Annual Blue Crab Festival returns to Little River

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 9:56 AM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - Organizers closed off Mineola Avenue and Waterfront Avenue to kick off the annual Blue Crab Festival in Little River.

Held along the historic Little River waterfront, the event is one of the largest festivals held along the Grand Strand each year. The festival features over 250 vendors from local businesses as well as those from other states.

The festival was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19, and last year’s edition saw several COVID-related guidelines. The 2022 festival saw those restrictions removed, and was in full swing all weekend as thousands flocked to Little River.

”We are a little fishing village on the coast of South Carolina with access to the open ocean way and in water fishing, so we are all about shellfishing around here,” said Jennifer Walters, CEO of the Little River Chamber of Commerce.

Walters mentioned that the festival has been growing since 1981. In fact, it’s expected to gross $2.5 million this year.

It’s a boost to Little River’s tourism status, but also can provide help to small businesses in the area.

Key West Crazy, a restaurant located along the Little River waterfront, said they nearly sold out blue crabs they caught the morning of the festival.

“You got to have blue crabs,” said Gwen Skinner, an employee at the restaurant. “The pot has been going all day. It hasn’t stopped. I don’t know how many orders but it’s a lot.”

Many food vendors tried different ways to cook their crabs to attract customers from boiling, deep-frying, grilling and even steaming crabs.

Skinner said it’s been all hands on deck since the event started and she is enjoying every minute of it.

“Everybody is having a good time, just helping people out and good times,” she said.

The Blue Crab Festival will continue Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information.

The next big event for the area will be the Little River Shrimp Fest, set to take place Oct. 8-9.

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