Also known as one of the “top 20 events in the Southeast” (Southern Tourism Society) the Lowcountry Oyster Festival features tent after tent of oyster farmers, restaurants, breweries, music and more.
As you may know, at this oyster festival, it is rare to eat an oyster raw on the half shell. Not in Lowcountry! South Carolina is actually one of the rare areas on the East Coast where there is a thriving wild caught oyster community. In fact, a large portion of Charleston was built on the oyster “concrete” made by the grinding of the immense amount of wild oyster shells. Oysters are truly a part of this city in more ways than one.
When you buy buckets of steamed oysters, you’ll notice that they even look cemented together. When you shuck them (a self-shucking festival as well), you may often find 4 or 5 oysters in one big brick. It reminded me of the same quest for picking out the meat of a crab. There is a glorious feeling hunting out those little crevices.
When you walk up to Boone Plantation, I’d advise to come equipped. You can bring your gloves and shuckers with you (or buy them as momentos), along with your own lawn chairs, picnic blankets, beers and snacks to compliment the oyster eating.
The flavor of the oysters is less dramatic, I feel, than a raw shucking experience back at home (New England), and the oyster liquor isn’t as fruitful…. But it truly felt the “southern” way. Add in all the restaurant tents who have incorporated a bit of culinary flavor to their own on the half shell, and you’re filling up quickly.
I would also recommend that you not buy $100 worth of tickets up front. Although everything in the festival is bought using tickets, do a little at a time. I went wild and threw all my cash up front at the ticket counter, just to feel stuffed full of beer and oysters after using about $35 worth!
If you are seeking a unique oyster experience, consider Charleston the place to be. Besides, their best seasons are between November – January, so it’s a great excuse to get to a warmer climate!
More info: http://www.charlestonrestaurantassociation.com/lowcountry-oyster-festival/