As festivals for something that doesn't come from anywhere near us go, Shaw's Crab House's Oysterfest— happening all week at both the Mag Mile and Schaumburg locations, and concluding with the annual block party downtown— is pretty much the gold standard. After 24 years they've put together just about every imaginable oyster-based activity you can imagine for the weeklong celebration of oceany bivalves. Here's what's happening, beginning tonight.
• It kicks off with 50-cent oysters on the half shell at both locations in the Oyster Bar from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The deal is only tonight downtown, but all week in Schaumburg; the rest of the time you'll enjoy oysters throughout both restaurants for $7/half dozen or $14/dozen.
• The nightly Slurp-off invites you to compete by slurping down a dozen oysters as fast as you can, hands-free, for a chance to win a grand prize of $1000 at Friday night's block party.
• John Hall, founder of Goose Island Beer Co., will be honored as this year's Oyster Hall of Fame inductee at a special dinner Thursday night. It's $70 per person; for reservations, call 312-527-2722.
• Finally, it's the massive Royster With the Oyster block party Friday night, from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; $25 gets you food from Shaw's, beer from Goose Island, live music and more. To buy tickets go here; for more info visit the Shaw's Crab House Facebook page.