I went to the opening day of the Whitstable Oyster Festival on Saturday, July 22.
The festival started off with blessings of the first catch of oysters by the Church of Canterbury, followed by a procession from the beach to a hotel on the seafront. The day ended with an oyster eating challenge that started 30 minutes late enough for the storm to arrive.
It did not seem oyster was the main theme that day. There were very few oyster stalls and there was no variety in the way oysters were served.
The highlights were actually beer, mass public drunkenness, chav fights, and a littered beer cup flying into my back. There were litters everywhere and the event was mismanaged. The organizers had all the festival food stalls on a slope relatively far away from the oyster harbor this year to ease the crowding. Making walkways between tables narrow in a sloping space this year did not help alleviate the crowding, in fact, it was so overcrowded I could barely eat without people bumping into my meal when I was sitting at a table.
I did however enjoy the uninterrupted seafront view once I was away from the crowds and the raw oysters.