Skookum Rotary was pleased to present Celebrate OysterFest 2021, a month-long virtual event under the leadership of past President Brad Miller as Grand Old Oyster (GOO). The GOO is the honored role of immediate past President of our club. Taking the highly interactive in-person event for two years in a row into a virtual platform has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. In 2020, we created the larger than life Oysterman to greet people coming into the town of Shelton and hosted a variety of stories on our social media pages. This year, our 40th Anniversary, we forged ahead with new ideas and continued the great things that were well received the previous year.
One of the things we wanted to accomplish in 2021 was a video documentary of the beginnings of OysterFest in 1982 from our two Charter members, Jerry Obendorf and Vince Himlie.
With the help of Skookum Rotarians Jill Himlie and Mike Barnard, Jerry and Vince sat down for a multi hour interview, providing recollections from the first event, and hopes for OysterFest in the future and the value of Rotary. The two men have seen OysterFest from the initial idea stage to a 40 year success and provided some great reflections.
Food is at the heart of OysterFest. A new addition to the 2021 was seafood meal kits from Goose Point Oyster Company, Hama Hama Oyster Company and Taylor Shellfish Farms. Each of these companies have been long term partners with Skookum Rotary, providing products to our nonprofit community vendors and having their staff shuck oysters in the shucking competition. The kits were specially created to reflect the great tastes of OysterFest and celebrate the delectable seafood that is the cornerstone of the annual event. All three companies jumped on board and offered the Goose Point Shuck Yeah!, Hama Hama Steamed Clam and Taylor Shellfish OysterFest Baked Oyster kits. A portion of the proceeds from these kits was donated to Skookum Rotary to continue our great work in the community.
The meal kit program was very well received and will be continued during future events.
Throughout October on social media, we highlighted our partners, reflected on how the funds are used in the community and abroad making sure there was a tie in between the fundraising event and our Rotary work. We challenged Skookum Rotarians to make 3 minute Flipgrid videos of their memories of OysterFest and what it means to them for additional social media content.
We are still working on rounding up our financials for the 2021 event however the 2022 GOO, Brad Miller has already called our first meeting to begin planning for OysterFest 2022. Brad gets a second year at GOO because he was club President two years in a row.
Please mark your calendars and plan to join the fun, October 1 and 2, 2022 for our 41st OysterFest. We promise it won’t be an event to miss.