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Published on : Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Thousands of festival goers from all over the country converged on this scenic Garden Route town located some 590 kilometres east of Cape Town, over the past ten days to enjoy the delicacy and have fun for a good cause.
The festival raises funds for local charities and injects millions of Rand into the local economy but the star of the show is the humble oyster, enjoyed plain or garnished.
A spokesman for the organisers, Malcolm Mycroft, said Sunday that the theme for the festival had changed over the years from growing interest and through sponsorships.
“I think 15 years ago, this used be an oyster festival now it’s a life style festival. It’s the best ten days of winter. There’s mountain biking, road biking, marathon, half marathon, food festivities and fun for the kids. It’s a ten-day family event embracing oysters and embracing the town but it’s not just about eating oysters, it’s the best place to be.”
Local restaurateur, Charles van Tonder, says he is concerned about the sustainability of the oyster trade.
“What would really be of great value is if the marine coastal management were to do a survey of our coast. We could then establish how many oysters there are, where they are, where their concentrations are, where we should be harvesting them and really come up with a scientific management plan.”
Each year the South African Navy makes a grand entrance at this event by navigating some of their vessels through the treacherous Knysna Heads and remain in the town for the duration of the festival.