Friday, January 17, 2014
Charleston – The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc. (GCRA) will host the 31st Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival on Sunday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Historic Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant. The Lowcountry Oyster Festival, coined “The World’s Largest Oyster Roast”, has been named one of the “top 20 events in the Southeast” by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Each year, the GCRA adds new elements to improve the festival. This year marks a few firsts: gates opening at 10 a.m. (earlier than years past), an expanded children’s area, VIP Ticket upgrade option online and complimentary off-site parking shuttles. “Over the last few years we have implemented new parking options by opening an entrance on HWY 17 and introducing the Park-n-Ride shuttle. This year we’re offering off-site parking with shuttles to bring people into and out of the event. With the new shuttles, we hope to eliminate some of the parking and traffic challenges that we sometimes experience,” says Steve Carroll, President of GCRA.
The event is one of the largest in the Lowcountry and brings in thousands of event goers who consume over 80,000 lbs of oysters year after year. Not a fan of the mighty mollusks, no problem, there will be a food court featuring a variety of restaurants, food trucks and sweets. The food court restaurants include: AW Shucks Seafood Restaurant, Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, Hyman’s Seafood Company, Jim n Nicks BBQ, Red’s Ice House, The Windjammer, Wild Wing Café and Zeus. The featured food trucks include Rollin South, Dukes BBQ, BlackJack BBQ and Hubee D’s. Sweets will be provided by Dixie Supply Bakery & Café and Wando High Culinary Arts.
The children’s area will be called “Pluff-A-Palooza” and will be a celebration of Pluff Mud which is the natural habitat and home for oysters. It will feature jump castles, the mini-cine (40’ shipping container converter into a theatre), face painting, the Pluff-Mudd-Circus, a craft tent and a lounge.
Budweiser and Southern Eagle Distributing will be bringing out their “Build-A-Bar”. What is a “Build-A-Bar”? It is a dual-level trailer that transforms into a bar which features plasma screen TVs and fixed bar seats.
Tickets to the event are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. The VIP Ticket upgrade option is available online only. Tickets are available at CharlestonRestaurantAssociation.com, at area Southcoast Community Banks, Boone Hall Farms, or Official Visitors Centers in Mt. Pleasant and Downtown. There are several ways to enter the event: the main Boone Hall entrance off Long Point Road, the entrance off Highway 17 which features the Park-n-Ride shuttle to transport guests onto the grounds, and now the off-site parking shuttle. The shuttle is a free service that will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from three Mount Pleasant locations:
JB Edwards Elementary School: 885 Von Kolnitz Road, Mt. Pleasant
Laing Middle School: 1560 Mathis Ferry Road, Mt. Pleasant
East Cooper Regional Medical Center: 2000 Hospital Drive, Mt. Pleasant
This annual event is orchestrated by the GCRA with the help of hundreds of volunteers from the community. A portion of the proceeds will benefit local charities including the Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center, Hospitality Heroes, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Charleston County Schools Science Materials Resource Center. We would also like to thank these sponsors: Town of Mt. Pleasant, Charleston County, US Foods, Bud Light, Goose Island, Pepsi and the CHART Group.
For more information on the GCRA or other events orchestrated by the GCRA please go to www.CharlestonRestaurantAssociation.com or find them on Facebook at Charleston Food Festivals and Events.