Shellfish lovers should head for historic Charlotteville, PEI, on September 19-21 2008, for the “Biggest Kitchen Party in Atlantic Canada.”

PEI, one of four Atlantic Provinces, is known as the “Garden of the Gulf.” It is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence west of Cape Breton, lies north of the Nova Scotia peninsula and is Canada’s smallest and greenest Province.

With great music, gourmet chefs to celebrity cooks; first time oyster tasters to world-class oyster shuckers; this festival entertains and educates people of all ages.

Sample the delights produced by the chefs of the Culinary Institute of Canada in interactive, daily demonstrations. One of these is the “Keep on Shucking” demo with John Bil – three times Canadian Shucking Champion. Purchase Seafood Chowder, freshly steamed PEI Mussels and Clams and the renowned Oysters and Quahogs (Hard Shell Clams.)

If you love seafood chowder there are two highly competitive Chowder Contests.  In the “PEI Potato Seafood Chowder Champinship,” chefs from across PEI compete with the winner gaining automatic entry into the “Cream International Chowder Championship,” for a top prize of $2000.

If oysters are your thing do not miss the three oyster shucking contests. In the “Raspberry Point Shucking Championship,” 20 contestants are timed in opening and presenting oysters on a half shell.

In the “Two Continents Showdown,”(sponsored by Air Canada Cargo) Europe’s top five will take on North America’s top five in a relay format with five dozen oysters shucked in less than an unbelievable three minutes! Canada’s winning time in 2007 was 2.41 minutes.

Finally, the “JP World Invitational Championship,” which in 2007 saw 24 oysters presented in 1.51 minutes.

The top competition with a prize of $10,000 is the “International Shellfish Chef’s Challenge.” Local, Regional, and International Chefs will have a list of ingredients provided 2 weeks prior to the festival and released on the day. The contestants will have to produce 10 servings of an appetizer, an entree and a dessert.
If seafood is not the main attraction in your life there are children’s programmes, the Atlantic Veterinary Marine “Touch Tank,” Boat Cruises and musical entertainment.

Having had your fill of the seafood experience, relax with some retail therapy in Charlotteville. You can buy that perfect souvenir. Browse on the historic waterfront, Queen St and Victoria Row. Delights include Peake’s Wharf Merchants, Anne of Green Gables, the Confederation Mall and Just Us Girls Fashion Cafe.

There is nightlife to suit everyone. Many local restaurants turn into a nightspot after dark. Kent Street and Sydney Street are known for finding a good time.

If you still have energy left after the Festival there are some great ways of sightseeing. Amphibian vehicles used by Hippo Harbour Tours will take you on both land and sea. Explore the town in more leisurely fashion in an Emerald Isle – horsedrawn carriage. For the adventurous Tartan Air will show you the region from 500ft!

This is a great island for all the family with lots to see and do after a magnificent international festival.

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