Arcata Main Street’s 20th Annual Oyster Festival
In addition to the amazing live music, the Oyster Festival wild & wacky oyster contests. One annual favorite, the “World Famous” Oyster Calling Contest with David Silverbrand as Master of Ceremonies, has delighted crowds for years.
The Best Oyster Contest is judged by luminaries of the local food world, who will be sampling the delicacies provided by the competing oyster chefs.
The Shuck & Swallow Contest, sponsored by the Point, is entering its fourth year. Conor Eckholm & Aidan Semingson, the undefeated companions of the Shuck & Swallow Champions are returning to defend their titles in this year’s contest.
And, in our continuing efforts to provide convenience to our patrons and alleviate negative impacts, the festival will be providing off-site parking and free shuttle bus service for the event. Parking Lots are available at Arcata High School, HSU at 14th and Union and on Samoa Boulevard 2 blocks west of K Street. Shuttle busses will run every 10-15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
We will also be recycling all of the oyster shells! The shells are sorted out from the trash and recycling flow, and used as filters for fish hatcheries. Last but not least, we will also be using special glasses for all beer served at the festival.
Humans have cultivated oysters for thousands of years. A shell mound on Indian Island dates back more than 7,000 years! Legends of their delectable taste, magical powers, and wondrous pearls have come to us through the ages. On California’s most northwest corner in the scenic and wild redwood coast, we are blessed with an abundance of this most desired of mollusks.
Over 70% of the fresh oysters consumed in California are grown in 450 acres of Arcata Bay where the conditions are ideal. Currently there are five companies raising both Pacific Oysters and Kumomoto oysters for export and the restaurant trade. On average, it takes 18 months from “seed” oyster to harvest. June is a peak month for oyster harvests in Humboldt County. These little gems of the sea are now farmed in bags tethered to posts in the Arcata Bay and no harmful dredging of the bay is necessary for their capture. The cities of Arcata and Eureka have made significant efforts to maintain the high quality of water in the bay, which is essential for aquaculture.