This weekend was the 100th year of Oyster Bake, an annual event during Fiesta in San Antonio. Oyster Bake is hosted by St. Mary’s University. Like any party, it was a heck of a good time.
Oyster Bake is part of Fiesta. Fiesta started 125 years ago as a parade to commemorate the heroes who fell at the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. What started as a single parade turned into a nearly two-week-long event which birthed several other traditions in the process. Oyster Bake is one of its progeny, but isn’t all about having a good time.
Oyster Bake is a party with a purpose. Chris Oliva, a biology sophomore at St. Mary’s University, was found selling nachos at a stand with his fellow fraternity brothers.
“Pretty much every student organization does something for this,”Oliva said. “It’s all volunteer work and the money goes towards scholarships for the students.”
Walking through the crowd, the sense of community is strong. Approaching the festival, the neighborhoods are pockmarked with residents’ barbeques. Inside the festival, revelers rose a toast with friends and other strangers, and small children made new friends around circles of their parents.
Although it might be called Oyster Bake, there is a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy, including five stages for live music, carnival rides and other more traditional Tejano food.
Obviously, oysters are sold at the festival. They could be bought baked or pre-shucked as an “oyster shot.” The oysters could with all the fixings and were decent oysters, too—not the usual fare would expect to find this deep in Texas.
Oyster Bake brings out the best in people. Keven London, event attendee, attended the bake for the first time this year.
“Oyster Bake is great,” London said. “There is this unique atmosphere that comes from it because of all the different people and food brought together.”