The 25th Annual Awendaw Blue Crab Festival in Charleston, SC

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Good news, folks. After a two-year hiatus, the 25th Annual Awendaw Blue Crab Festival is returning this month.

What to expect

Hosted by the Town of Awendaw on Sat., Aug. 27, this annual, family-friendly celebration is expected to bring in 3,000+ guests at its 300-acre event venue at the Town of Awendaw Municipal Park at 7997 Doar Rd.

Though some might assume the event will only offer blue crab, the festival is set to feature local food trucks, more than 75 art + retail vendors, beer and wine, live music by The Secretsaka one of Charleston’s longest-running funk shows — pontoon boat and hayrides, and a kids’ area.

And of course, there will be bushels of Lowcountry Blue Crabs served by the bucket in three flavors: Traditional, garlic, and cajun. Heads up: Crab buckets, beer and wine, hayrides, and boat rides will all require tickets.

General admission tickets are available for $10 if purchased in advance, or $15 at the door. If you’re looking to go all out this year, grab a VIP ticket for $125. A portion of the admission proceeds is set to be donated to “Build the Park” and other Awendaw charities.

But some (or all) of this may not be new information to you — seeing as how the annual celebration dates back to around 1994. So what’s the story?

How it began

In 1994, a group of Awendaw residents gathered to enjoy a few bushels of crab under an oak tree at Town Hall when the idea of a blue crab festival dawned on them.

What began as a small get-together became the annual Awendaw Blue Crab Festival that we know and love. It’s as simple as that.

Blue crabs in the Lowcountry

Though sometimes regarded as aggressive in nature, the blue crab is admired in the Lowcountry and said to support commercial fishery. The crustacean actually requires both inshore brackish and high salinity ocean waters to fulfill its life cycle — so it sounds like we’ve got the perfect environment.

Though there are other small swimming crabs in the family, this is the only crab with recreational and commercial importance in the state. The meat is used for various quintessential Lowcountry dishes — peep this story by Charleston Magazine featuring eight recipes from local restaurants.

We hope you head to this year’s Awendaw Blue Crab Festival with a new appreciation for the festival + the blue crabs significance in the Lowcountry. Let’s get to crab crackin’, Charleston. *

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