Carlingford Oyster Festival is looking forward to a lively weekend of fun for all the family with free bouncing castles, street magic, festival funfair, live music and colourful street markets. Local eateries will be offering festival fish dishes including the area’s new signature dish created by RTE’s Surf n Turf chef Martin Shanaghan …. and of course the fresh Carlingford Oysters..!
The 13 chosen ‘Pearl Girls’ will be amidst the fun and participating within the festival activities, creating a buzz as and dressing to impress right up to the finale night in the Four Seasons Hotel when the Morgan’s Fine Fish Carlingford Oyster Pearl 2012 will be crowned, receiving €1000 cash, 1 years membership in the Four Seasons Hotel Leisure Centre Carlingford and a beautiful pearl necklace sponsored by Campbell Jeweller’s Dundalk. Brendan Watters Insurance will ‘ensure’ the rest of the pearls have some treasure to take away with them also.
After a team building exercise on Thursday morning by the expert Carlingford Adventure Centre, the girls’ will begin their ‘pearl tasks’ with an interview by Big O at the opening of the festival on Thursday night in The Carlingford Arms where its reckoned if they get a word in, they’ll be off to a good start!
An Oyster Festival needs to have the best of oysters and the pearls will be expected to do their bit to feed the thousands that will descend on the village over the weekend. So you may catch them getting down and dirty at Carlingford Oyster Company’s farm along the shores of Carlingford Lough on Friday afternoon before scrubbing up to strut their stuff at the festival Fashion show at the Four Seasons Hotel that evening.
Saturday will see the big boots and bling come out and head out to play in the muck with the kiddies at the Welly Oyster Pearl Hunt. The next assignment will offer an opportunity for the girlies to be creative as they glamour up a fluffy four legged friend for the best ‘wool’ design tutored by one of Ireland’s award winning sheep shearers – Peter Shields.
The girls will be storytelling and face painting at the Teddy Bears picnic on Sunday afternoon but the ‘Biggie’ will be at the Oyster Eating competition where the genuine pearls will be separated from the fake ones for sure! Spitting is deemed un- luvly-lady-like so therefore any of this may mean disqualification.
The festival is offering gourmet orientated treats with the kiddie & adult Cookery Demonstration’s in Ghan House on Sunday afternoon or enjoy a guided tour of the medieval village with the backdrop of sailing races on the lough.
However don’t miss the annual oyster opening competition on Sunday night where the local chefs will be out with their knives followed by the official crowning of the Pearl where plenty of kleenex will be present as high scores will go to the girl who uses the least amount to remove her make up and discover the hidden pearl. The place will be alive with music from The Long Riders and a light supper will be served.
Tickets available from Campbell’s Jewellers in Dundalk, Dan’s Café, The Four Seasons Hotel, Van Takeaway and Valentines Supermarket in Carlingford.