Murrells Inlet 2020 Oyster Roast going full steam ahead
Davis Skipper has been cooking – and eating – oysters since he was a boy. That’s why you’ll find him steaming the seafood delicacies Saturday, Nov. 20, at the 17th Murrells Inlet 2020 Oyster Roast.
Skipper’s recipe for success is simple. “All you need,” he says, “is a propane tank, a gas burner and a big metal pot.”
There are no extra ingredients needed. No extra spices. Not even salt.
“You just add a small amount of water in the bottom, just enough to make steam, and let them cook until the shell cracks a little bit,” the Murrells Inlet 2020 board member said. “They cook up nicely in their natural salinity.”
Skipper is one of about a dozen volunteers who will steam oysters for the oyster roast, one of the most popular annual events on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®. Hours of the Saturday event are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Wicked Tuna parking lot near the MarshWalk and the Murrells Inlet Veterans’ Pier.
So for those looking for something to do in Murrells Inlet and on the Hammock Coast® this weekend, this may just be the ticket. Murrells Inlet, originally a fishing village, is today one of the main coastal communities in Georgetown County, also made up of southern Garden City, Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. Murrells Inlet has long been heralded as the “Seafood Capital of South Carolina.” Today, the village is a bustling community beloved by locals and vacationers alike. Just north of Huntington Beach State Park and overlooking the southern end of Garden City, Murrells Inlet is home to a number of well-known restaurants that draw visitors not just from those visiting the Hammock Coast® but also from Myrtle Beach, Charleston and North Carolina.
In addition to all-you-can-eat oysters, there will be other food including barbecue plates from Danny’s B.B.Q., kettle corn and freshly baked pies, as well as soft drinks, beer, and wine. Vendors will include oyster shell art and specialty dog treats. Live entertainment will be provided by The Rory Zak Band. Admission to the event is free, but oyster tickets are $45.
“This community event overlooking the scenic marsh showcases Murrells Inlet at its finest,” Skipper said. “This time of year, the air is crisp, and locals and visitors alike come together to share a meal.”
In fact, Skipper sees the oyster roast as more of a social than a culinary event and compared people standing around the oyster table to a family at Sunday dinner.
The fresh oysters are provided this year by Seven Seas Seafood of Murrells Inlet. Although the steamed oysters can be eaten as-is, he said many people dress them up with cocktail sauce, hot sauce or crackers as they shuck them open with their oyster knives and slurp them down.
“Some people like oysters dry and some like them wet,” Skipper said, “so we try to provide a mix, so everyone is happy.”
Stacy Johnson, executive director of Murrells Inlet 2020, said all proceeds from the event will help the nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to preserving the inlet while growing and promoting the community’s commerce and lifestyle. She said this year’s oyster roast will be a little bit different than years past, due to lingering Covid-19 precautions.
“This year, individual buckets will be given out to people instead of dumping the oysters on the tables,” Johnson said. “People can come back and fill their buckets up as many times as they want.”
She suggests that people who are eating oysters bring their own oyster knives, towels, and gloves for shucking. If people need to purchase an oyster knife, there will be some available while supplies last, she said.
“We hope everyone will come out and enjoy this fun event in a great location with wonderful views,” Johnson said.
For more information about the event, visit murrellsinletsc.com, or call the Murrells Inlet 2020 office at 843-357-2007. Wicked Tuna is located at 4123 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, located between Myrtle Beach to the north and Charleston to the south, encompasses the beach communities of Georgetown County, as well the historic cities of Georgetown and Andrews.
By Clayton Stairs, tourism manager, Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®
If you want to know more about South Carolina’s Hammock Coast®, check out these stories: