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Bluff Oyster & Food Festival A Success


Bluff Oyster & Food Festival A Success

The 2008 Bluff Oyster & Food Festival went down a treat when the popular annual event took place in Bluff yesterday.

A new committee that had organised the celebration in a timeframe of just twenty-three weeks produced an event that brought plenty of positive comment from the capacity crowd that descended on Bluff from all over New Zealand.

Festival Chairman, John Edminstin, declared himself "very happy" as the large crowd filled the new venue enjoying the food and beverage, entertainment and unique Festival events.

The crowds were ready to go from the moment the gates opened and after the Piping In Of the Oyster, local identity Spencer Morrison recited the Ode To The Oyster and veteran oysterman Jim Roderique declared the Festival open. Bluff Community School pupils gave an inspiring Kapa Haka performance to begin the day and from there the event flowed particularly well with crowds enjoying all facets of the Festival. The food and beverage marquees were full, with the various suppliers doing a roaring trade as more than 1500 dozen Bluff Oysters and a wide range of other treats proved popular.

In the traditional Festival events Queenstown based Australian, Adam Nagy, won the Bluff Oyster Management Company Oyster Eating Races downing his one dozen Bluff Oysters in the final to defeat National MP Eric Roy and another Australian, Martin Smith. "Bluff Oysters are way bigger and better than the Rock Oysters we used to get in Sydney declared the winner!" He then revealed four-time Oyster Eating Champion, Tom Sawyer of Invercargill, had given him some tips before the final. Runner-up Eric Roy said the "oysters were right up to standard." The other finalists were Sheree Tarrant of Bluff, Kath Johnson of Stewart Island and yet another Australian, Jakki Carter.

Bluff Oyster Openers, Keith Lovett and Marama Topi continued their stranglehold on the Men's and Women's Oyster Opening titles when they won their respective events again this year. Lovett opened fifty oysters in 2 minutes 24.45 seconds to take the Men's Event while Topi opened fifty of the tasty molluscs in 3 minutes 17.37 seconds to win the Women's title. Lovett, of Direct Fish & Oysters, also won the Veteran's Title while Keith Dawson of Barnes Oysters won the Blindfold Race. The Direct Fish & Oysters team took out the relay event that pitted factories against each other. A former Bluff Community Board Chairman, Lex Perkins, won the Celebrity Oyster Opening Race from media personality and Bluff resident Marcus Lush. This year's winners collected some superb new trophies made by Roddy McMillan.

Kara Foai of Sanfords in Bluff won the Mussel Opening Competition, opening fifty in 1 minute 48.03 seconds. The Kayes Bakery Supreme Creativity Award, selected from the section winners in both the Oyster Sack Fashion Section and the Fantasy Fashion was won by "Oyster Bride", the winning garment in the adult section of the Oyster Sack Fashion. "Oyster Bride" was designed by Jane McKenzie of Bluff. Another McKenzie creation, "Neptunes Treasured Princess", won the Open Section of the Fantasy Fashion while "Flirty Foveaux" by Hannah Clare and "Foveaux Taniwha" by Room Pukeko at Bluff Community School won the Primary and Secondary Sections respectively.

The other Oyster Sack Fashion section winners were "Taniwha" in the Primary Section, designed by Sarah Bryan, Shyanna Friesen, Shakala & Materoa Waihirere of New River School and "A Day At The Races" by Anna Voss and Sarah Stevens won the Secondary Section.

While "Oyster Bride" won the Supreme Award, a special Innovative Award was presented to "Faces Of the Future", designed by the Southland Boys High School Year 10 Art students. Entered in the Secondary Section of the Oyster Sack Fashion Section the garment was an urban hoodie and cargo pants outfit.

The Festival Committee were disappointed that Wellington band Fat Freddy's Drop could not play at the event due a breakdown in communications between the band's management, their Bluff based spokesperson and the Festival's entertainment controller. The band did make an appearance to distribute some prizes to the crowd. However the audience stayed on to enjoy the other scheduled acts right to the end. Even rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of Festival goers as they enjoyed what was a very successful 2008 Bluff Oyster & Food Festival.


BLUFF OYSTER MANAGEMENT COMPANY OYSTER EATING COMPETITION 1st - Adam Nagy (Australia) 2nd - Eric Roy (Invercargill) 3rd - Martin Smith (Austrralia)

BARNES OYSTERS OYSTER OPENING COMPETITION Men's Section 1st - Keith Lovett (Direct Fish & Oyster) 2nd - Keith Dawson 3rd - Tony Goodman

Women's Section 1st - Marama Topi (Direct Fish & Oyster) 2nd - Denise Heads 3rd - Victoria Pearsey

Veterans Section 1st - Keith Lovett (Direct Fish & Oyster) 2nd - Keith Dawson

Relay Race 1st - Direct Fish & Oyster 2nd - Barnes Oysters

Blindfold Race 1st - Keith Dawson (Barnes Oysters) 2nd - Keith Lovett 3rd - Dean Brown

Celebrity Race 1st - Lex Perkins 2nd - Marcus Lush

Mussel Opening 1st - Kara Foai (Sanfords Bluff) 2nd - Carin Culling


Supreme Creativity Award Oyster Bride (Jane McKenzie)

Special Innovative Award Faces Of The Future (Year 10 Southland Boys High Art Students)


OPEN 1st - Neptunes Treasured Princess (Jane McKenzie) 2nd - Song Of The Ocean (Hannah Guise)

SECONDARY 1st - Flirty Foveaux (Hannah Clare) 2nd - Stingray (Teo Ao Piki, Cameron, Stanley and Tama - Bluff Community School)

PRIMARY 1st - Foveaux Taniwha (Room Pukeko - Bluff Community School) 2nd - Under The Colourful Ocean (Room Weka - Bluff Community School) 3rd - Lady Neptune & Her Child (St Teresa's School Bluff) OYSTER SACK FASHION

OPEN 1st - Oyster Bride (Jane McKenzie) 2nd - Fashion In The FieId (Suzanne Gillies)

SECONDARY 1st - A Day At The Races (Anna Voss & Sarah Stevens) 2nd - La Belle Pearl (Ashleigh Clare)

PRIMARY 1st - Taniwha (Sarah Bryan, Shyanna Friesen, Shakala & Materoa Waihirere - New River School) 2nd - Seafood Chef (Cheyenne, Te Rina, Tyler, Adam & Graeme - Room 15 New River Primary) 3rd - Atlantis Ball Dress (Katie, Jakob F, Ono & Shuaib - New River School)


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