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Speed and presentation

Thousands enjoyed sunny OysterFest

About 12,000 to 13,000 people enjoyed sunny skies, seafood and live music during the 41st OysterFest last weekend at Sanderson Field in Shelton.

That's the crowd estimate from the host, Shelton Skookum Rotary Club, which met Monday morning to discuss how it went, said Laurie Brown, the group's public image director. Paid admission was 11,000, with children admitted free Saturday and Sunday, she said. More than 1,200 people were vendors and volunteers, Brown added. More than 420 RV sites were filled.

The Shelton Skookum Rotary Club doesn't have an estimate of the crowd size at Friday night's opening event, OysterFunk, but "it was very well attended," said Brown, who was at the concert.

The event "was a very uplifting time for the people of Mason County, celebrating the bounty that we have," she said.

Three other Mason County Rotary clubs participated in the event. Along with the host group, the Salish Sea Rotary Club ran the wine pavilion; the Shelton Rotary Club staged OysterFunk and sold curry mussels and oyster fritters; and the North Mason Rotary Club sold shrimp melts. Profits paid for student scholarships and other activities.

The winners in the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship speed contest were Gabriel Quintana, first place, 1:13:89; Miriel Silva, second place, 1:23:66; Jose Leon, Rock Point, third place, 1:29:39; Alejandro Leon, fourth place, 1:30:16; Francisco Diaz, Pacific Seafood, fifth place, 1:31:22; and Jose Ramirez, sixth place, 1:36:07.

The winners in the half-shell competition were Miriel Silva, first place, 2:10:63; David Leck, Water Grill, second place, 2:32:88; Gabriel Quintana, Goose Point, third place, 2:51:72; Alejandro Leon, fourth place, 2:56:16; Jose Ramirez, fifth place, 2:59:00; and Francisco Diaz, Pacific Seafood, 3:45:56.

Members of the Shelton Skookum Rotary Club will "debrief" about the event during the next two weeks. Starting in early 2024, the group will meet weekly to strategize.

"That begins our planning for next year," Brown said. "We're always looking to improve."

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald


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