It’s happening right now. The Galway International Oyster Festival runs from September 22-26. It’s the place to be for oyster lovers.
It all started back in 1954, when a Galway hotel man, eager to keep his business booming past tourist season, decided to hold an oyster festival in September. The people loved it. Every September since, oyster aficionados the world over have come to Galway to honor and enjoy the legendary bivalve.
It sound like a very memorable time. The main event is the oyster opening competition. Contestants go head-to-head shucking 30 oysters as fast as they can, using only a knife and a cloth. Judges pick a winner based on speed, presentation, and lack of oyster blood (among other things). The festival also crowns an annual Oyster Pearl, one lucky lady who presides over the event and remains its figurehead until the following year.
The Oyster Festival is just one of many festivals held in Galway. The city is known as the festival capital of Ireland, if not the world. There are many, many festivals here throughout the year, ranging from the large and prestigious (Galway Arts Festival) to the exciting (Galway Races) to the pony-centric (Festival of the Connemara Pony).