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Second annual BR Oyster Fest creating opportunities for downtown businesses

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BATON ROUGE - Today thousands of people poured into downtown Baton Rouge to enjoy oysters prepared every way from char-grilled, to raw, and everything in between.

It’s events like the Baton Rouge Oyster Festival that are creating endless opportunities for businesses in the area.

“Very unique kind of festival, featuring oysters cooked in a lot of different ways,” Davis Rhorer, Executive Director of the Downtown Development District, said.

Vendors from all over Louisiana, shucking and shelling out thousands of oysters, as thousands of people made their way to the capitol area.

“This is their second year out and we were so pleased last year with the inaugural debut,” Rhorer said.

But it’s not just the vendors that are raking in the cash.

“This is a ripple effect because when you have something that unique, we know that they're building it up now. But what it’ll do is bring people downtown they may want to try some of the restaurants they haven’t seen before. Maybe people are from out of town and they want to stay in hotels,” Rhorer said.

Rhorer says that events like the oyster fest are key in bringing people, not just from Baton Rouge, but from all over the state, to the area.

“This is what keeps it growing and going. You build upon events and developments that happen down here,” Rhorer said.

Its why dozens of business owners, like Kyle Harris, who runs The Oyster Man in Covington, made the decision to come back.

“Well, last year went so good and it was just the start of it. And now we're hoping to become a facet here every year. Last year we had like 6, 7 thousand. They’ve already got 10,000 signed up this year that were coming on Facebook,” Harris said.

And why Rhorer wants to continue to build the reputation of downtown as a community hot spot.

“This is your downtown. And that’s why we’re building this for a lot of these public events and these public spaces for the quality of life and community to enjoy.”

Proceeds from the event help benefit the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

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