Stranraer Oyster Festival is Back

Stranraer Oyster Festival, one of Scotland’s biggest food festivals, is set for a sensational return later this year, with organiser Stranraer Development Trust confirming the event will take place from 2nd – 4th September 2022, with support through EventScotland’s National Funding Programme and from Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The community-run festival was last held in 2019 when it attracted more than 17,000 people to the shores of Loch Ryan, home of Scotland’s last remaining wild, native oyster fishery. The festival celebrates the town’s native oyster heritage and it traditionally hosts the Scottish Oyster Shucking Championship, alongside a three-day programme of chef demonstrations, entertainment and activities.

Chef Tony Singh demonstrated at the Stranraer Oyster Festival in 2019. Credit: Pete Robinson

Key event for Stranraer

Covid guidelines and ongoing restrictions for large gatherings scuppered plans for a post-lockdown comeback last year, but Romano Petrucci, Chair of Stranraer Development Trust, says now is the right time to bring back the popular event.

“In a very short period of time Stranraer Oyster Festival has become a hugely important part of Stranraer’s identity, and a real focal point for celebrating the very best that Stranraer and the wider Galloway area has to offer. So I was heartbroken when I had to cancel planning for the festival last year, but it was the right decision.

“We have taken time and given a lot of thought to how we can put on a spectacular event that makes the most of our open-air, harbour-side location. Our goal is to bring our community, visitors and guests together in a way that retains the truly wonderful festival atmosphere that Stranraer Oyster Festival is known for, while being mindful of the need for fresh air and space throughout. We have also put a lot of effort into creating a mind-blowingly-good festival programme, with some fantastic celebrity chefs lined up and some seriously delicious experiences on offer.”

Sampling oysters at the Stranraer Oyster Festival. Photo: Allan Devlin

General admission tickets for the 2022 Stranraer Oyster Festival cost £5 per day or £10 for the full three-day event for over 16s, with concessions available. Under 16s are free of charge, and tickets are available to purchase now. The full programme will be announced in May, when tickets for chef demos and activities will go on sale.

“Scotland’s natural larder is renowned for its quality so I am delighted that we are supporting the return of the Stranraer Oyster Festival. Scotland is the perfect stage for food and drink events so I look forward to celebrating our world-class seafood in Dumfries and Galloway this September,” said Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events.

Buy tickets early

Romano is encouraging people to buy tickets early to support the sustainability of the festival, he added:

“One of the things we want to do this year is minimise queues within the festival site. So we are inviting people to plan ahead by booking their admission tickets early online and signing up for our e-newsletter so they’re bang up to date with festival announcements.

“Having an understanding of attendance early is going to be incredibly helpful to our small team.  It means we can make informed decisions around things like marquee sizes, to create a festival atmosphere that we can all be proud of. So I’m personally encouraging people to book now to secure their festival ticket, and then we can all look forward to the return of the incredible Stranraer Oyster Festival this September.”

General admission tickets for Stranraer Oyster Festival 2022 can be purchased from Stranraer Development Trust’s website.

Or alternatively directly from the Festival’s ticketing provider.


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