24th Annual Oyster Festival kicks off downtown this Friday

The Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati will play host for the 24th Annual Oyster Festival starting this weekend. The festival will kick off this Friday, March 26 with a new 24/ 20.10 special where oyster lovers can get 24 freshly shucked oysters “with all the trimmings” for $20.10 that will go along with Washington Platform’s happy hour drink specials Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm.

The month-long festival will feature a 40-plus item oyster menu prepared by award-winning chef Jon Diebold. “A Smoked Oyster Salad, Oysters Mardi Gras, and Nantucket Oysters are just a sampling of Oyster Festival fare,” said Diebold who added that Washington Platform’s famous fresh-shucked Oysters On The Half Shell will also be available.

The longest running oyster festival in Cincinnati will include the popular “Pearl Count” and “Pearls of Wisdom” contests which will give participants a chance to win gift certificates and other prizes. According to festival organizers, proceeds from these special festival events will go to benefit the Esme Kenney/SCPA Memorial Sculpture Fund. There will also be a $50 Washington Platform gift certificate giveaway to those who find a big red 24 on the bottom of their oysters during the festival.

As the festival continues into April, Washington Platform (map) will host the annual “Cork ‘N Shells” six course wine and oyster sampling on Thursday, April 22. Seating is limited and guests are encouraged to make reservations in advance by calling (513) 421-0110. The 24th Annual Oyster Festival will run from this Friday, March 24 through Saturday, April 26.

Oyster photo by Gary Sharp.