Organisers of this years Narooma Oyster Festival have hailed the event a huge success. Not only was the event a complete sell out, oyster sales were up by 50 per cent with a whopping 70,000 oysters consumed.
Narooma turned on its best weather as a massive 6,000 people passed through the gates over the course of the two day event.
"If we were not restricted in capacity to meet our COVID-19 safe plan, those numbers would have been much higher," festival chair Cath Peachey said.
"We're still crunching the numbers but the direct impact of the festival on the local economy will be in the millions of dollars," she said.
The festival opened on Friday night with live music on stage and the 'For Love of the Land' dinner with hatted chefs Dave Campbell and Nick Gardener.
Ms Peachey said the Long Table Dinner tickets sold out in under four minutes with guests including the NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres dining out on wonderful food by high-end Free Range Catering on the Wagonga Inlet foreshore .
At the end of the first day festival ambassador, TV personality Paul West joined the crowd counting down to the fireworks, the first in Narooma since New Year's Eve 2018.
On Saturday there were long lines along Oyster Alley with oysters from South Coast estuaries - Shoalhaven River, Clyde River, Wagonga Inlet, Wapengo Lake, Merimbula Lake and Pambula selling out in the afternoon.
Paul West hosted the Ultimate Appellation Oyster Experience taking guests on a journey through the unique flavours of the rock oyster.
One of the oyster festivals most popular events is the Shucking competition with tickets sold out very early.
Sally McLean of Jim Wild's Oysters out shucked reigning champion Sue McIntyre of Broadwater Oysters by 0.3 seconds to return the women's trophy to the Shoalhaven with Pippa Boyton of Merimbula Gourmet Oysters coming third.
The men expertly shucked an oyster in under six seconds with Gerard 'Doody' Dennis from Australia's Oyster Coast breaking the under three minute mark to claim victory and keep the trophy.
Brothers Jim and John Yiannaros from Batemans Bay Oysters were seconds behind Doody in a close final that had the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Ms Peachey said that early feedback indicated other highlights at the festival were the Indigigrow stand selling Australian bushfoods, the Wagonga Land Councils bushtucker and the River of Art interactive installation.
With the festival over for another year, Ms Peachy said the board are now focusing their efforts on activating their destination dining events and the Narooma Rocks Oyster Van.
The 2022 Oyster Festival is scheduled for May 6 and 7.