McLellanville Shrimpfest & Blessing of the Fleet

The little town of McClellanville…

….is a charming little hidden gem along the Carolina coast. Located along Jeremy Creek, halfway between Georgetown and Charleston just off Highway 17 sits this lovely little shrimping town nestled among the oaks, dripping with Spanish moss. McClellanville is called home by less than 500 people (as of 2010). Here in McClellanville reside in the vicinity of a dozen shrimp boats of varying size who provide their bountiful catch of shrimp to the Carolinas and beyond. The home of rice and cotton plantations from the 1860’s, the town turned to shrimping in the mid 20’s and it continues to be best known for its shrimping fleet and seafood industries. When you get to McClellanville, don’t expect stop lights, Walmarts or Food Lions. You can expect to see one restaurant in town: TW Graham (and a spectacular restaurant at that!), one coffee shop: Eleven 45 and a thriving arts community and gallery, the McClellanville Arts Council. Other than that…lots of charming little churches, oak lined streets and oh yes….shrimp boats!

Each year the town comes together as they’ve done for 40 years now to celebrate the shrimpers and their families with a glamorous celebration of shrimp in all its art forms…fried, steamed, with grits, on kabobs…and so much more! More important than that though is the blessing of their fleet! The shrimpers line Jeremy Creek decorated from stem to stern and packed with families who brave the elements out at sea to bring their harvest of shrimp to satisfy our seemingly insatiable appetite! It is a sight to see as they pass by the town park alongside Jeremy Creek to receive their blessings from the local minister. 

The festival is a day long affair with plenty of food, great local musicians, activities for the kids, commemorative apparel from the festival and a field full of arts and craft vendors, but not your usual fare of sidewalk tag sale vendors! You will see (and purchase!) some of the most unique creations  you’ve likely never seen. You will of course see a collection of some simply stunning sweetgrass creations, a low country tradition for hundreds of years! We were lucky enough to enjoy our first festival last year and are looking forward to this year’s! The festival this year will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mark your calendars!

If you’d like to make a very full day out of it…do what we did. We got there very early in the morning with our bicycles and toured the entire town, up and down Jeremy Creek and beyond. I will post additional photos from around town from our bike trip in a subsequent article. Here are some photos from last year’s festival. Hope you enjoy them. Click on any photo to view full size and please feel free to share to your social network of choice. You can also send any photo as a *FREE* E-Card by clicking the link in the photo.

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