Chris Burtis (left to right), Trixie Betz and Max Burtis of Ferda Farms shuck oysters. Maria Skillings / Times Record

Dozens of Mainers and out-of-staters stood in long lines to taste freshly shucked Maine oysters at Freeport’s first Oyster Festival.

Eros Oyster of Robinhood Cove created an aesthetically pleasing serve yourself display, placing shucked oysters in a wooden boat filled with ice and seaweed.

“The hardest part about shucking oysters is not eating them,” said owner Mark Gaffney.

Chaz Guthrie (left) and Mark Gaffney of Eros Oyster shuck oysters for their “serve yourself” set up. Maria Skillings / Times Record

Plenty of Maine locals made the trip to Freeport to slurp up a few oysters.

“We love oysters!” Said Orrington residents Kris and Ray Leonard.

Ray Leonard and Kris Leonard of Orrington share a plate of oysters. Maria Skillings / Times Record

The festival wasn’t just about eating oysters, but what you can do with the shells after they’ve been shucked.

Brunswick artist and owner of Maine’s Golden Oyster Debby Barnhart said she started painting oyster shells as a hobby at the start of the pandemic. Barnhart said her intention was to give them away as gifts, but her friends encouraged her to start her own business.

Barnhart now sells her Maine-inspired creations on Etsy.

Lauren Barnhart (left) and Debby Barnhart of Brunswick hold hand-painted oyster shells. Maria Skillings / Times Record

The festival drew dozens of local craftsmen and more than 30 sea farms and shuckers.

Crowds gather at the Freeport Oyster Festival. Maria Skillings / Times Record

Maine’s Golden Oyster hand-painted creations by Debby Barnhart. Maria Skillings / Times Record

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