Shuck & Swallow Oyster Showdown, in Santa Barbara

Bivalve lovers should make for the Canary Hotel for one briny buff.

ANY CALENDAR... will tell you that September is here. And, on closer observation, you might note that September is the first month of the year that ends in "r" (sorry, January, February, March, and April; you all possess an "r" but you're not "r"-enders, nope). And if you know your ocean sayings, and your seafoodisms, and you're up on oyster-based beliefs, then you know that months ending in "r" are said to be primo when it comes to dining upon shell-rocking delicacies. Debating this over dinner with other oyster aficionados seems like a tried-and-true pastime, but you and your buds can also discuss this oyster-scented chestnut as you drive for The Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, on Sunday, Sept. 16, which just happens to be the place and date for the annual...

SHUCK & SWALLOW... Oyster Eating Competition. Well, make that "annual-ish," for the bivalve-based event took a three-year break, but it is back and ready to crack oysters, or rather shuck 'em, freeing them from their butterfly-like encasements. The competitors? Look to the local restaurant scene to provide the participants, "one shucker and one swallower," and the duo have ten fast minutes to complete their pry-it-open, slurp-it-down task. But even non-competitors — that's you, if you go — will be in on the oyster-tastic action, thanks to a $1 oyster bar. Other from-the-waves favorites, like seafood ceviche tostada bites, will also be part of the scene.

AND THAT SCENE? It's all happening on the beautiful, vista-spanning rooftop of The Canary. So soak in that last summer Sunday afternoon of the year, cheer on serious oyster eaters, and live La Vida SB for a couple of hours, while the sun is high and the month ends in, yes, "r."

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