The village of Clarenbridge has long garnered national and international acclaim for its annual Oyster Festival. The event, now in its 56th year, is very much part of local heritage and this year’s event in September will provide an excellent weekend for festival goers.
The weekend focuses primarily on local oyster heritage. The event celebrates the Clarenbridge Oyster, known as the best in the world, and what it represents: tradition, heritage, learning, trade, employment, growth, tourism, family, friendship and community. The Clarenbridge Oyster Festival is part of the great experience.
This festival owes its continuing success to the support and generosity of the local and regional business community. Principal sponsors of the 2010 festival are Guinness, Kerrigans’, Londis Kilcolgan, Paddy Burke’s, Failte Ireland, and the Galway Advertiser. The support and that of many other supporting sponsors ensures an impressive weekend of entertainment and fine food whilst introducing novelty additions to the festival with celebrity host, TG4 weatherman, Daithi O Se.
The official opening of the festival takes place on Friday September 10 at 9.30pm with the traditional Big Band night and American country legend Robert Mizzell in the festival marquee, introducing the first “I’d love to jive” waltz and jive competition.
The Classic Oyster Gala celebration on Saturday, September 11 will feature a musical and entertainment extravaganza which includes Fuaim Chonamara, Julie Feeney, and Carouse from 4.30pm to 1am. In between the fun, sample and savour the native Clarenbridge Oysters and select from a varied buffet including seafood chowder, fresh seafood, selection of breads and salads, a savoury hot plate and tea and coffee. Admission is by pre-purchased tickets only.
The Clarenbridge Oyster Gala Celebration is noted for its style, fashion and glamour. Year on year all expectations are exceeded in the fashion stakes and the Best Dressed Lady competition at the Saturday event has become one of the social highlights of the year. The Clarenbridge Oyster Festival organisers confirm the Galway NOW Best Dressed Lady competition for 2010 will be judged for a second year by Irish designers, Tyrell & Brennan. This year the prize with a value of €2500 will ensure the bar is raised yet again - so dress to impress and introduce your own sense of style to this unique occasion.
According to Anne Forde, Festival chairperson, “Early booking is advised, we already have a number of confirmed bookings and following the sell out success of last year indications are we will have a sell out festival again this year”
To complete the festivities the Sunday jamboree will again have a family theme. The event will include a children’s disco followed by live music from Streetwise. With fancy dress and art competitions, the now famous townland tug of war competition, Clarin River duck races, penalty shoots outs and raffles - this day will not disappoint. To cater for all a full carvery lunch offering a wide selection of freshly prepared food and a children’s menu will also be available on the day.
Each year in excess of 5,000 people attend the festival and with the sun always shining in Clarenbridge 2010 will be no exception.
Full details of this year’s festival programme of events are available on www.clarenbridge.com or phone the ticketline on 091 796766.