The 21st annual Falmouth Oyster Festival takes place this week and as usual offers four days packed with cookery demonstrations, live music and food and craft stalls to celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season.

Held on Events Square, the festival opens at 10am on Thursday and runs through until 5pm on Sunday. Organised by Falmouth Festivals Limited, the festival receives significant support from its partners including Skinners Brewery and South West Bars and its main sponsor St Michael’s Hotel and Spa, who also host the oyster bar, where the oyster shuckers work tirelessly opening thousands of native oysters.

The official opening with Gylly Beach Cafe chef Dale McIntosh takes place at 11am on Thursday and he will then give the first of the many cookery demonstrations taking place across the four days. Other chefs sharing their expertise include Nick Hodges, of the Greenbank Hotel; Annie Sibert, of My Fish Kitchen; Sanjay Kumar, of School of Cornish Sardines; and Arty Williams, of The Cove at Maenporth.

Children from local schools will make up the grand oyster parade which will leave from The Moor at 3.15pm on Friday and make its way down to Events Square.

The hot chef challenge between Arty Williams and Nick Hodges takes place from 7pm on Friday and the oyster shucking competition takes place at 3pm on Saturday. The Falmouth Working Boat Race will be held in the inner harbour from 11.30am on Sunday, with the prize giving and grand prize draw happening later that day at 3pm. This will including an appearance by Falmouth Marine Band and Betty Stogs.

This year's music line-up provides entertainment for all tastes with a great soundtrack of gospel, soul, folk, jazz, motown, rock, pop and some Cornish singing to round off the event.

There is live music every day afternoon and on Thursday night the award winning gospel singer Ley Adewole and the Grace Notes will perform and be followed by comedian Johnny Cowling. The evening is in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. Friday will see the Motown Pirates take to the stage during an evening in aid of ShelterBox.

On Saturday night it's the turn of BandEkoot performing rock and pop covers, followed by I Love Amp - in aid of Fishermen’s Mission. The festival will close with a performance by Falmouth’s very own, The Oggymen, at 4pm on Sunday.

Entry to Falmouth Oyster Festival is free with the exception of Thursday, Friday and Saturday night when tickets are £5 each. For full details of the festival programme and further information visit