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Arcata Bay Oyster Festival

Listed under Harvests & Food Festivals in US West Coast, United States.

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If Dickens’ Oliver Twist had been at the Arcata Bay Oyster festival he certainly would not have been asking for more. In fact, the sheer abundance of oysters available to eat raw or cooked on one Saturday in June is astounding; enough to feed the ten to fifteen thousand people who visit the festival every year. There are grilled oysters with garlic and butter, barbequed oysters, fried oysters and even oyster pizza. The Japanese restaurants offer fried oyster rolls, oyster tempura and oyster shooters and the Mexican restaurants hand over tacos filled to the brim with spicy oysters. Apart from consuming as many oysters as possible, there are games, music, arts and crafts and the great shuck and swallow contest where competitors with large bellies and impeccable oyster knife skills battle it out to win the title. But the most bizarre and amusing event of the whole day has to be the Oyster calling competition where adults and children, large and small (with knife skills or not) take the microphone and try to coax the oysters to hop out of their shells and into a model boat.

Written by  Alessia Horwich.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

How does the large crowd affect your enjoymnet?

Is this festival a "zoo" with long lines, or...we are thinking of going, but since it is a far way, we want to make sure we won't regret it. Thanks so much for your response.

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