LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – The 35th annual Blue Crab Festival kicked off Saturday in Little River. The goal of the event every year is to support and showcase the atmosphere of the local Little River community, North Myrtle Beach, and the entire Grand Strand.
While there will be a section for kids to enjoy bouncy houses and carnival rides, organizers expected over 40,000 people to enjoy 270 fine arts and crafts vendors, live beach music, and food.
However, the main attraction was the blue crabs and other fresh local seafood people could buy from local restaurants and vendors.
"It's a great time, a lot of people come down to enjoy the blue crab and the wonderful shade and the waterfront, and it's just a good time for everybody and all the local businesses," said The Pilot House employee Clayton Singletary. Singletary is a one of several local business owners hoping to capitalize on the crowds.
"It's just something about the Blue Crab Festival always drives the summer home and starts things off pretty good for us," Singletary said.
Over the two-day event, organizers hope to rack in about $3.2 million, which is why out-of-town vendors keep returning.
"The reason we come here is one of the best shows in the Southeast that we do anywhere," jewelry vendor Ray Boroughs said.
Organizers said this event keeps getting bigger year after year, which keeps residents happy and reels in more visitors, like Ora Harris, who says people who haven't been to the festival are missing out.
"They've got food, all kinds of jewelry all kinds of clothing, just a multitude of things that you won't find in one place," Harris said.
If you missed the event Saturday, the festival starts continues Sunday morning from 9:00 a.m. and continues through 6:00 p.m.
Tickets for each day are $5 and children 12 and under are free.
And as a reminder, Mineola Avenue will be closed to traffic, but there will be free shuttles and a water taxi that will pick up at the Harbor Gate Marina and drop off right where the festival takes place.