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Catch Great Food, Good Times at Little River’s Blue Crab Festival

Catch Great Food, Good Times at Little River’s Blue Crab Festival

Every town has something to be proud of, even the tiny fishing village of Little River, South Carolina. While other cities on the Grand Strand celebrate their heritage by paying tribute to their chief claim to fame (in Myrtle Beach it’s summertime fun in the sun, and for North Myrtle Beach it’s shagging on Ocean Drive), Little River honors its top export – the blue crab.

The World Famous Blue Crab Festival will celebrate its 34th anniversary on the Little River waterfront on Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17. Featuring lots of opportunities to chow down on the event’s guests of honor, the World Famous Blue Crab Festival offers plenty of great live music and entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, fun and games for kids and, of course, fresh local seafood straight from the docks.

Located just south of the Carolina border, less than 30 miles from Compass Cove Resort along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway, Little River pays homage to the oft-eaten and underappreciated blue crab, the ornery little crustaceans that call the local tidal creeks and swamps home. Freshly caught blue points are hauled in by the bushels and steamed on the spot for festival-goers with a taste for the crabby critters.

Food vendors are set up throughout the festival grounds, serving a wide selection of both seafood and “land food” options. Of course, the blue crab takes the spotlight, with everything from she-crab soup, crab legs, deviled crab, and crab cakes are on the menu, along with fellow sea dwellers like shrimp, oysters and various species of fish. Traditional state-fair food, such as burgers and fries, candy apples, and cotton candy are available at the food booths and waterfront restaurants along the festival grounds.

The main stage is situated at the end of Mineola Drive, which is open only to foot traffic during the two-day event. The closed street allows patrons to dance in the streets to the sounds of local, regional and national touring acts, and this year’s lineup does not disappoint. On Saturday, country artist Jill Charles takes the stage at 9 a.m., followed by Gary Lowder and Smokin’ Hot at 11:30 a.m. and the beach music of the Carolina Breakers at 3 p.m. On Sunday, local dance groups perform at 9 a.m., followed by the country-rock sound of The Hip Pocket Band at 11:30 a.m., and headliner Jim Quick & Coastline at 3 p.m.

Mineola Drive, lined with ancient live oak trees and fishing boats tied up at the docks, also allows attendees to stroll openly from permanent shops to touring vendors. More than 200 tents featuring some of the top artists and craftsmen from the East Coast will be on hand to shop their wares and answer questions about their works. One-of-a-kind items and uniquely crafted goods, including paintings, jewelry, glasswork, wood carvings and apparel, can be found at bargain prices for savvy shoppers.

Keeping the kids entertained may be the toughest challenge of attending a big event, but the World Famous Blue Crab Festival has the little ones covered. Featuring a large Kids Zone, complete with carnival rides and amusements, including inflatable play equipment, games and pony rides. A wide range of activities are held to engage children, and they can accompany their parents anywhere on the grounds at this family-friendly fundraiser.

The World Famous Blue Crab Festival in Little River runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 at the gate on the day of the event, or advanced tickets are for sale for $4 per day or $8 for the full weekend. For more information, visit www.bluecrabfestival.org.

 

(Posted: 4/28/15)

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