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International Oyster Festival

Galway International Oyster & Seafood festival

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Established in 1954, some of the main events are the Irish Oyster Opening Championship and the World Oyster Opening or “shucking” championships.  A highlight in the west of Ireland’s festival calendar, it is the world's longest running Oyster Festival and one of the most internationally recognised Irish events.


Over the four days, the festival hosts the World Oyster Opening Championship, an annual beauty contest to select the Festival Pearl, a Mardi Gras Party with Champagne, Guinness and Oyster reception and an electrifying line up of top class artists, an afternoon Marquee Reception (with more Guinness and Oysters) and the grand finale, the Gala Ball.

Running annually since 1954, The Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival has welcomed over half a million visitors, consumed more than 3 million oysters and all washed down with champagne and stout whilst listening to some of the best musicians in Ireland.

A Seafood Trail is a new addition to the festival offers a selection of Galway’s best restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients & seafood; each restaurant will have Galway Oysters available from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th so all visitors can try the famed delicacy.  It has been described by the Sunday Times as “one of the 12 greatest shows on earth” and was listed in the AA Travel Guide one of Europe’s Seven Best Festivals.

The full line up for the event is as follows:

Friday 23rd September is the opening night and to launch the event the National Oyster Championships are held with the opening night party happening until late with a DJ playing a blend of music from across the decades.

Saturday 24th September see the Oyster festival offers a lively parade weaves its way through the narrow medieval streets of the city down to the Festival Marquee. There will be plenty of noise, colour and excitement for all to enjoy.The highly competitive World Oyster Opening Championships is the highlight of the day. Oyster openers from all over the world will be vying for title. Estonia’s Anti Lipek is the current holder of the title. There will be plenty of live music throughout the day.

Sunday 25th September see the closing day of the festivities which is one for all the family. In the festival marquee live music can be found by a host of musicians with a host of children’s activities and a programme of cooking demos for all to enjoy.