Saturday, June 19, 2010

20th Annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival

"...this is a celebration of that great mollusk, the oyster..." Amy Berkowitz
In 1991, Deborah Musick was organizer of the new event, referred to initially as a kind of picnic on the Plaza. “We were looking for an event that would be uniquely us,” Musick said. “There was a lot of talk of the health of the bay at that time and an aquaculture committee was created. A majority of the oysters harvested come from Arcata Bay.”

“Oysters have been part of Humboldt’s history for a very long time,” Koopman said. “A shell mound on Indian Island dates back 7,000 years.


  1. And now it's just another excuse for "people" to gather on the Plaza and get drunk and stoned. A sad statement of the lack of morality around here.

  2. The morality comment is hilarious for it's Victorian-era charm, but yeah, I don't enjoy spending the day around drunks, so I skip it.

  3. Does anyone know more about that 7000 year date for a shell mound on Indian Island? I was under the impression that the 1700 9 pointer earthquake radically changed or created Humboldt Bay as we know it today but if Indian Island was inhabited 7000 years ago that quite a stable site historically if not geologically.

  4. I went and didn't see anyone drunk. Lots of people there from out of town and even out of this state that were either passing through on vacation or had planned their trip to include the oysters.

    Talked to a couple of people that asked where I got my oysters that were breaded and grilled - one many was from Ohio and said he is planning on moving to Bend Oregon as things in Ohio are so bad they are laying off hundreds of teachers and more taxes. Although Oregon has some pretty high house taxes he thought they were pretty reasonable as he pays more. Thought about HH's posted map of people moving to and from CA. Maybe a lot of those people think the grass is actually greener somewhere else.

  5. The only bad thing about Arcata's festivals is they are too successful and have outgrown the Plaza venue. They're fun, have great vendors, and it's nice to walk around and bump into friends.

    Now it is too crowded and merchants are increasingly uncooperative, parking is an issue as a result.

    But, The Oyster Fest, The 4th of July Fair, North Country Fair, and more - all great, not to mention the Farmer's Market - Arcata gets high marks.

  6. Well if you didn't see anyone drunk you weren't paying any attention. There were plenty. But that's to be expected under the circumstances. I will not be going next year because it has gotten too commercial and is no longer a community event. It was packed full of outsiders, you couldn't walk the lines were so long all the fun went out of it and it became a hassle. The mass marketing of this event took the good time fun out of it and I definitely wouldn't take small children. Sort of like what happened to Reggae on the River. Just got too commercial and the family thing got lost.

  7. I think they need to move the venue. Have it somewhere that can handle the size of people, the parking and the toilet needs. Something like the old gilroy garlic festival. Spread out so you could enjoy it. The plaza couldn't handle this size of event coupled with the farmers market and the businesses.

  8. Unfortunately, I tend to agree, a bigger venue is needed desperately. Sad, because I love the Plaza. But when the street is so crowded you can't walk or even see the booth it is more stressful than fun, especially if you bring little kids.

    When you travel though, you appreciate how great everything we have here really is. There are many areas that would be lucky to have what we have here, and we measure up really well with those that already do, in much more affluent areas.

  9. I wonder how the Louisiana/Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Festival is going to go down this year? Any ideas? Thanks BP!


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