For Hometown News
The Fourth Annual Halifax Oyster Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 27, on Manatee Island in the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown Daytona Beach.
Under the management of Al Smith Productions, the Halifax Oyster Festival is devoted to supporting oyster reef restoration.
Admission is $6 per person and children younger than 7 get in free.
The daylong family-friendly event will feature raw and steamed oysters. Local restaurants and food trucks will offer a wide variety of oyster dishes, such as Oysters Rockefeller, Oyster Stew and Fried Oysters as well as other popular festival food.
Festivalgoers can take free paddleboard rides provided by Three Brothers Boards and sailboat rides. There will be a cornhole competition and hands-on oyster mat construction lessons. Festival proceeds will fund the Marine Discovery Center's mission to restore healthy oyster beds to Volusia County's Intracoastal Waterway.
Live entertainment throughout the day and evening on two stages will feature popular bands C*Posse, Steel Daddy, The Love Band, Are Friends Electric and national recording artist Big Engine as the headliner. Big Engine delivers high-energy music performing classic rock favorites and their own popular songs like "Turn It On," "Shake That Thing," and "Party Like A Rock Star." Big Engine has shared the stage with national acts Buckcherry, Motorhead, Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, Charlie Daniels, 38 Special, Ted Nugent and Shooter Jennings.
A special kids zone will feature a jump house, rock climbing wall, face painting and touch tanks.
"Few people today realize the role that oysters and oyster reefs have played in our local history, and the vital role they play today in maintaining the health of our rivers and marine ecosystems," said Chad Truxall of the Marine Discovery Center. "There will be plenty of great food and fun as this annual festival helps us educate local residents and fund ongoing efforts to rebuild our local oyster beds and shoreline habitats."
Once valued primarily as a food resource, oysters are now recognized as important "ecosystem engineers" in estuaries. Oysters create complex habitats that support numerous species of fish, crustaceans, bivalves, other invertebrates, birds and mammals. During feeding, oysters filter large volumes of water, improving the clarity and quality of water and transferring of vital nutrients. As more people come to realize the importance of oyster reefs to overall ecosystem functions, large and small-scale restoration projects have sprung up in many coastal communities.
The event is presented by Jon Hall Chevrolet and Daytona Hyundai.