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01/28/2024
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Festivals

It's the largest oyster festival in the world, and it's right here in the Lowcountry.

Lowcountry Oyster Festival

Here’s your chance to celebrate one of the Lowcountry’s favorite delicacies from the sea… 48,000 pounds of ‘em!

It’s the 40th annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival, on the grounds of picturesque Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant.

The Oyster Festival is an extremely popular event  -  one of the top 20 in the Southeast  -  drawing upwards of 10,000 or so hungry folks eager to take part in this most classic Lowcountry tradition: an oyster roast

Sponsored by the Charleston Restaurant Foundation, the Oyster Festival has raised over $1 million for worthy charities over the years.  It’s benefitted the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston, Shriners' Hospitals for Children, MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston County School District, the Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina, Bread & Butter Charleston, Pay it Forward, Toadfish Conservation Coalition, and many others.  It takes 1,000 people to put on the festival, 800 of whom are volunteers.

In addition to those bushels and bushels of hot steamed oysters  -  from areas like Edisto, James River and the Chesapeake Bay  -  you'll find a whole lot more.  They haven't announced the exact date or details for 2024 yet, but here's what the Oyster Festival dishes up…

  • Danceable live music by the like of The Blue Dogs, Uncle Mingo, and the ever-popular East Coast Party Band (performers for the 2023 festival);
  • Oyster Shucking and Oyster Eating Contests for both men and women;
  • Loads of adult libations including wine, domestic and imported beer; 
  • A large Food Court made up of popular local eateries and food trucks with plenty for the non-oyster lovers;
  • One of the largest assortment of cool kids’ activities we’ve seen, at the Pluff-a-Pallooza Kids’ Zone… with things like the Theater on the Half Shell, Sparky the aerialist, Bubble Therapy, oyster crafts, sweetgrass weaving, Noisy Oyster percussion play area, cookie decorating with “pluff mud” frosting, spin art, juggling, hooping, egg toss, a climbing wall, two bouncy houses (divided by age), a “marshmallow hurricane” (whatever that is), photo booth and mascot limbo competition;
  • Environmental and conservation groups on hand, like the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network.

The festival takes place all day on Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m.

Admission is $23, which you can purchase online.  Kids 10 and under get in FREE with adult admission.  Food and beverage tickets are purchased separately inside, and it’s a cashless event (credit or debit cards only).  There is no charge for parking.  Inclusive VIP tickets for those 21 and over are $179 and sell out superfast.  

You are welcome to bring strollers, wagons, folding chairs, gloves and oyster knives into the event.  They will also have oyster knives and gloves for sale.  NOTE: please leave these at home  -  pets, coolers, folding tables, and outside food/beverages. 

The main entrance of Boone Hall Plantation is located at 1235 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant.  You can also access the festival via Boone Hall’s side entrance at 2330 Highway 17.