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Crowds Sample the Oyster Fest

John Dugdale has been volunteering at the Norwalk Seaport Association Oyster Festival for more than a decade. "A friend of mine got me to go, and I just love it," he said. But in all the time Dugdale's been volunteering, he said he's never seen such big crowds. "It's been nonstop," Dugdale said as he collected tickets at the entrance on the west side of Veterans Memorial Park. "There's been a constant stream of people all day."

Even after nightfall, the crowds were still large, and the last shuttle buses from four satellite parking lots were half full of people going for a late snack at one of the many food booths or for some entertainment from musical acts 10,000 Maniacs and Wang Chung.

"It seems like there are less crafts, and more stuff for kids and more food this year," said Dugdale. "And the entertainment tent has got to be packed, even if only half the people who came through here since 6 o'clock stayed."

Many people were drawn to the festival Friday night by the reduced $5 admission fee and decided to return for Saturday's nice weather. The festival opens at 11 a.m. Sunday and closes at 8 p.m. It will feature many final judgments in the barbecue contests as well as the celebrity oyster slurp-off in the afternoon. Complete information is available at the festival's website.

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