Contests, live music and succulent Gulf oysters prepared in a host of tantalizing ways are the draws this weekend as the New Orleans Oyster Festival returns to Woldenberg Riverfront Park in the French Quarter.

The sixth annual oyster festival, sponsored by the Louisiana Oyster Industry, features an oyster shucking contest on Saturday and an oyster-eating contest on Sunday, a lineup of local bands and 22 restaurants.

There’s even a contest to find the biggest oyster, organized by the New Orleans Fish House on Saturday afternoon.

Craft vendors will sell one-of-a-kind oyster-themed jewelry, kitchenware and home accessories. Cooking demonstrations by local chefs are also planned.

Proceeds help the Louisiana oyster fishermen and their families, along with coastal restoration, organizers said.

Among the favorite foods that festivalgoers can sample this weekend are: oyster po-boys from Acme, Redfish Grill, Katie’s and Superior Seafood; shrimp and grits and oyster pastries from Royal House; oyster shooters from Trenasse; and Cajun Bloody Mary Oysters from Le Bayou.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and continues until 7 p.m. For information, go to or call the festival hotline at (504) 835-6410.