Beaufort Oyster Festival arrives with new year

in News by

From staff reports

The Lowcountry may still be immersed in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the inaugural Beaufort Oyster Festival must go on.

Conceived and hosted by the Beaufort Area Hospitality Association, the Beaufort Oyster Festival is conceived as an 11-day festival week (Thursday, Jan. 7-Sunday, Jan. 17) coinciding with Tides to Tables in conjunction with South Carolina Restaurant Week and culminating in a weekend of mini festival events throughout Northern Beaufort County.

Area businesses, agri-tourism and eco-cultural businesses, agencies and non-profits are invited to participate in the event throughout the week in educational, artisan and oystering programs and demonstrations.

The event will celebrate all aspects of the Lowcountry and Carolina Sea Islands’ oystering culture and agri-tourism economy from historical, to architectural, ecological, agricultural, culinary, artisan, and more.

There will be events at the Port Royal Sound Foundation’s Maritime Museum, the Lady’s Island Oyster Farm Venue (Home of the Single Lady Oyster), and at Port Royal’s Community Beer Garden at Sand’s Beach. The final event would typically occur at Waterfront Park, but organizers have taken precautions to keep our attendees and volunteers safe amid the threat of COVID-19.

TICKETS

Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/3pxoAs9.

SCHEDULE

The full event is scheduled for Jan. 7 through Jan. 17. The Festival Weekend will be Jan. 14-16 in various locations.

Jan. 7-17 – Tides to Tables – S.C. Restaurant Week: People from all over the country to come try the amazing culinary creations by South Carolina’s top chefs. Hundreds of restaurants are offering special menu items, promotions, and incredible discounts. For the second year, Beaufort welcomes back “Tides to Table”, a special event to celebrate the “Queen of the Sea Islands,” the elegant oyster. Participating local restaurants this year include Breakwater, Fat Patties (Port Royal), Gilligan’s, Old Bull Tavern, Hearth, Plums, Saltus, Mr. Seafood, Q on Bay, Dockside and the Ribaut Social Club.

All day, Saturday, Jan. 9 – Downtown Beaufort Winter Sidewalk Sale: A sidewalk sale from downtown Beaufort merchants. Outdoor displays will be set up all day long. There will be an Oyster Festival Scavenger Hunt. Find the many oyster located in downtown to win prizes.

5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 14 – The Beginning of An Oyster: A family-friendly evening at the Port Royal Sound Foundation (310 Okatie Highway, Okatie) to explore the Oyster. Free admission (early registration required as a Covid precaution). There will be food trucks, interactive activities, live educational demonstrations and entertainment by Southbound Seventeen.

6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15 – Oystering – A Way of Life: Held at the Lady’s Island Oyster Company, a functioning oyster farm and waterfront venue (31 Hutson Dr., Seabrook), where attendees can see and taste first-hand oyster fare. Tickets are $55 and include an oyster shucker, a dozen “single ladies” and a bowl of chili (additional oysters available for purchase night of). There will be a cash bar (beer and wine) and entertainment by Brother Tonic.

1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16 – The Way The Locals Do It: An early afternoon the way the locals do it at Port Royal Community Beer Garden at Sands Beach inPort Royal. $20 admission includes an oyster shucker. Sea Eagle Market will offer an authentic oyster roast by the bucket and fried food truck a la carte. There will be local craft beer and entertainment by the Cluster Shucks.

EVENT AND COVID POLICIES

The Beaufort Area Hospitality Association is actively monitoring the COVID-19 in the region and is following guidance from local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding gatherings, including CDC recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19. At this time, the upcoming Beaufort Oyster Festival will take place as planned. All events are rain or shine events, no refunds. No coolers, pets (unless service animal), smoking, bikes, skateboards or any other sporting equipment is allowed.