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Oyster Fest plans announced; Fence and free admission

ARCATA- Attendees at this years Oyster Festival will not have to pay to get inside the event, but will have to enter through designated areas between the fence to get inside. The plaza will be partially surrounded by a combination of barricades, snow and chain length fencing that will help control traffic inside the event.

The plan for the June 14th event was announced Tuesday by Greenway Partners, the consulting firm that is managing the event for Arcata Main Street. The City of Arcata approved the plan for the event. Organizers said the event will be more family oriented and focus on local beer and music.

A fence with chain and snow length fencing will block out traffic on the north, 9th street side of the plaza that will border the entrance to the bars in Arcata. The 9th street side will allow people to exit the event. The 8th street border will be the main entrance to the event. Car traffic will be blocked north from 10th street to 7th street.

"Nobody thought it would grow to 12 or 14,000 people, and it's a hard to manage that many people safely on this plaza," said Debi Farber Bush, the project manager for the event.

Farber Bush, said this years goal is to highlight what makes Humboldt County unique. "If we focus back on what makes Humboldt County special, the out of towners get a taste of Humboldt County and the people of Humboldt county love the festival too," she said.

The character Mr. Fred Oyst'air, the festivals mascot, was reintroduced at Tuesday's press conference. Farber Bush said he is an example how the festival is going back to its roots.

The event has grown to bring over 12,000 people to the event. Farber Bush said the event needed to grow to accommodate the large crowd on the plaza.