Galway Oyster Festivals
Each year, Galway celebrates two fantastic oyster festivals to celebrate the start of the new native oyster season every September. If you ever heard the foodie world saying of 'only eat oysters when there is an R in the month' this certainly holds true to our native Galway flat oysters. They are wild oysters cultivated in a protected bay just south of Galway city. During the summer months they start to reproduce and the oyster farmers protect them during this process to help preserve their very existence. Oyster farming is a passion and the average age of a native flat Galway Oyster that you eat at the Galway Oyster Festival is 5 years a growing - the ultimate slow food! The Atlantic gigas oysters also known as rock oysters are available all year round and may be enjoyed in any of our wonderful Galway restaurants.
We have not one but two oyster festivals in Galway. On the last weekend of September each year Galway City celebrates the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, the most internationally recognised Irish festival after St Patrick’s Day and the world’s longest running Oyster Festival. There are lots of tantalising events for all to enjoy; seafood trails, oyster hot spots, oyster opening (shucking) championships including the Oyster ‘Olympics’ or World Oyster Opening Championship, a Masquerade Mardi Gras style Gala Event talong with family activities, live music and more. In 2017, the smaller Clarenbridge Oyster Festival has moved to the first weekend in October and includes a market day and family friendly activties as well as live music.