Galway Oyster Festival

Galway Oysters, (photo by Corrie Wingate)
Galway Oysters

The opening of the Galway oyster season is marked on Friday 28th–Sunday 30th September 2012 with the internationally-famed Galway Oyster Festival. This celebration of the fine local crustaceons attracts more than 10,000 visitors annually, who flock to the city to indulge in activities ranging from a seafood trail to live music, a Mardi Gras, cooking demonstrations, the World Oyster Opening Championships, and of course, the downing of as many oysters as possible, ideally accompanied by some creamy Guinness. 



Festival city

Galway city is the closest Ireland gets to a city that never sleeps: its compact centre and lively pub scene make it an ideal festival venue. Its festival calendar is a challenging test of stamina: late April heralds the Cúirt Literature Festival, five days of readings from Irish and international authors. If you think literary festivals are quiet, polite occasions, Galway will change your mind. July is the year’s highlight, with the five-day-long Galway Film Fleadh (over 70 Irish and international features, with master classes, seminars etc) leading up to the 10-day extravaganza that is the Galway Arts Festival. This is the biggest such event in Ireland with hundreds of activities taking place day and night.


Does Galway then take a quiet break and catch its collective breath? Not on your life: it’s straight off to the Galway Races Festival, which brings the city and its ring road to a standstill, so that the preferred way to travel to the race course is by helicopter. Some 48,000 revellers attend Ladies’ Day. Then, in order to get the younger generation into training, mid-October sees the week-long  Báboro, Ireland’s first arts festival purely for children.


Read more about festival fever in Galway...


Don't miss our feature on another unique Irish festival, Bloomsday, or for more information on the Emerald Isle, visit our Ireland pages, or buy our Ireland travel guide