly.
  • Ice will be provided at no cost to you.
  • The Festival will also provide and maintain dedicated saucing stations throughout the festival area with our signature mignonette, lemons, hot sauce, etc.
  • Shells will be collected throughout the Festival. They will be treated for biosecurity reasons and later donated for use in a variety of projects.
  • Festival is rain or shine.
  • Set-up time for sea farms & mobile shuckers is from 7 am – 9:30 am each day. Overnight security is provided so if you participate in both days, you may leave your booth set-up overnight.
  • Attend the mandatory Sea Farmers meeting led by Ken Sparta at 9:30 am on Saturday and Sunday before the Festival opens for the day
  • Breakdown on Saturday, June 26 is to begin no earlier than 6 pm, and on Sunday no earlier than 4pm.
  • L.L.Bean prohibits games of chance (raffles, etc), direct solicitation of donations, or collecting contact information from Festival goers (for instance, sign-ups for email newsletters.) This does not include collecting what is required in the course of a sale or transaction.
  • You will be required to sign and return a simple food safety agreement supplied by L.L.Bean.
  • Public WiFi is not readily available and cellular coverage varies greatly by carrier and location within Freeport. We recommend that you bring any devices to your exact booth location in advance to test your signal strength and reliability.
  • There are very limited electrical hook-ups available. They must be requested at the time of registration. Each vendor with electrical service is limited to no more than 15 amps. Please verify this meets your needs. No additional accommodations are available. Only whisper quiet generators are permitted.
  • Free Underground Parking is available at the Freeport Village Station across the street from L.L.Bean. Additional parking, including for large trailers, is located at the Freeport High School off Holbrook Street. We recommend parking off-site so your customers may find convenient parking. Parking is not assigned because spaces are easily found in the morning.
  • Vendor Insurance Coverage: All vendors participating in person at The Maine Oyster Festival are required to have insurance coverage no less than $2M and must supply a copy of their Certificate of Insurance in advance of the festival. For inexpensive, per-event event coverage, please visit https://www.actinsurance.com
  • In the event that there is guidance from the State of Maine and CDC regarding SPECIAL EVENTS AND FESTIVALS and any infectious disease, any recommendations or requirements in effect at the time of the Festival will be enforced by Visit Freeport. This includes, but is not limited to, masking for participants and vendors, hand sanitizer stations, social distancing, etc.
  • We will provide a special “Wanna Shuck” pin and additional marketing to anyone who is willing to demonstrate how to shuck at your booth. DHHS says that sampling is not regulated by the same food service rules as the licensed shuckers have to follow. They consider sampling “giving product away for free”. So, if you want to bring some oysters specifically to have in your booth to demonstrate shucking you can! Ice will be provided for you.

 

Complete the short registration form below to get started. Please contact Margaret Hoffman with questions via email or 207-865-1212 ext 3.