From staff reports
Photos by Bob Sofaly
Despite chilly winds coming off the water, an enthusiastic capacity crowd wrapped up the inaugural Beaufort Oyster Festival on Saturday afternoon with The Way The Locals Do It oyster roast at the Port Royal Community Beer Garden at Sands Beach in Port Royal.
Sea Eagle Market offered an authentic oyster roast by the bucket, along with a fried food truck a la carte, local craft beers and tunes from the Cluster Shucks.
The Beaufort Area Hospitality Association, hosts of the Beaufort Oyster Festival, was forced to improvise for the event’s first year
thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival was conceived this year as an 11-day festival week 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.
Th events celebrated 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.
The final event would typically occur at Waterfront Park, but organizers took precautions to keep attendees and volunteers safe amid the threat of COVID-19.
Newlyweds Daniela and Andre’ Walker from New York City didn’t mind the adjusted event schedule.
The couple had business to take care of in Charlotte, N.C., and decided to spend the weekend on Hilton Head Island.
There they read about the oyster roast and made the trip to Port Royal.
“This is great,” they agreed.
Pictured at top: Kathy Jaskiewicz, left, is all bundled up against the biting wind during the Do It Like The Locals oyster roast Saturday at The Sands Beach in Port Royal. Photos by Bob Sofaly.