Attention slurpers and shuckers: I am so excited to announce that the Okanagan will be hosting the first ever OOOyster Festival this year.
The Oliver Osoyoos Oyster Festival was created to bring the ocean to us Okanagians and allow us to celebrate this luxurious crustacean on home turf paired with the award-winning wines of the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association.
The festival runs from April 14 to 23 with an amazing list of events lined up. Walnut Beach Resort, a sponsor of the festival, will be offering great room rates starting at $79 so you can get “EFF’d” (Effingham Oyster’s slogan) and not have to drive home.
The OOOyster Festival was a result of the annual Osoyoos Volunteer Firefighters’ Oyster Feed — an event so popular that it sells out every year with over 400 attending this year. Rob “Effing” Tryon from NW Aquaculture Ltd. and representatives from Outlandish Oysters are coming to the festival and bringing their delicious wares. Big thanks to Jon Crofts from Kelowna’s Codfathers Seafood Market for being a major sponsor for this event — he was also the salt-loving guy who helped bring us the B.C. Spot Prawn Festival last year.
Here is a taste of what’s on the agenda, but go to the official website www.oooysterfestival.com for the complete event listings. B.C. Food & Wine Trails Magazine is also a proud sponsor of this event.
Art Of The Oyster signature event — Saturday, April 21 at Walnut Beach Resort from 3 to 5 p.m. with wine pairings from participating Oliver and Osoyoos wineries.
An elegant afternoon soiree featuring oyster creations from Oliver and Osoyoos’ best restaurants and chefs with wonderful wine pairings from participating wineries from the Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association.
Freshly shucked oysters will also be featured from the Codfathers, Buy the Sea and Helen’s Seafood Cove. Enjoy oysters, wine and the background music of nHarmonix Music. For oyster and wine lovers, this is one of the highlight events of the festival.
Oyster Stations: Mica, Miradoro, Sonora Room, Terrafina, Walnut Beach Resort and Watermark Beach Resort
Wineries: Black Hills Estate Winery, Burrowing Owl, Castoro de Oro Estate Winery, Fairview Cellars, Gehringer Brothers, Hester Creek, Nk’Mip Cellars, Oliver Twist Estate Winery, Road 13, Rustico Farm and Cellars, Stoneboat Vineyards and Tinhorn Creek.
The price is $45 plus HST. Tickets available by calling Walnut Beach Resort at 1-877-936-5400 or at Helen’s Sea Food Cove in Osoyoos.
The Oyster Beach Brew Party — Friday, April 20 at Walnut Beach Resort from 6 to 10 p.m. presented by the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce.
The $35 admission covers entertainment, beer mug, two oysters, sausage or beer sample. Join under the tent for a beach party featuring live entertainment with Dianne Ball, and special guest oyster farmer Rob Tryon from Effingham oysters.
This will be a beach party, appropriate footwear advised. In case of bad weather, beach party will be moved inside the Walnut Beach Resort ballroom.
Tickets available at Imperial Office Pro or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-498-6321 ext. 1.
Amateur Shuck and Suck Competition — Saturday, April 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sage Pub.
Helen’s Seafood Cove and the Sage Pub host the first Okanagan Amateur Shuck and Suck Competition.
Come cheer on the amateur shuck and suck teams as they compete to claim the title of Best Shuck N’ Sucker team in the Okanagan. Enjoy fresh-shucked oysters and an evening of music and dancing.
Enter your team for the Shuck and Suck competition by April 15. Prizes to be won including Best Dressed Shuck & Suck team. There is a $10 registration fee.
Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food & Wine Trails Magazine.