Crowds eat up all the oysters early at annual Lowcountry festival
The annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival was a tremendous success for vendors today but a disappointment to those who didn’t arrive at Boone Hall Plantation early.
The oysters were gone by 3 p.m.
“My wife and I wasted $50 and the better part of the day attending this disappointing event,” said Brandon Scurlock, who arrived after 3 p.m. after waiting in traffic an hour and half to get in. “I really wish this had been a rewarding event; we had been looking forward to it. I think that the event has outgrown the venue; they may want to consider moving to a fair grounds.”
The oyster festival is billed as the world’s biggest and has become a major tourist attraction. The ambience of Boone Hall Plantation has always been part of the draw.
The mild weather may have drawn a record crowd today, and most of them arrived early and stayed late, according to Kathy Britzius, executive director of the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, which organized the festival.
About 10,000 people came out last year, and this year’s count may exceed that, she said.
The crowd went through two tractor-trailer loads of single-select Texas oysters, about 70,000 pounds worth, Britzius said.
She said she may order another 20,000 pounds next year to meet demand, especially if the weather outlook is good.
Traffic lines are always long for those who don’t take advantage of the shuttles. Shuttles were set up for the festival a couple years ago, and organizers have been trying to encourage more people to use them, Britzius said.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.