What is the New Orleans Oyster Festival?
Just about everyone knows about Mardi Gras as being the ultimate celebration that happens at the start of the year. The whole idea that an event is dedicated to something that benefits something higher than nursing a hangover is what we’re looking to tell you about. And with New Orleans French Quarter being known as the Oyster Capital of America, it only seems fitting that you should know about this lesser-known oyster festival!
The real catch here is that this event helps to benefit the Coastal Restoration, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fishing Foundation, and the Oyster Shell Recycling Program. Obviously, when you have so many oysters that are part of an integral diet based in New Orleans and the Louisiana seafood export business, there will surely be programs that help keep it going so these unique local shellfish aren’t over-harvested into oblivion.
The festival is held at Woldenberg Park this year scheduled for June 1-2nd 2022.
There are no set events that are yet available, but you can find more info on their official site for the latest news. What you can expect from past events are many kinds of competitions that occur over the 2-day festival. There will be fresh oysters being shucked, cooked, and served to those who love eating oysters.
Of the many ways that oysters can be served, many of the local restaurants will be on hand to serve up oyster-based dishes that are all different then than the next. There are raw oysters, grilled oysters, fried oysters, char-grilled oysters, and much more. There will be Po-Boy oyster sandwiches, oyster salads, and oyster dishes from all over Louisiana. That’s only the start of this festival.
One of the most defining factors of serving oysters is the talented skill of shucking. If you’ve never seen oyster-shuckers in action, it’s pretty impressive! On the first day, there is their signature oyster shucking contest that shows who can shuck the most oysters in so many minutes. There is also the oyster eating contest which might sound like it could be a complete bucket-fest, but these are professionals who are used to eating raw oysters!
A few years back, a local from New Orleans could wolf down 44 dozen raw oysters in just 8 minutes. If you do the math, that’s 528 oysters which count for 66 oysters per minute amounting to nearly every oyster being consumed every second! Yikes!!! If that doesn’t strike your interest, if you’ve ever wanted to see how big oysters can get, there’s also a competition that features the largest oyster contest.
The largest entry was 7.5 inches long, nearly 5-inches wide, and 3-inches tall. The total weight was a total of 3 pounds making this quite a catch. Sadly it didn’t contain a pearl which would have been just as incredible a find, so you’ll have to see what pops up at this year’s Oyster Festival.
Don’t throw that shell away!
Every festival is going to include arts and crafts so it makes sense to include all the things you can do with those mountains of shucked oyster shells. Most people think of pearls and something related to pearl bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Here is where you can find an incredible assortment of oyster accessories, jewelry, inspired artwork, and handmade oyster products of all kinds.
All of the exhibitors will have all of their finest wares on display at Woldenberg Park. What makes these decorative additions idea is they’re all 100% recycled oyster shells that feature the iconic mother of pearl lining that make the inside of oysters so lovely. Expect that there will be great deals for those who are festival pass holders.
Speaking of special deals
There are general admission tickets available but what you want to have for this shellfish celebration is the VIP wristband. What VIP passes can do for you is much more than access to private and hospitality areas. These wristbands will grant you a free meal ticket for each day and 5 alcoholic beverages. Of course, soft drinks and water are unlimited and any child under two years old is admitted for free.
This special New Orleans Oyster Festival is sure to sell out, so be sure to book your tickets or VIP passes as soon as they’re available. Don’t miss out.