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Whitstable Oyster Festival 2018: oyster landing, eating, parading and live music

Oysters in the water, on the beach and on the plate will be in the spotlight this weekend.

The Whitstable Oyster Festival, which brings Whitstable together to celebrate the shell fish, has family fun times, parades, muddy goings-ons, oyster-eating and twilight treats.

For today and tomorrow head for the coast to find the mollusc with the most.

The oyster will be celebrated in Whitstable this weekend
The oyster will be celebrated in Whitstable this weekend

There will also be a food fair on Tankerton Slopes and this year there is also an emphasis on environmental responsibility with window displays in the theme by local businesses.

Here are some of the highlights:

LANDING OF THE OYSTERS

On Saturday, July 21 at just before 10am, Long Beach will be the venue for the ceremonial Landing where the symbolic first catch will be landed on the beach, and received by the Mayor before being blessed. World famous Whitstable Rock Oysters will be the catch of the day.

The landing of the oysters at Whitstable Oyster Festival Picture: Chris Davey
The landing of the oysters at Whitstable Oyster Festival Picture: Chris Davey

THE OYSTER PARADE

From 11am on Saturday, July 21, the parade of costumed characters, local groups and the Native Oysters Band, will head from the harbour and along then High Street and Oxford Street. Many of the colourful costumes were made at festival workshops held at the Horsebridge Arts Centre in the lead-up to the event.

The Whitstable Oyster Festival parade at Tankerton last year Picture: Chris Davey
The Whitstable Oyster Festival parade at Tankerton last year Picture: Chris Davey

OYSTER EATING CONTEST

Strong stomachs at the ready! Head to the Harbour Stage in the harbour at 3pm on Saturday, July 21 to witness a Whitstable tradition - or get stuck in yourself, as shellfish fans take on the challenge of eating six oysters and half a pint of beer in the fastest time.

George Duce as the Oyster King during the parade last year Picture: Chris Davey
George Duce as the Oyster King during the parade last year Picture: Chris Davey

LIVE MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

Next to the harbour market on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 between 11am and 7pm both days, the Harbour Stage will be alive with local bands including Dead Horse Morris and the Whitstable Soul Choir.

GROTTERS

What better way to witness a Whitstable moment? On Sunday, July 22, on Horsebridge Beach, you can see a display of grotters - and make your own in the afternoon, creating a "grotter" tower of oyster shells on the beach and, as twilight falls, see it glow in the darkness.

DETAILS

The 2018 Whitstable Oyster Festival will be held in and around Whitstable on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22. For full details of all events and timings, go to whitstableoysterfestival.co.uk

ALSO...

Waste Line: Exploring the effects of waste on our town runs at the Horsebridge Arts Centre until Sunday, July 29 and is part of the event's environmentally responsible theme.

The exhibition looks at how waste has shaped the town over the years and how locals can work together to protect the area's environment. It includes a sculptural historical waste map of Whitstable created from beach clean and domestic rubbish. Details at horsebridge-centre.org.uk


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