And the winner is…
Close to 30 shuckers expected for Canadian Oyster Shucking championship
Montreal’s Daniel Notkin will have to be at his best if he wants to defend his 2016 title tonight at the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival’s 2017 Canadian Oyster Shucking championship.
“All the big guys are coming,” said Jeff Noye, president of the popular P.E.I. festival. He calls them the “heavyweights”.
Noye said he’s anticipating close to 30 people to vie for the chance to represent Canada at the world championship this fall in Ireland. Notkin did well last year in Ireland despite injuring his hand early in that competition.
Notkin had competed in Tyne Valley approximately 10 times before winning the Canadian title. Among the returning veterans is Eamon Clark, who is hungry for the win after being dethroned by Notkin last year.
“He’s been gunning for him, so, who knows?” said Noye.
Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys will provide the pub-style music for the championship night.
And the world will get to see the party happening live. In response to all the calls for updates during competition in previous years, the Oyster Festival piloted a live-stream last year, gaining viewers from Europe, Australia, United States and across Canada. Thousands of viewers tuned in, Noye said.
This year the oyster festival has its own channel, ShuckTV. com, to carry the event, and it will still be viewable on YouTube and Facebook.
“The early response has been tremendous,” said Noye, adding that oyster bars across the country are organizing viewing parties.
He’s confident they will see the party they’re missing live and will want to be in attendance in Tyne Valley in future years.
Other events on this year’s festival schedule are hypnotist Ian Stewart and the Shuck Cup with music by Old Doctor Young on Thursday night, the annual parade on Saturday at 11 a.m., the Rock the Boat Music Festival at Green Park starting Saturday at 2 p.m. and an adult singing competition, Miss Oyster Festival Pageant and community awards Sunday afternoon. There are also several children’s activities on the festival schedule.
The Rock the Boat Music Fest, which continues to 11 p.m. Saturday, has been expanded to seven acts, closing out with Canadian Rock greats, April Wine. Other headliners are Finger Eleven, Slow Coaster and two Prince County acts, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys and the Ellis Family Band.
The festival added two West Prince acts, Aron Scott Earthquake and Ben Chase to the program.
“We just want to promote some West Prince artists,” Noye said of the additions.
With so many acts, the music starts as soon as the gates open at 2 p.m.
“There’s going to be music non-stop all day,” Noye promised.
As for the community parade Saturday morning, “Some people put a lot of work into it, and it is a community-based parade. It is not a commercial parade, so it is very highly regarded in that respect.”
“We’ve got a good one. A lot of people take pride in their floats. That’s what it’s all about, and we have a good competition going between the floats.”
The hands of Tyne Valley Oyster Festival president Jeff Noye are a blur as he demonstrates the art of oyster shucking. The Tyne Valley Oyster Festival plays host to the Canadian Oyster Shucking championship Friday night at the Tyne Valley Sports Centre.