The Arcata Bay Oyster Festival popping off in 2019 | File photo: Stephanie McGeary


The City of Arcata announced today that Arcata Main Street, the local business-supporting organization best known for organizing the annual Arcata Bay Oyster Festival, is being absorbed by the Arcata Chamber of Commerce. 

What does this mean for Oyster Fest? Well, the City promises that the event, along with the Season of Wonder and Light and Arts Arcata, will still be happening under the direction of the Chamber. 

Learn more in this City of Arcata press release:

 The Arcata Chamber and Arcata Main Street are teaming up to ensure long term support and representation for Arcata businesses.

After several years of discussion and months of planning, the Arcata Chamber is prepared to fold in critical aspects of Arcata Main Street’s operation to streamline business support services in Arcata.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 5, the Arcata Chamber, with support from outgoing Arcata Main Street Board members, will start planning in earnest to keep several key programs active such as the Season of Wonder and Light, Arts Arcata, the Oyster Festival and coordinated marketing and business networking for the Plaza and downtown businesses.

“This type of consolidation has been talked about for decades,” said Councilmember Stacy Atkins-Salazar, the City’s liaison to Main Street, “it just makes sense to combine efforts under one board, one organization for businesses and the City to contribute to and one slightly larger staff to coordinate support and activities that promote all of Arcata’s fabulous businesses.”

The Arcata Chamber currently has a strong board of 12 members and a seasoned staff of two. “The right combination of support has finally aligned” Chamber Board President Roger James and Vice President Bob Judevine reflected. “The Chamber has many business members who are also part of Main Street and we are excited to meet and support new businesses and to have a stronger presence on the Plaza and downtown”. The Chamber is a non-political organization whose purpose is to support business entrepreneurship, collaboration and innovation while promoting a strong sense of community.

For Main Street’s part, the agency worked hard with the City throughout the pandemic to keep shops and restaurants open in downtown and celebrated a tremendous Oyster Festival this past year with its return to the Plaza. It currently does not have an Executive Director and has a small board of three. Arcata Main Street approached the City in 2021 with a request to provide support to rebuild activities after the pandemic and work to ready critical programs to merge with or under the Chamber.

“We are happy to see this combination of services come together under one roof and will continue to support the Chamber as they shoulder the role of promoting and strengthening our downtown,” said Arcata Main Street President Shannon Yodowitz. “We are proud of our work with businesses for over 35 years including 32 Oyster Festivals, hundreds of family and community events and memorable celebrations of downtown businesses.”

The City will consider an amendment to the Arcata Chamber of Commerce’s annual agreement in October to reallocate funds that were originally earmarked for Main Street to assist with downtown revitalization after the pandemic and to assist with the consolidation. If you are interested in assisting with business support in Arcata please contact the Chamber at

And… gear up Arcata! Halloween is coming up, and the Chamber is ready to celebrate and support our local business and uphold beloved traditions on the Plaza. Let’s all celebrate and support our local businesses. Please shop local.