Scallop Festival in Brittany

Scallop Festival in Brittany
The French regions of Brittany and Normandy are famous for their quality seafood, especially oysters, mussels and scallops. Each of the regions hosts an annual scallop festival to promote its seafood industry and attract more tourists. Normandy’s Scallop Fair takes place in late autumn, at the beginning of the scallop season, while the Scallop Festival in Brittany is held at the end of the season, in late- to mid-April.

Scallop is a common name applied to numerous species of saltwater clams in the Pectinidae family. The meat of many species of scallop is highly prized as a food source. In France, the scallop is called coquille St. Jacques in honor of St James the Great because the scallop shell is the traditional emblem of this saint.

Brittany’s scallop festival (La Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques) is organized by Erquy and two neighboring communes, Saint-Quay-Portrieux and Paimpol. Erquy has been known as the scallop capital of Brittany since scallop banks were found here in 1962. With its flotilla of about 80 trawlers, Erquy is one of Europe’s most important scallop ports.

The Scallop Festival is held in one of the three communes on the last or next-to-last weekend of April. It is a two-day event featuring a fish market offering delicious fresh scallops and other seafood, fishing trips, tasting events, a craft and fishing village, and more.

The festival opens on Saturday morning, when the Knights of the Scallop parade marches through the streets of the host commune, followed by live concerts and street entertainment. At the festival, you can buy fresh scallops in shells or ready-to-eat, take a trip out to sea to watch fisherman trawl the depths for the very last scallops of the season, and sample delicious scallop dishes offered by local restaurants. Local crafters also sell jewelry and souvenirs made from the brightly colored, symmetrical, fan-shaped scallop shells.

The Scallop Festival is the last opportunity to enjoy fresh scallops and live entertainment before the next scallop season beings in October, so if you have a chance to attend, don’t miss it!

Scallop Festival in Brittany



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