Union Staff Report
ARCATA – The 24th version of Humboldt County's largest one-day event is going back to its original name and premise, while managing an order of magnitude increase in scale.
Sponsored by Arcata Main Street/Greenway Partners, this year's festival of bivalves, beverages, noshes and tunes will once again be called the Arcata Bay Oyster Festival.
The decision to restore the event's original name came after a Tuesday morning confab between event organizers and vendors in the Plaza View room. The meeting included presentations by AMS/Greenway, the Arcata Fire Protection District, Mad River Union and vendors.
With lack of communication blamed for many of the event's shortcomings and complications in recent years, the Greenway team has reestablished a local and environmental theme for the festival. A diversified panoply of features will imbue the event, down to the yarn-bombed barrier along Tavern Row.
Yes, there will be a fence. It will form a flimsy but staffed membrane protecting the bars from untoward intrusions by spirited festival-goers, or maybe vice versa. The cyclone fence will be slathered in colorful yarn by artists from Arcata's Parks & Rec programs.
Attendee flow at the Saturday, June 14 OysterFest will be from south to north, exiting at one-way portals on Ninth Street and G and H streets.
This year, say organizers, the goal of the Oyster Festival is to spotlight local businesses, aquaculture, craft breweries, food and music.
According to an AMS/Greenway press release:
Partnerships have been formed with area businesses, organizations, the City of Arcata, and community members to ensure the success of the event. Collaborations to bring the focus of our local aquaculture back include; Coast Seafoods, Pacific Choice Seafoods, Humboldt Bay Oyster Company, Aqua Rodeo Farms and the Humboldt Bay Harbor District.
Attendees can look forward to colorful information about Humboldt bay and touch tanks full of sea life. The Discovery Museum will host the children’s area with some awesome exhibits. Currently, more than 20 oyster vendors have committed to providing both raw and cooked oysters. Several artisans will be on deck showing off hand-made goods.
All five of our local breweries are participating in the Oyster festival: Lost Coast Brewery, Mad River Brewery, Eel River Brewery, Six Rivers Brewery and Redwood Curtain Brewery.
The Humboldt Wine Association will showcase Humboldt made wines.
Shuck N’ Swallow and the famous Oyster Calling contest are back, along with the every so popular “Best Oyster Contest.”
Organizers are working with Zero Waste Humboldt to minimize and eliminate waste from the event.
More information at oysterfestival.net.