Fall Flavours signature event sells out in three of four days
© TC Media Photo
Josh Bishop, right, competes against fellow Ottawa resident Jesse Papastavros in the Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking Championship at the P.E.I. Shellfish Festival in Charlottetown Sunday. Bishop is proprietor of The Whalesbone and Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern, while Papastavros is one of his employees.
Islanders and visitors alike will need an emergency diet the end of this month when Fall Flavours wraps up. The culinary and entertainment extravaganza kicked off more than two weeks ago and has hardly missed a clam chowder or frosty brew since.
A sold-out lobster feast and a beer festival got things started for the celebration designed to showcase P.E.I.’s cuisine and boost fall tourism in the shoulder season.
We’ve seen an invasion of celebrity chefs from Food Network Canada hosting culinary events across the province with much more to come. The grand finale features Chef Chuck Hughes, host of Chuck’s Day Off and Chuck’s Week Off, making his first Fall Flavours appearance as host of Mussel Muncheon, a new festival signature event taking place in Charlottetown on Sept. 29. That is the same day as the mushrooming Farm Day in the City and the Fortune Feast to conclude Fall Flavours.
Sellouts have become commonplace for many events and record crowds attended the P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival on the weekend. The festival, originally a stand-alone event on the city’s waterfront, launched by chairman Liam Dolan to extend the shoulder tourist season, is now a major signature event on the Fall Flavours schedule.
Mr. Dolan was lamenting that three to four hundred people had to be turned away from the main festival tent Saturday night while more than 1,000 people partied inside, jamming every crook and cranny in Charlottetown’s waterfront festival venue.
Mr. Dolan said the festival has almost outgrown its new home after just two years, which is a good problem to have. But if the festival keeps growing at its meteoric pace, something will have to be done to accommodate crowds, especially visitors looking for tickets.
Culinary tourism, such as Fall Flavours, is a growing niche market. It’s not weather dependent, as many events are inside and our September weather can be remarkably fickle. All partners in this successful celebration have reason to be proud.