Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yemassee Shrimp Festival Extraordinaire

The 22nd Annual Shrimp Festival lured us to Yemassee this weekend, a small South Carolina Lowcountry town built by early families of shrimpers and the railroad that came through after the Civil War.

We loved it!


First stop: a vintage Air Stream trailer turned into the Silver Bullet Cafe with "shrimps," shrimp fried rice, fish nuggets, tilapia, whiting, and many other temptations on the menu.






The cafe seating was taken ...

but that was okay. We always travel prepared with all we need for a tailgate picnic.


We had barbecued ribs, shrimp 'n grits, and barbecue hash which is nothing like hash as I know it (that is, leftover potatoes and roast beef chopped up with some onions and fried together). This was spicy barbecue sauce, pork, corn and other vegetables made into soup. Very tasty.


Dessert came from this vehicle, once a utility trailer, now a homemade vehicle for ice cream and slushies sales.

Behind it you can see a hay wagon made into another food truck. A big vat was boiling onboard to cook crabs and they were served by the two men from a big cooler.

Other families set up hot dog stands, popcorn tables, and pig roasters right along the highway. There were obviously no health inspectors or safety inspectors, no vendor permits required, just home cooking.

The hottest items at the shrimp festival were golf carts being rented out for rides from someone's front yard. The carts were loaded up with families and teenagers driving all the folks they could hold all over town with great exuberance, laughter, and noise.

We didn't rent a golf cart and here's what we didn't eat. (Although now I kind of wish we had!)

There's always next year!











There were a few small rides, a big gospel concert, people selling homegrown apples and a few crafts, and the band was setting up for a street dance. That bright light you see above the Yemassee water tower? That's the moon.



  1. The sampling of foods at the festival must have given everyone something delicious to eat! Not sure about the Gator delicacies either. I'll see what you think next year!

  2. Looks like a nice relaxed atmosphere, free of the normal commercialisation. After you with the alligator bites though.

  3. Excellent! Looks like fun. I have not tried gator yet. They've had it at the MN State Fair for a long time now, but I have not gotten in line yet. I would hard to decide what to eat with all you listed. I would have liked the Gospel concert, too. Good to be ready to tailget, isn't it? I love the vintage Air Stream! My folks had a smaller one for our family of six!! GN and I just happened on a food fest on Saturday, the morning of Garrison Keilor's street dance, and we spotted a food truck made from an emergency vehicle. It was called "Dine.1.1". Very clever. What a good way to get back to SC!!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful day! Not sure I would want to try those alligator bites! :)

  5. Sounds amazing, what a great celebration with some wonderful food offerings. Not sure about gator...

  6. You two find such fun places to go and fun things to do! Two things I really don't care to try are alligator and snake. I don't care if both do taste like chicken! :)

  7. Fabulous small town entertainment. Definitely better to be the one taking a bite of the alligator, rather than the other way around.

  8. Looks like a fun and unique festival!

  9. Interesting.
    I guess that is T.O.H. at one of the food outlets to do some purchasing
    unless you have taken to photographing men at large - ha ha!
    Yes the "gater food would be given a wide berth by me and I'd be getting
    the hell out of the place when the clarions of the Gospel and Bible
    Concert started.
    Shrimp dishes are certainly very popular in the dear ole South.
    PS; Weather: 7.20 am Thursday 24th. Cloudless day and starting now to warm up,
    BUT Spring rain is URGENTLY needed nation wide for the summer feed and greenery.

  10. We use to go to the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival when we first moved here, but 2 or 3 times was enough.

  11. Great way and different way to have a picnic..

  12. Such food trucks are fun to try different dishes, but an aligator I wouldn't try!

  13. What fun! What no Alligator bites for you? I wonder if it does taste like chicken? :)

  14. I would have been first in the queue for the crab.

  15. It is vey interesting shrimp festival. What a pity we didn't those types in Europe..

  16. That looks like a fun day with fabulous food. That tail gate picnic is a good idea for emergencies.

  17. I would try Alligator... well we serve up Kangaroo for all our overseas visitors so fairs fair! Your desserts are a bargain at $1 & $2!!
    Have a great week.
    Wren x