MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — With the 19th annual Murrells Inlet Oyster Road just around the corner, oyster harvesting season is already in full swing.

More than 1,500 people attended last year’s event, going through more than 150 bushels of oysters. Organizers are expecting a similar turn this year.

The Nov. 4 event is marsh-to-table, and it’s all you can eat.

“We are going to take some wonderful Murrells Inlet oysters,” said Stay Johnson, executive director of Murrells Inlet 2020. “[We will] throw them in a big steam pot and steam them and then throw them on the table. You can come up, take your bucket, fill your bucket up and you go enjoy them.”

The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot at the Wicked Tuna restaurant.

“You pull up, you check in and get your wristband, get your oyster bucket, and go and enjoy the festivities for the rest of the day,” Johnson said.   

Oyster roasts are a tradition originating from the Lowcountry. Johnson said it’s the perfect opportunity to get the community together for great views, yummy food, live music and an enjoyable time.

“It’ just one of our biggest events for the year,” Johnson said.

As oyster roasts pop up along the Grand Strand, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to roast responsibly.

“When you are hosting an oyster roast, more than likely people don’t know that you are even going to recycle the shell and what that means, so we always recommend making an announcement,” said Holly Sommers, the DNR’s oyster shell recycling program manager.

Sommers said it’s important to inform people where the designated recycling bins are and to separate trash from shells. It’s also good to tell people that their shells will be used for oyster management practices.

“Oyster roasts, I mean, it just started getting really heavy,” Sommers said. “Once it gets really cold, that’s when people want to do is sit around a table eating some warm, yummy oysters, probably drinking a beer or two. Just make sure that beer can doesn’t get tossed back in with that shell because we will find it.”

Sommers said it’s important for event coordinators to have a plan that includes knowing where the public drop-off locations are.

Johnson said organizers of the Murrells Inlet roast plan to have bins from the DNR onsite. She also said tickets for the event sell out fast and they end up turning people away at the entrance. Tickets are currently available online.

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adriana on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram and read more of her work here