Crowds flock to enjoy Falmouth Oyster Festival
Oyster lovers shelled out for their favourite meaty molluscs this week at a shucking good festival celebrating the famous Falmouth delicacy.
Organisers estimate a “substantial increase” in visitor numbers to this year’s event, with the marquee on Events Square packed to capacity on both Friday and Saturday evenings and an “excellent turnout” for the opening on Thursday and the finale on Sunday afternoon.
Mike Rangecroft, from Falmouth Festivals who put on the event, said: “We are so pleased that the festival has grown again this year as more and more people join in this celebration of Cornish seafood. “The festival is also attracting more visitors from outside of Cornwall, who are planning a weekend away around it, and we hope to build on that for the future.”
Highlights of the festival included the Hot Chefs Challenge, where Nick Hodges from The Flying Fish Restaurant at St Michael’s Hotel and Spa and Arty Williams from The Cove in Maenporth were narrowly beaten by Dick and James Strawbridge, who were filming the event for their new TV series “The Hungry Sailors.” Other prominent visitors were presenter Monty Halls, who recounted tales of his time spent with the Cadgwith fishermen, comedian Rory Bremner who also chose the festival as a backdrop for the filming for his new TV series and Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends. Visitors were able to enjoy a number of cookery demonstrations, a craft market, food from some of Cornwall’s leading producers and live music.
In addition, The Moor hosted a “Folk and Food” event, which was a celebration of local food, drink and music funded by Falmouth Business Improvement District. A sudden, torrential downpour disrupted the primary schools’ Grand Oyster Parade on Thursday afternoon, but schoolchildren soldiered on despite the cold and wet.
Crowds, sheltering in shop windows and doors, applauded the children as they made their way up Church Street, bound for a celebration at Events Square.
The heavens opened less than ten minutes into the parade, but the show carried on regardless with St Francis schoolchildren carrying papier-mâché green marine life, St Mary's as the oysters, Marlborough with the drums and stilts, Falmouth Primary with the Olympic-themed boats and King Charles with their giant octopus.