Galway Oyster Festival – Indulge Yourself in Ireland’s Oysters and Pretty Much Anything Sea Food!
The Galway Oyster Festival has become an annual tradition amongst thousands of Irish locals and faithful travelers that attend the festival every year.
A Festival For the Family
This festival is one of the most reminiscent to an “old timey” town’s annual celebration. From the crowning of the Oyster Pearl (The oyster queen) to the International Oyster Opening Championship where the best oyster chucker is crowned king or queen of chucking, you’ll quickly realize that this festival is a lot more warm hearted and family fun than your typical festival.
Galway is held each year towards the end of September. For one day, guests and attendees enjoy Ireland’s finest celebrations of seafood and beer with around a few thousand people making their way to Galway.
Oysters Make History
First held in 1954, this festival was started in order to celebrate the mollusk that is known and loved as the oyster. Salty oysters make the festival’s most popular drinks beers and craft brews from local pubs and bars.
Ireland’s finest oyster festival developed as a course of nature. With this country’s amazing culture and food drawing people from all over the world in, Ireland’s oyster fest quickly became the most popular place to be for all the best restaurants and culinary artists around. After years of great wine and good food, locals and tourists alike began piling into the fest annually.
The Galway Experience
Galway acts as a “summer sendoff” of sorts. Though this festival is first and foremost a celebration of great food and strong culture, insiders know that at this Oyster Fest, you will find everything you ever wanted to experience about Ireland. From the beautiful location to Ireland’s iconic crustaceans and incredibly beautiful weather, Galway is really one of those festivals that you will want to write home about.
Galway really does have a world class location in the middle of Ireland’s beautiful seafood country. Throughout the years, this festival has consistently featured some of the biggest names in food industry. Being able to walk around Ireland, sipping beer, while feeling right at home with all the fun activities planned for you and your family.
Amongst the amazing seafood concoctions, Galway also features workshops, contests, and parties. Some of the most famous chefs in the world get flown into this festival for specialty demonstrations and cooking workshops. Additionally, make it a point to orbit around all the entire venue as multiple events take place throughout the day. Take a chance on trying some food you have never hear of before or a beer that you may not be familiar with—you’ll be sure to enjoy the experience either way! This is an event action packed with everything you need, an aspect hard to find on most festivals around the world.
Pricing and Tickets
Tickets for Galway Oyster Festival can get pretty inexpensive. The main open air events are free but when it comes to the special showcases and performances, you will need to purchase tickets.
Most of your money however will be spent covering travel costs and accommodation expenses. Check out the Galway Oyster festival website for a clear look into their travel packages and any partnerships they may have with nearby hotels.
Festival Fare at Galway
So it’s obviously a no brainer that the best food option at this festival is OYSTERS! However, as previously stated, the other varieties of food in Galway are no joke! This city is home to With a festival like Galway, it would be a crime not to take advantage of all the good food around you.
The Galway Oyster Festival producers outdo themselves each year with the sheer selection and quality of food options that they offer to attendees. Along with your typical seafood like oysters, crabs, shellfish, shrimp and typical Irish dishes made in the best way possible.
Along with cash and cards for all the various vendors at Galway Oyster Festival, you should also bring a healthy appetite and open schedule for food and wine. Just like you would plan who you will be seeing and when they will be playing at a music festival, it is important to get a good look at the list of vendors, breweries, and wineries. Having all the activities and events that you want to check out in mind will keep you paced and ready so you don’t burn out too fast from too much fun (or oysters!).
Do bring typical festival gear like sunscreen, bandanas, empty water bottles or camel packs, over the counter medicine, and non professional cameras.
The Mardi Gras Party & Gala Ball
Everything at the Galway Oyster festival isn’t always all oyster all the time. Many people think that the best part of the festival is often the Gala Ball or the Mardi Gras Party. Festival attendees, locals, and anyone who wants to have a good time come out to this celebration in their best attire! Everyone dresses to impress and gets together for a good time, all in the name of oysters.
The Mardi Gras Party & Gala Ball are some of the best events to experience, so consider purchasing tickets to at least one of these events before making the visit across the pond. Check out the festival website for tickets to each of these events.
What to Wear to the Oyster Fest
Galway Oyster Festival is held just before the start of summer. Given the late summer weather in Ireland, wearing comfortable, summery clothing shouldn’t be a problem in the day. Try maxi dresses, skirts, shorts, or whatever you feel most comfortable in! While some people try their best to be really fashionable, many people opt for comfort and go the route of jeans and a t-shirt. Either way is up to you.
Keep in mind that Galway Oyster Festival is held in the Galway, so evening weather will be a little chillier. Take extra layers with you just in case. Don’t let the sunny days fool you into being underprepared for your entire stay.
Throughout the day and night you, you will undoubtedly end up walking A LOT. Choose to wear the most comfortable shoes possible. After standing all day, it is a definite bummer to end up walking 2 miles, especially if it’s in the wrong shoes. Many people even take an extra pair of shoes with them in case of emergency.
Getting to Ireland
Many attendees coming from out of town will fly into the country. Make sure you make arrangements for a shuttle so you don’t end up waiting for one at the airport. Additionally, you can try your best to get a street car or taxi your way to Galway Oyster fest. Many people that have attended in the past years have had a problem with incredibly long entrance lines and having to wait hours for festival shuttles.
Be aware of the entrance and closing times so you don’t end up having to walk miles back to your car or hotel accommodations. Keep in mind that for drivers, parking may be difficult as spots fill up quickly. In addition to the option of cabs and public transportation, you may be able to locate a bus that offers roundtrips from your hotel or the airport.
No matter which form of transportation you end up with, you will need to allot a lot of time for getting to and from Galway Oyster Festival. Traffic happens whether you are on public transportation or on a bike. Stay patient and you’ll get there eventually!
Oyster Fest Tips
A lot of inside information can be learned from a quick search of festival reviews by former attendees. These Galway insider tips may just make your festival experience the best one yet! While you’re purchasing your passes online to the festival, don’t forget to take a look at all the after show tickets as well. When the evening rolls around, you’re going to want to see that acoustic set of Imagine Dragons, I promise.
Do yourself a favor and download the festival app before you arrive. You will get important updates and special information that you may never know otherwise. Do go to all the events if you can. Whether or not silent balls are your thing, you may have the time of your life at the Mardi Gras celebration.
When it comes to the wine and brews, try your best to drink sparingly throughout the day. Countless festival veterans have proven that night time is the best time to consumer liberal amounts of alcohol. Whichever you choose, be safe as the sun and alcohol will dehydrate you in no time!
So whether you have been to Galway Oyster Festival or this is your first time, this is sure to be a festival for the books!
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