Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Charleston this weekend? Late winter, shucked and steaming

Every year, without fail, one event comes along that signals that winter doesn't last forever: The Lowcountry Oyster Festival.

It's always a wrap-up event for January -‑ it's this Sunday (Jan. 25) this time around - Charleston is always warmer than Charlotte.

Plus. the oyster-related events -- competitions in both shucking and eating -- are complemented by live music and beer. Plus, the charity fundraiser is staged outdoors at beautiful and historic Boone Hall Plantation, east of downtown Charleston in Mount Pleasant.

Tickets -- $17.50/advance, $25 at the door ‑ include festival entry, a viewing of Boone Hall Plantation, entertainment and access to the children's area.

Oysters, sold separately, are $14 per bucket; beer is $4 (draft) and $6 (craft). There's also a food court that showcases fare from various Charleston area restaurants.

Posted hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music starts at 11 a.m. (the Muddy Kings) and 1:30 p.m. (Eddie Bush).

The shucking and eating contest is 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

A popular event? Consider this: the festival, now in its 32nd year, goes through 80,000 pounds of oysters and describes itself as "the world's largest oyster festival."

(The photo at the top of this post is from the event's 2006 incarnation; it's by Mic Smith of the Post and Courier, via AP.)