Annual World Famous Blue Crab Festival returns to Little River

Published: May. 21, 2023 at 11:27 AM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WMBF) - The 41st World Famous Blue Crab Festival kicked off in Little River this weekend, and WMBF News got an inside look at how this small-town festival has become so revered.

What started as word of mouth from his nephew is what Robert Oswald said led him from Lexington to good eats, along with good weather.

“He said you really ought to come out and check this out,” he said. “We were like what else we got to do this weekend?”

Thousands made their way to Little River for the event, alongside 265 vendors, tons of food and even live music.

For Oswald, it was an experience like no other.

“This is our first-time experience; it’s fantastic, they’re doing a great job of controlling [the] crowds. Food is fantastic, the blue crabs, if you don’t get into trying you’re missing out,” he said.

Organizers said it all got started with an idea to unite communities.

“Business owners restaurant owners who wanted to show off the Little River Waterfront,” Jennifer Walters, President and CEO of the Little River Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a little hidden gem on the north end of the Grand Strand, and they said, ‘what better way than let’s get some crafters together and do a festival open up our streets to the people that have never been able to come up here before.”

First-time vendors at the event, such as Herb McCandless of M&M BBQ, said they were amazed at the turnout.

“This is unbelievable people were coming in here at 9:30 this morning it’s been standing room only on every street every booth every vendor,” said McCandless. “I’ve never seen a festival in this small of an area this busy.”

Although crowds flocked to the waterfront for the famous crabs, Oswald said next year he’ll be back at the festival for everything else.

“The food...definitely the food,” he said. “Now the crabs are good too, I mean you can’t deny they’ve got some of the best food right here.”