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Clarinbridge Oysters festival Clarinbridge County Galway Ireland
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Clarinbridge Oyster Festival   ~   Clarinbridge
Created in 1954 and still going strong, this festival has become an integral part of life in the picturesque village of Clarenbridge in the south Galway on the shores of Galway Bay.

West of the village lies Dunbulcan Bay, where the oysters are produced - some say they are the best in the world.

Clarinbridge Oysters festival Clarinbridge County Galway Ireland

Protected by the bay from the force of Atlantic storms, the 700 acres of beds lie in an ideal mixture of fresh and sea water vital for perfect oyster development, taking from three to five years to grow for consumption. Over 100,000 oysters are eaten during the weekend celebration. The festival programme includes a market day, golf tournaments, yacht races, art and photographic exhibitions, a fine wine and gourmet evening, talks and lectures and the best-dressed-lady competition. The main emphasis, however, is on providing guests with a culinary experience that they will never forget
Clarinbridge Oysters festival Clarinbridge County Galway Ireland

The festival traditionally gets under way on a pier in Clarinbridge, just south of Galway. Actually, the program starts officially at noon on Saturday, but a Friday opening date has been agreed upon supposedly to lessen the guilt of the thousands who jump the gun and begin their carousing early. Saturday is the big day, however, and those who are not too bent over even manage a round of golf or a swim in the morning before collection on the pier at midday.

Oysters have existed since pre-historic times. The saxons enjoyed them before the Romans invaded Britain and there are those that would say it was for their excellent oysters that they invaded at all!

Throughout their history, oysters have been regarded as a luxury but due to over-fishing the price dropped so low that at the beginning of the 19th Century they became the food of the poor. During the famine years people who lived near the sea survived on them. In about 1850, oyster culture started to become an industry and legislation in France and Britain protected the stocks.

Oysters are bi-valve molluscs which means that they are shellfish with two hearts. Every year they change sex - in fact every other year they can be a father and mother to two separate litters in the same year! They feed by pumping 1-6 litres of water through their gills every day - the equivalent of a human drinking a large public swimming pool every day.


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