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The New Orleans Oyster Festival returns for 2016 

The annual festival celebrating all things oyster is June 4-5 at Woldenberg Park

click to enlarge Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas won the oyster-eating contest at the 2015 New Orleans Oyster Festival.

Photo courtesy New Orleans Oyster Festival

Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas won the oyster-eating contest at the 2015 New Orleans Oyster Festival.

Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas downed 41 dozen oysters to win the oyster-eating contest at last year's New Orleans Oyster Festival (www.nolaoysterfest.org). Oyster lovers don't have to match that feat to enjoy the event's mix of raw and cooked seafood. The festival is in Woldenberg Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5.

  There are 20 participating restaurants, including Acme Oyster House, Antoine's Restaurant, Bourbon House, Cafe Reconcile, Drago's Seafood Restaurant, Luke, Red Fish Grill, Trenasse and Voleo's Seafood Restaurant. The music lineup features Tank & the Bangas, Mia Borders, Colin Lake and Honey Island Swamp Band on Saturday. Stooges Brass Band, One A-Chord Gospel Choir and Bag of Donuts perform Sunday.

  The oyster-shucking contest is at noon Saturday, and the oyster-eating contest is at 11:45 a.m. Sunday. There also are cooking demonstrations, crafts featuring oyster shells and oyster shucking gear and more. Admission is free.

  The festival was founded in 2010 to highlight the local oyster industry and coastal restoration efforts. A portion of festival proceeds goes to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation's Artificial Reef Program and ORA Estuaries.

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