The World is Your Oyster in Ireland and Beyond


OysterA common myth has it that the oyster season includes months that have the letter “r” in them. That’s all 12 months excluding May, June, July, and August. If this is true, that would mean that we have just passed the reputed four month intermission period and that the oyster season has recommenced. That would also explain all of the oyster festivals that are slowly and increasingly emerging on our radar of world events, especially in Ireland. The pieces are beginning to fall into place …

After reading through a variety of background information on these popular oyster events, I conclude that it is a recommended prerequisite to be a fan of consuming oysters before partaking at one of the festivities. After all, eating oysters will be the number one priority for participants – there is even a Guinness World Oyster Eating Championship scheduled each year (last year’s record holder clocked in at 233 oysters in 3 minutes.) I for one think oysters are overrated and I am particularly tickled by the fact that the animal can change its sex several times during its life span (which is estimated at a whopping 80 years!)

But the majority of the population is likely to challenge my firm standpoint as they are flocking to these events. Some 12,000 visitors alone are streaming to the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival that begins tomorrow in the picturesque Georgian village of Hillsborough in Northern Ireland. A neat side perk to this event is the Soapbox Derby that is going to take place this Saturday, September 5th, as well as the live band performance of  The Untouchables. Even though the oyster dominates the events, there is plenty in stock for those who steer clear of this salty product.

Chances are however, that the world is in fact your oyster and therefore we suggest keeping your eyes and ears open for events that are popping up especially in coastal regions and in Ireland in the months to come. Here’s what we’ve found so far:

Hillsborough, Ireland – Sept. 3 – Sept. 6
Hillsborough International Oyster Festival

Clarenbridge, Ireland – Sept. 11 – Sept. 13
Clarenbridge Oyster Festival

Galway, Ireland – Sept. 24 – Sept. 26
Galway International Oyster Festival

Virginia, U.S.A. – October 10
Chincoteague Oyster Festival

Maryland, U.S.A. – Oct. 17-18
St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival

Virginia, U.S.A. – Nov. 6 – Nov. 7
Urbanna Oyster Festival

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