From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury - A social calendar for the 21st century
Galway International Oyster Festival
27 September, 2013 - 29 September, 2013
Late summer in south-western Ireland is a treat for seafood and stout lovers, with oysters and Guinness galore.
The three-day Galway oyster festival - described by The Sunday Times as one of the 12 greatest shows on Earth - has been attracting seafood lovers from all over Ireland, Britain and the rest of the world since 1954.
On offer are oysters, seafood chowder, smoked salmon, Guinness and wine tastings. The Official Opening (on Saturday 24th) is a free event in Eyre Square, featuring a parade, musical bands, vintage cars, and crowning of the 'oyster pearl'.
The Guinness World Oyster Opening Championship is hotly contested, with competitors coming from around the world for the grand finale in the Oyster Marquee on Saturday 28. The Championship tests contestants' skill in opening a box of 30 oysters - the world record, set in 1971, was Ireland's Willie Morans, who opened his 30 oysters in 1 min 31 seconds.
In addition, there is plenty of live music - with the focus on traditional Irish song and dance - best-dressed competitions, a Mardi Gras party with jazz, and a black-tie Gala ball. Some are free public events, others require tickets, with a proportion of the proceeds going to charity.