Like the mollusk itself, much of the information about this weekend's Arcata Bay Oyster Festival developed in secret. But now, on the cusp of its opening, the slow rollout of details is complete and all is revealed, including the players and schedule for this first virtual iteration
of the annual food festival.
A press release from Arcata Main Street includes the itinerary in the form of a plaza map. Once participants have picked up their optional DIY kits
filled with local oysters, beverages and swag ($140-$160), they can start live streaming the event at www.arcatamainstreet.com or its Facebook page.
It kicks off at 10 a.m. with a welcome and an intro to some local oyster producers and live music. From there, it's the annual Best Oyster competition (this year including chef demos) and Oyster Calling Contest, with more live music, kids' entertainment and a "History of the Arcata Bay" segment in between. The whole thing winds up with celebrating graduating seniors and a message from the Arcata Police Department's Chief Brian Ahearn at 4:30 p.m. (See the full schedule and press release below.)
According to the press release, the day's performers — The Latin Peppers, ESCH, Rowdzilla, City Hippie and James Calderon — will all be streaming from the Jam. Judging the oyster entries this year will be a smaller circle of tastemakers, including Journal
contributor Wendy Chan, Humboldt Foodies admin (and Journal
contributor) Jessica Ashley Silva, event organizer Meredith Klein and Mad River Union
columnist Bob Doran.
"Though this is a different experience than the last 29 years," the release reads, "the goal is still the same: to stimulate the economy and showcase a unique local food experience." This year, unlike the 2019 event
, when Arcata Main Street struck an exclusive deal that made SeaQuake Brewing the only beer on the plaza, a number of local brewers are in the game: Six Rivers Brewery, Mad River Brewing, Eel River Brewing Company, SeaQuake Brewing and Gyppo Ale Mill. Bottles from Septentrio Winery, Humboldt Cider Company and Trinity River Vineyards are also in the DIY kits, and the oyster producers on the menu are Aqua Rodeo Farms, Coast Seafoods, Humboldt Bay Oyster Co. and North Bay Shellfish.
Read the full press release below:
ARCATA – Arcata Main Street is excited to announce the 30th Arcata Bay
Oyster Festival, live streaming free Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m.
Though this is a different experience than the last 29 years, the goal
is still the same: to stimulate the economy and showcase a unique
local food experience – this time with all the tools you need to plan
an Oyster Festival experience at home!
The 30th Oyster Festival will livestream on any device at
ArcataMainStreet.com and on Facebook, thanks to Stream Guys.
This virtual event will bring different aspects of Arcata Bay’s food
culture to life through history, chef tutorials, the classic Oyster
Calling Contest, Best Oyster Contest and live entertainment.
Broadcasting from The Jam, talent including The Latin Peppers, ESCH,
Rowdzilla, City Hippie, and James Calderon will keep you dancing!
Enjoy up-close interviews with local Aqua Farmers, History of Arcata
Bay, a live kidsZone with Enchanting Parties with Shoshanna, a special
tribute to this year’s graduates, and to end the festivities Arcata’s
own Police Chief Brian Ahearn will address our virtual festivalgoers.
Main Street is selling pre-packaged deals of oysters, beverages and
sauces along with special edition festival shirts, sweatshirts,
stainless steel mugs. There is even a special 30th anniversary custom
Oyster Festival shucker knife!
All COVID health and safety guidelines will be observed. There will be
no sales the day of Virtual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, and no
gathering on the Arcata Plaza. However, Oyster Festival swag and the
spec shuckers are available to purchase at Humboldt Outfitters and at
Hensel’s ACE Hardware.
Partners include Six Rivers Brewery, Mad River Brewing, Eel River
Brewing Company, SeaQuake Brewing, Gyppo Ale Mill, Septentrio Winery,
Humboldt Cider Company and Trinity River Vineyards. Local oyster
farmers include Aqua Rodeo Farms, Coast Seafoods, Humboldt Bay Oyster
Co, and North Bay Shellfish.
James Calderon is the seasoned MC. Best Oyster contest Judges are
Meredith Klein, Jessica Silva, Bob Doran and Wendy Chan. Shoshanna is
the behind-the-scenes master, Juli Eagle is the website marketing
ninja, Ceva Courtemanche is the positivity-anything-is-possible
coordinator, Tri-Counties Bank in Arcata and volunteers from Rotary
Club of Arcata Sunrise have stepped up to help with logistics.
Visit ArcataMainStreet.com for venues streaming the festivities on
June 20 and offering specials that day, and the full schedule at
ArcataMainstreet.com/schedule. A festival map/program created by
Pen+Pine is online and all around Arcata.
ARCATA MAIN STREET
761 8th St., Suite C
Arcata, California 95521