Oyster Fest 2023 

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Photo by Mark Larson
It takes a village of oyster shuckers and chefs to prepare the thousands of fresh oysters at the Arcata Bay Oyster vendor tent.
Photo by Mark Larson
Staff at Nori were hard at work over their charcoal grill to keep up with the long line of people ordering their oysters.
Photo by Mark Larson
More local oyster vendors were back at the plaza location for the Oyster Fest this year and the lines, while often long, moved more quickly.
Photo by Mark Larson
A supply chain issue prevented this year's recyclable aluminum cups from arriving in time. So beer vendors like Kinetic Universe volunteer John Mantle, of Eureka, filled containers brought by attendees or served beer in reusable and recyclable plastic cups.
Photo by Mark Larson
This cheerful crew wandered the plaza selling their oysters to help raise funds for the Humboldt Eagles baseball team.
Photo by Mark Larson
One of the Oyster Fest's goal is Zero Waste and volunteers Stella Lewis and Caroline Garza got tips from Carla Tambling, an Oyster Fest board member, on what goes where.
Photo by Mark Larson
It wasn't just beer available at the vendor tents. This wine vendor was raising funds for the McKinleyville Community Choir and encouraging everyoe to "tip recklessly."
Photo by Mark Larson
Members of the Humboldt Roller Derby showed up early to set up their beer-vending tent and awaited customers.
Photo by Mark Larson
Live music on the Main Stage by Checkered Past and other bands was appreciated by fans of all ages.
Photo by Mark Larson
Artist Matt O'Brien, of McKinleyville, set up his easel in the middle of the plaza and began creating his "Skull Doodles."
Photo by Mark Larson
Over by the Second Stage near lunch time, four teams lined up next to their 50 oysters and waited for the Shuck and Swallow contest to begin. Only one rule: Don't throw up. The first team to finish shucking and eating all 50 oysters wins.
Photo by Mark Larson
The action started fast in the Shuck and Swallow contest with one team member shucking and the other swallowing.
Photo by Mark Larson
A large crowd had gathered to watch the action in the Shuck and Swallow contest and stood back far enough to avoid getting splattered by discarded oyster shells.
Photo by Mark Larson
Undefeated for seven years in a row, shucker Zack Mathieu, left, of Eureka, and swallower Stephan Park, of McKinleyville, celebrated their eighth straight win while defending their title in the oyster Shuck and Swallow Contest.
Photo by Mark Larson
The music of the Magnificent Sanctuary Band, newly formed during the pandemic years, attracted a dancing crowd at the Second Stage.
Photo by Mark Larson
This popular face-painting vendor had a long line waiting for most of the day.
Photo by Mark Larson
Many more food vendors, including several food trucks parked on the north side of the plaza, provided cuisine of all types, not just oysters.
Photo by Mark Larson
At first glance, it looked like Guy Fieri was in town at the Oyster Fest, but it was just a gregarious wannabe.
Photo by Mark Larson
By 11 a.m., the plaza streets were already crowded with attendees in search of that perfect oyster.
Photo by Mark Larson
The Kids Zone provided lots of activities, including bubbles, and was a popular respite from the crowds around the plaza.
Photo by Mark Larson
These two team members cracked themselve up in the Oyster Calling contest and made it to the final three.
Photo by Mark Larson
This oyster caller had a unique style of dress and calling methods in the Oyster Calling contest.
Photo by Mark Larson
This oyster caller in the Oyster Calling contest got a great reaction from the crowd, other oyster callers and emcee Dr. Oop, and made it to the final three. The absence of long-time festival emcee Dave "Fred Oystaire" Silverbrand was felt by many; he died in January of this year.
Photo by Mark Larson
Landan Parchman, of McKinleyville and eventual winner of the Oyster Calling contest, showed up at the festival not even knowing there was an oyster-calling contest. But he got a rousing supportive audience response for his method and his dance moves to take home first place.
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Photo by Mark Larson
It takes a village of oyster shuckers and chefs to prepare the thousands of fresh oysters at the Arcata Bay Oyster vendor tent.

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