Whitstable Oyster Festival is set to return this summer, it has been confirmed.
The event - one of Kent’s most popular celebrations - will be held next month under the new name, Whitstable Rocks Oyster Festival.
Organisers are promising many of the same traditional features - as well as some new attractions.
The historic event, which normally takes place in July, was scrapped in 2020 because of the pandemic. It went ahead last year - but without the renowned food festival.
There were fears this year’s event would not go ahead, but organisers The Events Umbrella have now announced it will take place over the weekend of September 16, 17 and 18.
It is set to bring a huge boost for the economy of the town, which is expected to be inundated with visitors.
Managing director of The Event Umbrella, Gus Corcoran, says: "We’re delighted to be launching this new festival to celebrate Whitstable’s historic connection with oysters whilst paying homage to the classic activities such as the blessing of the oysters and the lighting of the grotters that we all know and love."
The re-branding comes after the severing of the event’s links with the city council, which has withdrawn it support funding due to budget cuts.
The festival will take place in and around the East Quay Venue and Long Beach and will merge traditional events, like the Blessing of the Oysters, alongside family fun events such as kite-flying on Tankerton Slopes, the return of the Whitstable Mud Tug, treasure hunts around Whistable Castle, crabbing at Long Beach and the building and lighting of grotters.
Throughout the Friday, Saturday and Sunday there will be food stalls, a music stage and craft beer in the car park adjacent to the East Quay, with the full programme still to be announced.
More information will be made available nearer the time at www.whitstablerocksoysterfestival.com
Organisers say they will be working with the Whitstable Oyster Company and the festival association and the event will “stay true to its quintessential Kentish origins”, catering for families and varied tastes.