Boone Hall Plantation was a madhouse on Sunday afternoon for the 29th annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Without a cloud in the sky, almost 11,000 people gathered for the sole purpose of pigging out on the ultimate Southern Sunday Funday.
Oyster roast veterans and newbies, including confederate flag-wearing rednecks with rat tails, old frat boys, classic suburban families, and Europeans, were competing for the 80,000 pounds of oysters available all day. Early-bird tailgaters avoided the traffic and arrived on the plantation lot to pregame the event. The crowd became noticeably thicker around mid-afternoon, so much so that it was hard to walk through the event without stepping on someone’s blanket.
The oyster shucking and oyster eating contests seemed to bring out everyone’s comedic side. Contestants raced against the clock and each other to stuff as many oysters down their throats within the allotted time. They were cheered on by the announcer telling them to “open up their throats and suck them down” as the crowd chanted, “shuck, mother shucker, shuck!” Festival T-shirts proved just as inappropriately humorous, with messages printed on them like “Shuck you!” or “Getting my shuck on” (apparently you can do a lot with the word “shuck”).