Published: 05:34, 24 July 2019
| Updated: 13:30, 24 July 2019
Thousands are expected to flock to the festival, which kicks off on Saturday, July 27, with the Landing of the Oysters, as the symbolic first catch is brought to shore by fishermen dressed in traditional clothing, before being blessed by a local clergyman.
Next up is the Oyster Parade - a celebration of the sea and all its creatures, featuring music and some spectacular costumes. Beginning at the Harbour Stage at 10am, it continues along Harbour Street and through the town.
Not to be missed is the oyster-eating competition, which sees contestants attempt to swallow half-a-dozen oysters and a half-pint of beer in the quickest time, aiming to be crowned 2019 Oyster Eating Champion.
Tankerton Food Fair also takes place on nearby Tankerton Slopes from 10.30am until 8pm on the Saturday and Sunday, hosting a range of musical performances across the weekend.
The “mud tug” - where teams battle it out in a slippery - and messy - tug-of-war on the mud flats at Long Beach on Sunday afternoon - is a must see.
On Sunday evening, the weekend will wind down on the seafront in a traditional fashion with the building of grotters. The carefully constructed towers of oyster shells are lit from within using candles - creating a magical sight as they glimmer on the beach. For those able to make it along on the Monday, the fun will continue with more attractions for families, including the annual crabbing contest and the ever-popular kite-flying event, which is returning to Tankerton Slopes after a break last year.
Whitstable Oyster Festival takes place from Saturday, July 27, until Monday, July 29. Visit whitstableoysterfestival.co.uk.