Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry Returns In March
The historic mining town just south of Reno is hosting its Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry on St. Patrick’s Day Weekend.
Normally, it’s a festive celebration of its Irish and Basque roots is an all-out St. Patrick’s Day party. In 2021, the 30th annual event is still taking place but is a bit different with COVID-19 safety precautions in place.
Often referred to as the “testicle festival,” the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry is set for Saturday, March 13 (St. Patrick’s Day weekend) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Rather than the usual all-out street party, this year’s version involves food of testes and specialty-themed drinks in the historic town.
So do you wear green? Well, eating fried bull testicles could make some people green.
“Last year we had to cancel the Oyster Fry the day before due to the pandemic shutdowns so we’re looking forward to bringing it back, albeit in a different way than we have before,” said Deny Dotson, tourism director for Virginia City Tourism Commission.
“In normal years, this event kicks off the northern Nevada event season and brings a much needed boost to our local businesses that struggle through the winter months. We’re optimistic that our new revamped festival will allow for our businesses to be more involved and to support them during what has been an extremely tough year.
“We’re confident that the changes we’ve made this year are going to make for a safe and fun return of one of our most popular celebrations.”
In order to accommodate current state COVID-19 guidelines, the 2021 Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry takes participants on a tour of the town, with the beef fry samples at various locations including restaurants, saloons and merchants. For $45, ticket holders receive a tasting ticket for each of the 10 testicle samples, as well as and additional 15 locations serving up alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of treats.
Due to Nevada event occupancy guidelines, a limited number of tickets are available. They are sold in advance only online; there will be no walk-up or day-of sales.
The sampling begins at 10 a.m. At noon, the St. Patrick’s Day Cruise rolls down C Street where anyone is invited to join in the fun, decorate their vehicles and drive down the town’s main drag. Walking groups, congregating along the boardwalk and tossing of candy is prohibited.
All visitors and residents are required to adhere to current State of Nevada guidelines to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. This includes wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and washing hands. Virginia City and its businesses have put in place extra precautions and measures to adhere to all current guidelines, however, these activities are subject to change based on the current environment.
For more information on Virginia City, Nevada, and the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry, visit VisitVirginiaCityNV.com.