Have you ever built a grotter? Didn’t think so (two are pictured, at left). If you’re across the pond later this month, that’s one of the demonstrations scheduled at the Whitstable Oyster Festival in England, United Kingdom, from July 21 through 27, 2012.
This week-long celebration includes sea shanties, seashore safaris and, of course, shellfish. The town has been famous for its oysters at least since Roman times.
Whitstable symbolically recreates the ‘Landing of the Oysters’, where Whitstable Sea Scouts bring oysters ashore for a formal Blessing and presentation to the Lord Mayor. The blessed oysters are then passed to inns and restaurants as part of the Oyster Parade as it travels through the town center.
The hardy should plan to be there on July 22 for the 4 p.m. Oyster Challenge: Eat six oysters and drink half a pint of pilsner as fast as possible.
If you go (whether or not it’s during the Oyster Festival), include time for a visit to the Whitstable Museum and Gallery, which displays artifacts and portraits relating to the town’s seafaring traditions, with (of course) special exhibits on oysters, diving and shipping.
Whitstable is in Kent, England, about five miles north of the city of Canterbury.