Seaside festival will offer up big helping of history
FANCY a taste of seafood and Mumbles nostalgia rolled into one?
If so, mark the Mumbles Oyster Festival in your diary.
The new seaside event takes place on October 19 and 20.
Organised by local group, Mumbles Development Trust (MDT), and funded by the Welsh Government, the festival will feature a range of seafood and cookery demonstrations, celebrating the heritage of the oyster and inshore fisheries of Mumbles, Swansea and Gower.
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“It is not just about oysters — it is a showcase of what Mumbles has to offer,” said MDT volunteer Karen Millar, also of Mumbles-based hub4business.
“We are hoping to make it an annual event.”
Two traditional village crowd pleasers — Mumbles Navy Days and the Mumbles Raft Race — did not take place this year, although a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee jamboree in the grounds of Oystermouth Castle pulled in the punters.
In the week leading up to next month’s festival, Mumbles Historical Association is putting on an exhibition, Maritime Mumbles, at the Oriel Bach Gallery in Dunns Lane.
The festival will be launched on the afternoon of October 19 with a VIP champagne and oyster reception in the main marquee at Southend Gardens.
The marquee will then host live sea shanty music, wine tasting and plenty of entertainment.
Village bars and restaurants are being encouraged to offer themed menus.
A produce market takes place opposite Mumbles Brasserie on October 20, with cooking demonstrations from local chefs. There will also be an Under the Sea parade along the prom from 2pm, and plenty of activity in the main marquee throughout the day, culminating in live music from local band, The Contenders.
The Post reported this summer that the MDT had hatched plans to try to revive a sustainable oyster fishery in Mumbles. Native oysters feed on planktonic food in the water and can live over 15 years. They reach a marketable size aged three or four.
Patrick Walsh, joint owner of Patricks With Rooms in Mumbles Road, said he was delighted the festival was coming to Mumbles.
“I hope it will be a great success,” he said.
“The more we do to promote Mumbles, the better.”
Food fans are meanwhile set to head to a chilli festival at Port Eynon village hall on September 29.
The Welsh Government has contributed £7,760 to the oyster festival. A spokeswoman said: “Welsh food is a vital part of the rich culture and heritage of Wales, and food festivals offer a unique experience to the visitor — both residents and tourists alike.”