Eat & Drink / Festivals & Events September 21, 2017

6 Things You NEED TO KNOW About the Halifax Oyster Festival

It’s happening people. It’s one SHELL of a weekend, one we’ve all been waiting for; it’s the 3rd annual Halifax Oyster Festival!!!

Celebrating the start of the Nova Scotia oyster harvest season, the Oyster Festival is a 2-day, all-you-can-slurp raw bar event on the Halifax waterfront, happening September 29-30, 2017.

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Read on for 8 CRITICAL things you should know about this year’s Halifax Oyster Festival

1 – Halifax Oysterfest is Canada’s BIGGEST oyster festival
There are plenty of oyster and shellfish festivals across the country, but none have 20 oyster producers represented.

That level of variety is very important, because it lets festival goers discover the surprising range of oyster tastes that can happen just in Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick.

Here’s a fact that may SHUCK the SHELL out of you: Did you know that the Atlantic Oyster can change their sex back and forth many times. They are born male and half of them turn into females after birth!

photo via @hfxoysterfest

2 – This year’s guest oyster comes from France
Yes, you read that correctly. I said guest oyster. You know how you always hear about how oysters from Nova Scotia and the Maritimes are some of the best in the world? Well it’s because they are!

Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to head off on a globetrotting seafood world-tour, so it’s tough to taste the truth for yourself. This is why Oysterfest started a tradition of bringing a “guest oyster” to the festival.

In 2016, the guest was from British Columbia, which made for a good east coast-west coast comparison. This year the guest list goes international with a French huître.

ANOTHER FUN OYSTER FACT: Every day, one oyster filters 50 gallons of water!

3 – It’s not just for oyster fanatics!
You don’t have to be a mollusc maniac to have a good time at the fest!

There’s a fun vibe in the big tent as hundreds of people enjoy the ocean-front setting, the Caesar drink competition at Friday’s session, and the Oyster Shucking Championship on Saturday. Nova Scotian beer, wine and spirits vendors will be onsite, along with several “non-oyster” food offerings from local restaurants.

photo via @hfxoysterfest

BUILD YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Since the festival is all-you-care-to-eat oysters for one ticket price, with the sea farmers on hand to talk about their oyster-growing methods, Oysterfest is an easy way to build your oyster knowledge and appreciation.

4 – You can slurp seafood with OYSTER CELEBRITIES

Oh yes, celebrities. Three of the biggest names in oysters are coming to Halifax for the Festival.

Eamon Clark, the reining Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion, is hosting Thursday night’s Pearl Jam with John Bil, the restaurateur who the Toronto Star calls “Canada’s authority on seafood.” Best of all, Montreal shucking star (yes, shucking star!), Daniel Notkin is back for another entertaining turn hosting the Nova Scotia Shucking Championship.

Like wines, Oysters have a variety of flavour profiles. Oyster flavours can be categorized by the 5 distinct flavour characteristics: briny, buttery, sweet, metallic and mild. 


5 – Finding a pearl at Oysterfest is extra lucky
Atlantic oysters don’t often perform their magic trick of turning a spec of grit into something precious, so it’s exciting to discover the oyster you’re about to eat has been making a pearl.

There have been two pearls found at the previous Oyster Festivals, but this year, if someone finds a pearl they are also going to win a strand of pearls from FireWorks Gallery!

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6 – Oysters make you ~sexy~
These meaty bivalves deliver a hefty dose of zinc which is great for making you feel good and keeping up your energy.

Not only does the zinc boost your sex drive, but it helps the immune system, delivers great looking skin and makes bones stronger. So, yeah, sexy.

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What are you waiting for? Get your tickets to the Halifax Oyster Festival now!

Halifax Oyster Festival 2016 from The Coast, Halifax on Vimeo.

Thank you to The Coast and Halifax Oyster Festival for contributing.

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