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2023 ShuckOff line up
credit: Pete Robinson

Why I am looking forward to SOF 2024!

I’m personally really excited for this year’s edition of Stranraer Oyster Festival. We have an incredible Kitchen Marquee programme, a huge offering of delicious local food and drinks, talks from experts, a lot of fun planned for the kids, a jam-packed live music programme and some other fun performances throughout the weekend.

Our chef line up really is incredible this year. We have a bursting programme of celebrity chefs and our much-loved local chefs this year. Not only does it include the reunion of the Incredible Spice Men, I’m really looking forward to seeing Jimmy Lee in action, who found fame through his high-energy 60 second recipes over on TikTok. Go and check them out if you haven’t already. Jimmy is sure to cook up a storm in our festival kitchen marquee over the weekend.

Another chef I’m definitely not missing is Pam Brunton. Pam has a very impressive portfolio behind her and will be launching her new book ‘Between Two Waters’, focusing on modern Scottish food and the importance of protecting our food for the future. Pam is Scotland’s only Michelin Green Star chef, which she was awarded for her work on sustainable food and environmental awareness. 

Most of our chefs have their own restaurants in Scotland - and I hope to check them out some day. 

You can see our full chef line up here. Make sure to secure your tickets soon to avoid disappointment! 

Over in the Entertainment Marquee, The Scottish Shucking Championships will always be one of my favourite parts of the festival over the weekend. Who knew shucking oysters was such a competitive sport?! Our Oyster Eating competition always provides plenty of laughs too. Our music programme is also looking great. You have loved the ska band Porkpie over the years - so we are bringing them back! You can also catch The Dangleberries, a lively Scottish band adding the bagpipes to classic rock and party anthems.

We have a delicious selection of food on offer this year, including our festival staples such as Henry’s Paella and Sally Hair’s fabulous cooking. We will also welcome some exciting new traders this year that I can’t wait to try, such as the Scran Van from West Coast Sea Products, offering delicious local seafood products. Each year, we are delighted to watch the expanse of local products being available within Dumfries and Galloway. It just keeps growing and growing and the businesses taking part in the festival is proof!

Additionally, across the festival site you will find lots of exciting activities. Stranraer is home to many talented and hard-working people, and the festival is the perfect moment to showcase this. From artists, chefs, historians, fishermen, business owners, musicians, environmentalists, performers, trades people and volunteers to oyster aficionados, teachers and water sport enthusiasts… The list of people involved in making this weekend is endless and we thank you all for your work and enthusiasm.

We can't wait to welcome you to #StranraerOysterFestival2024 ! Make sure to use this tag, follow and share us on Facebook, X, Instagram and TikTok! Thanks so much for the support.

 

Allana Hardie 

Stranraer Oyster Festival Coordinator

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Oyster Festival Opening Ceremony

A special thanks this year goes to Robert Lamont, skipper of the Vital Spark, as he finished up working for the LROC this year and will be moving away from Stranraer. Rab has been an integral part of the festival over the years, and the greater community. His knowledge of Loch Ryan and the stories he shares from over the years are fascinating. Although Rab is usually not one to take to the oyster festival spotlight, he had his moment over on our new TikTok account. Make sure you take a moment to go watch his video - I’m sure you will learn something from it. I absolutely love getting the chance to go out on the Vital Spark with Rab and his colleague John, learning about their work and the journey of a Loch Ryan Oyster from sea to plate. Thanks Rab for all of your help over the years and wishing you all the best for what’s to come.

I would also like to take a moment to highlight the work that was put in over the years of the festival by the late Maria Salzmann of Fig and Olive. This will be our first year of the festival without her stall and her fantastic staff in the Entertainment Marquee and she will be sorely missed. Her positivity spread throughout the festival site over the weekend. The memory of Maria going around the festival giving out free coffees to weary eyed traders and festival staff will forever remain in my mind. We will be thinking of you this year this year, Maria x

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Oyster eating competition
credit: Pete Robinson