January is one of those “R” months, which can only mean one thing: It’s oyster shuckin’ time in Charleston! And the biggest shuckin’ oyster roast happens every year at Boone Hall Plantation. Next Sunday, 1/31, grab your gloves, shuckers, and hot sauce, and head to Boone Hall Plantation for the 33rd Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival.
The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival serving over 80,000 pounds of oysters and has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Event highlights this year include the legendary “Oyster Shucking” and “Oyster Eating” contests, as well as a number of live musical acts. In addition to $12 buckets of oysters (buckets = approximately 3 dozen oysters) available for purchase, the festival will showcase a variety of food options from local restaurants and food trucks, ensuring that event goers can eat to their hearts content, regardless of dietary preference. A selection of domestic and imported beers and wine will also be available, although food and beverage tickets are sold separately (coolers are not allowed, so be prepared to buy your booze at the festival).
This is a family friendly event! Kids will have a blast at the festival’s “Pluff-a-Pallooza” Children’s Area, a celebration of the natural habitat of oysters including the Pluff Mud Craft Tent, the Sweet Grass Palace, Pluff Muddy Buddies balloon animals, Pluff Mud Cookie Decorating, Corey the Stilt Guy, a limbo with local mascots, photo opportunities, an interactive noise play area, an air-dancer, jump castle and many more hopefully alliteratively-titled activities as well..
Parking will be quick and easy, with a shuttle service available at several off-site locations. For those not using the shuttle service, carpooling is encouraged. There are two entrances into the event: the main Boone Hall entrance off Long Point Road and the entrance off Highway 17. The event is not pet friendly, however, so leave Fido at home.
The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is rain or shine and runs from 10 am - 5 pm General admission tickets are $17.50 in advance and $25 day of the event. VIP admission is $100 and includes VIP lane at entry gate and VIP tent access with food, beverages, and oysters. Children ten and under are free with paying adult. You can purchase Oyster Fest tickets here.
The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is a charity fundraiser benefiting The Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Charleston County Schools Science Materials Resource Center. In addition, the Department of Natural Resources partners with the Coastal Conservation Association’s Topwater Action Campaign to recycle and restore the oyster shells.
Let’s get shuckin’!