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About Whitstable Oyster Festival

The Whitstable Oyster Festival takes place on and around 25 July each year. It celebrates Whitstable’s long tradition of oyster fishing and is a thanksgiving for the harvest of oysters. An oyster catch is still hauled in from the sea to be blessed and presented to the Mayor before being paraded through the town, and there is a Blessing of the Waters on Reeves Beach. Mounds of sand decorated with oyster shells, called “grotters” are built, and lit by candles in the evening.

The Festival was revived in the1980s as oyster fishing itself was revived after half a century of decline. The event has grown to a week of family-orientated entertainment covering heritage, arts and traditional pursuits such as “mud tug”. Food and drink is plentiful, with oyster eating and cooking demonstrations to the fore.


Whitstable, Whitstable, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (1227) 862066 | Official Homepage

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