The Falmouth Oyster Festival began in 1996 and celebrates the start of the oyster dredging season, which runs from October to March and has become a must for all oyster, seafood, and maritime heritage enthusiasts. Almost as unique as the fishing tradition it celebrates, the festival embraces wonderful community spirit and receives generous backing from a variety of Cornwall’s businesses and individuals.
With an ever-expanding range of Cornish food and drink on offer, the festival has gathered a loyal following who gather to celebrate this unique local heritage. These days there’s much more than just oysters; the festival is a four-day showcase for Cornwall’s fantastic range of seafood combined with cooking demos provided by leading chefs, live music, craft stalls and oyster shucking demonstrations. As well as plenty of tips on how to shuck an oyster there is also the opportunity to find out more about Falmouth’s historic oyster industry and maritime heritage.
Governed by ancient laws that were put in place to protect the natural ecology of the riverbeds and oyster stocks, oystermen fishing in the Port of Truro Oyster Fishery are prohibited from using engines. Instead, sail power and hand-pulled dredges must be used. The River Fal is unique in Europe amongst oyster fisheries in that it is the only remaining one to dredge by sail and hand punt.
Falmouth’s next Oyster Festival will be held from Thursday 13th October — Sunday 16th October. Find out more and keep up to date with the event here.