Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, S.C., is the place to be on Sunday, Jan. 29. The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the largest oyster celebration in the world, and is a point of pride for everyone involved. More than just a chance to taste a handful of oysters, this festival celebrates all parts of the oyster, from shucking to eating, and even shares what best to wash them down with.
The one-day festival, now in its 29th year, hosts events like oyster shucking contests, an oyster eating competition, and an oyster recipe competition. There are also wine pairings, a selection of beers on offer, a kid’s area with pony rides and bouncy castles, live music, and booths serving food from some local eateries. There’s nothing slapdash about this festival, either — early in the morning, two enormous trucks show up to deliver 80,000 pounds of oysters, which are subsequently sold by the bucket, to the polo fields at Boone Hall Plantation. Then, the line of cars waiting to park at the Plantation starts forming, well before 9 a.m., with festival-goers who come back year after year for a day of shucking and eating. It’s an oyster festival for oyster lovers, and the newcomers that can’t wait to love them.
Attendees tend to bring their own shucking knives and gloves, but newbies and amateurs can buy them on site.