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Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry returns to Virginia City

Rocky Mountain Oysters prepared for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City, Nevada.
Rocky Mountain Oysters prepared for the 2019 Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry in Virginia City, Nevada.(Virginia City Tourism Commission)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 3:25 PM PST
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VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The 30th annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry is returning to Virginia City with modifications to accommodate COVID-19 safety precautions. This year’s event is set for Saturday, March 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Rather than the usual all-out street party, this year ticket holders will enjoy a sampling tour of the historic town, pairing the signature delicacy with specialty-themed drinks along the way.

The annual event is a festive celebration of the town’s Irish and Basque roots, which highlights a unique delicacy; deep fried bull testicles.

Deny Dotson, tourism director for the Virginia City Tourism Commission, says he’s looking forward to seeing the event come back after being derailed by the pandemic in 2020.

“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,” he said.

“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,” added Dotson.

The Oyster Fry takes participants on a tour of the town, with the beef fry samples at various locations including restaurants, saloons and merchants. The sampling begins at 10 a.mFor $45, ticket holders receive a tasting ticket for each of the 10 testicle samples, as well as an additional 15 locations serving up alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of treats. To adhere to occupancy guidelines in place, a limited number of tickets are available.

At noon, the St. Patrick’s Day Cruise will happen along C Street where anyone is invited to join in the fun, decorate their vehicles and drive down the town’s main drag. Walking groups, gathering along the boardwalk and tossing candy will not be allowed during this year’s parade.

Tickets to the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry are limited and are on sale now online. Tickets will be sold in advance only, no walk-ups or day-of sales.

Visitors will be asked to adhere to all Nevada health guidelines including wearing masks, practicing physical distancing and washing hands.

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