For the second time ever, Myrtle Beach has itself an oyster festival.
It’s dubbed appropriately, the 2nd annual Myrtle Beach Oyster Roast, and it is the largest of its kind in the area.
If You Go
- What | Myrtle Beach Oyster Roast
- When | Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Where | Valor Park, Market Common District, 1120 Farrow Parkway
The event features oysters, soups and beers, as well as choices of wine and other menu items.
As far as the temperature for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’ll bet on it being kinda cold.
Though there may not be a better way to heat one’s soul than by attending this Festival Promotions function. After all, seafood and beer are nature’s hand-warmers.
“I’ve been trying to pattern [the Myrtle Beach Oyster Roast] after the oyster event in Charleston,” said Festival Promotions president Mike Shank. “They’ll have 20,000 people. I went last year, and it was absolutely freezing, but there was a crazy amount of people.”
Festival Promotions is the chief organizer of the event. In all, they run six annual festival- style events combining no-fail three-pronged system: food, booze and music. So far, so good for Shank and company, even though many of the events are in infant stages – this year’s inaugural Wine Festival drew larger crowds than expected.
His “Beerfest” event is nearing its third year (March 25-26) and has already developed into a staple event for the city. Irish Fest is on tap for March 12.
“It’s definitely something that’s taken off. The wine festival drew 2,500 people in its first year. So it’s definitely becoming a social setting.”
This year he hopes more than 1,500 people show up to the second annual oyster roast, an optimistic increase in numbers compared to last year.
“There’s not a lot of competition [during this time of year], and I’m hoping people are tired of sitting inside, tired of doing nothing, tired of Christmas,” Shank said. “I hope they come out and hear some good music, eat some good food, and enjoy a good social event.”
Organizers also schedule this year’s roast before football games, which won’t take place until that evening. It rained last January and hindered his walk-up business.
Shank first ran the event last year under the moniker “Winterfest” where he featured 30-40 types of seasonal beers. He said it didn’t go over like he planned because dark beer drinkers are a select group.
To simplify the event and attract a broader range of people, he just decided to call it the Myrtle Beach Oyster Roast.
“I have a long way to go before it gets to where Charleston’s is, but I think the oysters and the cold weather is kind of a tradition in the low country,” he said. “It fills a void for people who want to get out in colder weather. If the temperature is 55 and the sun is shining, it’s still a great day to get outside and do something.”
Admission to this year’s oyster roast is free, and tickets will be sold for beer and food.
Oysters will be sold by the dozen and the true aficionados are encouraged to bring their own shucking knife.
While the festival’s main dish is the food and beer, the third integral part is the music.
The Paul Grimshaw Band will take the main stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. After that, Mystic Vibrations will play the rest of the day starting at 2:30 p.m.
In the meantime, guests can treat themselves to any of the festival’s eight beers ranging in price from $3-$5. On hand will be Founders Breakfast Stout for $5 and a special brew from Terrapin called Boom Shakalager. The Imperial Lager is 9.0% ABV.
If you miss the Myrtle Beach Oyster Roast, Festival Promotions is putting on a similar event Feb. 5 in nearby Conway. The inaugural Conway Oyster Roast will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit myrtlebeachbeerfest.com.