Held along the historic Little River waterfront, the ‘World Famous’ Blue Crab Festival is one of the largest festivals held along the Grand Strand each year. What started as a small gathering along the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway is now a premier festival that is projected to draw over 50,000 attendees to the area this weekend. The festival features live music; a kids zone; and around 300 arts, crafts, specialty food and business vendors.

Beyond festival food, music and vendors, attendees also have the opportunity to enjoy amazing local seafood from one of the waterfront restaurants. (Our personal favorite might be the soft shell crab sandwich at Crab Catchers, if you’re wondering.) The festival takes place both Saturday, May 19, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 20, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. And every year, we find it pretty easy to spend an entire day at the festival... there is just so much to do and see!

It’s not a bad idea to make a parking plan in advance, however. With such a large crowd expected to attend, I’ve always found that knowing where I’m going to park makes the day much less stressful. Below are a few of the satellite lots that festival organizers have designated. Shuttle buses will run continually from all lots to the festival from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Harbour Style Salon & Spa
Look for the open grass lot behind building – no pavement parking. Area will be marked.
695 US-17
Little River, SC 29566

Hope Willard
701 Highway 17
Little River, SC 29566

River Hills Medical Plaza
4237 River Hills Drive
Little River, SC 29566

Pizzeli’s – Handicap & Staff
Handicap Parking for Patrons and Festival Volunteers and Vendor Staff ONLY. Golf cart shuttle will be available. Look for the open grass lot behind Pizzeli’s Italian Oven – no pavement parking. Area will be marked.
1698 US-17
Little River, SC 29566

(Formerly) South Brunswick Islands Center
9400 Ocean Hwy W
Calabash, NC 28467


Additionally, there are always several unofficial parking lots and spots as you near the Little River waterfront. But prices for those usually range from $5-$20 and require cash. There is also the option of taking a water taxi into the festival. This is something I’ve always wanted to try but haven’t yet. The water taxi leaves from Harbourgate Marina and drops off at the festival along the water. The cost is $15 per person for a round trip ticket on the Sea Screamer and includes your festival admission already. If you’re interested in this, call 843-249-0870 or 843-280-8400.

For those not water taxiing in, regular admission to the festival is $5 for those over the age of 12, and tickets can be purchased at the gate or on their website. (link) Thousands of hours, hundreds of volunteers and immense planning and organization go into this event every year, and it really is one worth checking out. 

In addition to the 2-day festival, the Blue Crab Festival also hosts an annual Beauty Pageant with over 50 contestants and 5k run held along the scenic waterfront. For more information on the Blue Crab Festival and their related events, check out their website at www.bluecrabfestival.org.