The new event grounds in Charlottetown is getting its first test run.

The International Shellfish Festival is the first major event being held at the new facility. Work on the $3 million site isn't quite complete as the main parking lot has yet to be built.

But that hasn't stopping people from slurping down oysters on Thursday night at the new event grounds on the corner of Grafton and Water streets.

It was built specifically to host big events like this.

"This site is designed to have a lot of amenities from power to sewage, running water, and even snow-making capabilities for example, for our Jack Frost," said Ron Waite, general manager of the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation.

The event site used to be the old Imperial Oil grounds.

The transformation has been five years in the making.

Now the only thing missing is the main parking lot. That's being built across the street.

But that isn't bothering festival organizers.

"We have a lot more parking than we've ever ever had, so it's a beauty," said Liam Dolan, one of the organizers of the International Shellfish Festival. "Yes, there's another parking lot under construction over there, but that's for phase two and three. Wish I had it today, but it's not perfect, but it's quite good."

Work on the parking lot is expected to be finished this fall.