The High West Oyster Fest has been offering oyster enthusiasts a chance to spend a night shucking and slurping since 2013, and the mollusk mayhem returns to the Boulder Theater from 6 to 9 p.m. today. The fourth annual event will feature oyster shucking and eating contests, music from Denver DJ Styles Davis, drinks, lots of good eats and, of course, mountains of oysters at a Jax Fish House pop-up raw bar. If you think you have what it takes to compete with the best in the West, be warned that the competition can be fierce. Last year Steven “Guido” Orth took home his second title (Orth also won in 2013) in the oyster-eating competition, putting down 79 oysters in just 90 seconds. Former Maine shucking champ and Jax alum Ben Wolven shucked his way to the top in the third annual shucking competition, cracking open a dozen oysters in only 38 seconds.
The festival is the highlight of Jax Fish House's month-long Oyster Month, during which diners had the chance to taste oyster-inspired weekly food and drink specials, and throw back a few Emersum oysters for a good cause. During February, Jax donated ten cents for every Emersum shucked to Blue Sky Bridge, a local nonprofit that provides support services for victims of child abuse.
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If you missed out on Oyster Month you can still get your fill at the Boulder Theater today — and the philanthropy continues, too. All proceeds and donations from the oyster fest will directly benefit Blue Sky Bridge. Last year the festival raised $592,000 for There With Care, a local non-profit that offers support and assistance to families with children facing serious illnesses.
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