Vendors say oysters were plentiful at annual festival

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The 4th Annual Oyster Festival drew large crowds to Pass Christian this weekend. Sunday afternoon we headed out to the Pass Christian harbor, where vendors say this year's oyster harvest has made the festival that much bigger.

You didn't have to be a seafood lover to head over to Pass Christian for the annual oyster festival.

There was plenty for any age and palate to enjoy. But, if you were like many who attended, you were on mission to eat oysters cooked in a variety of ways.

Vendor Anne Mikish said, "There's nothing like an oyster. It's just got the crunch people like them raw, fried, grilled."

This year the vendor's selling oyster dishes say they've had a much easier time getting oysters.

"Last year it was a little scarce, unfortunately. And the price was a little higher. If you compare it to last year, it's better and better is good. They're more moist. They're larger in size and they're a little cheaper in price," said Cory Fazzio a vendor and executive chef for Back Bay, Salute and Look Out restaurants.

Fazzio says during the two day festival, his booth sold more than 2,000 pounds of chargrilled oysters.

Mikish sold fried oyster po-boys at her booth. She also believes the oyster harvest has been much better for this year's festival.

"This year's actually a little bit better year. They opened a new area. So it's made it better," said Mikish.

Fazzio believes the increase in oysters has something to do with more people recycling their shells.

"I believe it has a whole lot to do with the fact that we are recycling our oyster shells, which makes more oyster beds. Which in turn makes more oysters," said Fazzio.

As plates kept selling with the chargrilled half shell oysters, Mikish says, she was busy frying up oysters for people from all over the coast and even as a far as Birmingham, Alabama.

"Everybody loves the oyster poboys. We can't keep them fried enough," said Mikish.

Those who attended say the sunny weather conditions only made it easier to enjoy the tasty oysters at the festival that wrapped up Sunday.

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