With summer coming to an end, it’s not long until the oyster-dredging season starts and to celebrate this unique fishing tradition, Falmouth’s Oyster Festival.
Falmouth Oyster Festival, which takes place from 12th to 15th October this year, is one of Cornwall’s biggest and best-loved specialist food festivals. Almost as unique as the fishing tradition it celebrates, the festival embraces wonderful community spirit and receives generous backing from a variety of Cornwall’s businesses and individuals.
Organised by Falmouth Festivals Limited, Falmouth Oyster Festival receives significant support from its partners including Skinners Brewery and South West Bars and its main sponsor St Michael’s Hotel and Spa who also host the oyster bar, where the oyster shuckers work tirelessly opening thousands of native oysters over the four days of the festival.
Central to the festival are the cookery demonstrations provided by leading chefs, supported by their respective hotels and restaurants from across Cornwall, who enthusiastically share their culinary skills and cooking tips. BBC Radio Cornwall’s presenters provide the commentary for the cookery demonstrations, the oyster shucking competition and the hot chef challenge, contributing skilful humour and flair on the stage. Seafood experts Annie Sibert, My Fish Kitchen and Matt Slater, Cornwall Wildlife Trust share their passion for all things fishy, demonstrating filleting and cooking fish and highlighting the great variety of local seafood.
Each year Cornwall College provides a selection of students from their Travel and Tourism and Catering Courses. The catering students practice their hospitality skills serving guests at the chef’s table. The travel and tourism students develop their skills, providing tourist information, manning the help desk, acting as runners for event organisers, selling tickets and keeping the festival clean and tidy. “It is a pleasure to once again be working with Falmouth Festivals,” said Suzette Sadler, Team Lead, Travel and Tourism, Cornwall College. “Falmouth Oyster Festival provides the students with the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals and to experience first hand one of the best tourism events in the Cornish calendar.”
And last but by no means least, Betty Stogs, Queen of Cornish Ales and the infamous Falmouth Marine Band, who have become an integral part of the festival, provide unique and memorable entertainment for visitors whilst raising significant funds for local charity.
“As the Festival Director of this prestigious and popular event I am only too aware of the support shown by local businesses and individuals who enable us to annually deliver a successful festival,” said Mike Rangecroft. “Now in its twenty-first year, we have partners who have been with us for many years, if not all of them, and the festival continues to attract new ones as well. To all of them I say thank you and I hope you have as much pride and enjoyment in the festival as we do in organising it. And there is of course always more room and opportunities for other sponsors and partners to ensure the event’s future.”