Arcata Oyster Festival


Ranked 7th among the top 10 food festivals in the world by
The Festival has become a tradition for local restaurateurs, executive chefs, and caterers to show off their culinary skills by preparing oysters in every imaginable way. Try them roasted, barbecued, fried, on the half shell or on pizza, secret sauces and with wild abandon. With imagination and flair, one can eat away the entire day. The coals glow hot from early morning 'til the last oyster has been shucked. 

Schedule of Events:

Crowds throughout the day top 15,000 to 18,000, keeping local food vendors more than busy. Almost all of the festival vendors are chefs from Humboldt County's most appreciated restaurants, who compete in the annual oyster tasting competitions to claim the auspicious award of 'Best Oyster of the Festival' and 'Peoples' Choice.'

Here's a sampling of what you can expect:
  • Oyster creations prepared by some of Humboldt's finest chefs 35 + food vendors.  (for non-oyster lovers there will be other delicious options.)
  • Local craft beer and wine
  • Entertainment The "World Famous" Oyster Calling Contest
  • Fun activities for kids, and Art
  • The Best Oyster Contest is judged by luminaries of the local food world, who will be sampling the delicacies provided by the competing oyster chefs. They will announce their winners (including Best Oyster) TBA. Also announced at the same time are the winners of the KHUM judging contest – which includes best raw oyster, best cooked oyster and best non-oyster.
The musical entertainment kicks off at 11am. A feature story in, an online travel business within Orbitz Worldwide, also praises the festival for being environmentally friendly by selling oysters farmed using long-lines that avoid the dredging of the bay.    LINK

Arcata Main Street's Oyster Festival began 20 years ago as a way to promote our local aquaculture industry.   Over 70% of the fresh oysters consumed in California are grown in 450 acres of Arcata Bay where the conditions are ideal. Currently there are five companies raising both Pacific Oysters and Kumomoto oysters for export and the restaurant trade. On average, it takes 18 months from “seed” oyster to harvest.  June is a peak month for oyster harvests in Humboldt County. These little gems of the sea are now farmed in bags tethered to posts in the Arcata Bay and no harmful dredging of the bay is necessary for their capture. The cities of Arcata and Eureka have made significant efforts to maintain the high quality of water in the bay, which is essential for aquaculture.

For more information visit or call 707-822-4500.
Directions: Free Parking with shuttle service will be provided 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) at designated parking lots at Humboldt State University, Arcata High School and a location on Samoa Blvd.
Say goodbye to hunting trips for parking spaces in the downtown!



Oyster Festival

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Arcata Plaza - Downtown Arcata
Arcata Main Street

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  • 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Don't Miss the World Famous Oyster Calling Contest at 10:30am
  • Oysters, Beer, Wine, Music & Fun Activities for the Kids