Jax Oyster Eating Contest
snag, slurp, swallow…repeat.
There are lots of ways to raise money for a worthy cause. You can walk, run, ride a bike, wear a wrist band, grow a mustache, gain weight, lose weight, or simply sit on your backside and write a check… but what if philanthropy could be tasty?
Each year, a very special group of gustatory gladiators rises to the occasion; they answer the call and months of training are put to the test. Every competitor is a champion before the starting gun even sounds, as their efforts directly benefit organizations in our local communities… and their dedication to their chosen task is unquestioned. Yet, they don’t run marathons, they don’t quilt, and they certainly do not sell cookies, candy bars or magazines.
They DO eat oysters. Lots of ‘em… and in a hurry…
The Jax Fish House Oyster Eating Contest (OEC) is a celebration of an amazing filter feeder of the sea. This charitable mollusk inspires these athletes to best the records of previous competitors, both in number of oysters eaten and in charitable funds raised. For 13 years, some version of this gluttonous relay race has been taking place at one Jax Fish House or another, in Boulder or Denver. This year, the OEC, much like the best seafood, has a season. On two weekends, in two different cities, competitors in culinary consumption will have the opportunity to stuff themselves on oysters while they stuff the pockets of a local charity.
The atmosphere is festive, the crowd is raucous, rowdy and ready to cheer… and the oysters are ice cold, hand shucked, and prepared to do their part to ensure an entertaining competition. The end result is lots of smiling, laughter, oohs and ahhs, a big check for a local charity and enhanced libido for each of the OEC team members!
Teams are comprised of groups of two in Boulder, and groups of four in Denver. Each team member has a specific amount of ‘time at the tray’, where their only job is to enjoy as many mollusks as they can. Some games have a lot of rules; cricket for instance, and bridge… well the Oyster Eating Contest is simple… slurp ‘em up and keep ‘em down. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Current record holders for our OEC are as follows (competitions were originally for individuals): The Jax Boulder INDIVIDUAL record is 113 oysters in 90 seconds in March 2005 by the one and only Ang McDonald. The Jax Denver INDIVIDUAL record is 100 oysters in 90 seconds, set in March 2005 by Denver’s Oyster Champion, Steve “Guido” Orth. The team records in Boulder and Denver are 112 (two person) and 147 (four person) oysters respectively.
We like to think that EVERY participant in the OEC is a winner, but all oyster eaters are not created equally, so we robustly reward those who slurp the most by setting them up with amazing travel/culinary based adventures. There’s also over $500 in prize money available to teams that raise the most for charity at their respective OEC.
The OEC is a sight to behold, and all in the name of charity. When Mark Twain said, “T’was a brave person indeed, who first ate an oyster.” He had no idea, what we had in store…