Columbia is in the heart of the South Carolina Midlands, and offers visitors historical sites, ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, and contemporary attractions for all ages. The city was founded in 1786 as a neutral point for South Carolina’s capital. Today, it’s the state's hub for culture, complete with museums, art exhibitions, and a variety of performance art venues. From shopping in the Five Points Neighborhood to riding jet skis on Lake Murray, Columbia offers something for every visitor.
The Rosewood Crawfish Festival is the city’s go-to early summer event, and organizers expect more than 12,000 attendees. It will take place May 6, on Rosewood Avenue between South Harden and South Holly Streets. The festival is a must for any crawfish lover, featuring more than 10,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish, cooked by Cody from Cody’s Crawfish. Families will love the Lil’ Crawdaddy Carnival and its kid-friendly rides, games, and entertainment. An Artist’s Village will feature nearly 25 different local and regional artisans, selling and exhibiting a variety of handmade art. The Crawdaddy Dash 5K will take participants on a running tour of the Rosewood neighborhood and awards them with a T-shirt and entry to the festival (with paid registration to the run). We got the opportunity to interview David Britt, a representative of the event, to learn more about this Louisiana Crawfish spectacular in South Carolina.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
DB: This is our 12th year.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
DB: We have consistently hit 12,000 attendees the last few years.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
DB: We attract a lot of families. Our age demographic ranges roughly from 25-50.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
DB: This event is unique because it's the one time of year that you can get the best quality crawfish available. These crawfish are raised in Louisiana and prepared by one of Louisiana's top crawfish cookers: Cody from Cody's Crawfish. The event is easy to enjoy with the whole family. There are tons of attractions for the kids including rides, treats, face painting, and more. We also have more than 25 other food vendors that provide a diverse selection of culinary options.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
DB: We have four stages of live music, 10,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish, mechanical rides, bounce houses, 25+ unique food vendors, 20+ art and craft vendors, many different styles of domestic and craft beer, and a chance to enjoy the Rosewood neighborhood.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
DB: Our big musical headliner this year is The Spin Doctors. We will also host the Blue Dogs and much more. For a full list click here.
RAL: What dining options will people encounter?
DB: We work hard to vary the kinds of foods available from our street vendors. We have just about anything you could think of from Indian food to Mexican.
RAL: What is the overall environment like?
DB: Laid back and relaxing with a great sense of community and socializing.
RAL: Is there maybe one place in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?
DB: If travelers want a unique lodging experience, I recommend The Sheraton on Main Street or The Claussens Inn in Five Points.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
DB: The event has a huge economic impact on the city of Columbia, and also shines a light on the awesome Rosewood Drive area. It gives attendees a chance to check out area businesses that are located within the festival zone.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
DB: The event is organized by a non-profit organization called the Rosewood Merchants Association. It's the primary fundraiser for the organization. The money is used to fund beautification projects, public safety initiatives, and a team that cleans up trash on Rosewood Drive.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
DB: We attract visitors from all over the United States. It's a laid back experience that offers something for everyone. Advance tickets are only $10 for adults and children 12 and under are free. It's a great chance to have a meaningful experience with the family, as well as an opportunity to eat the best crawfish in South Carolina.
For more information about the Rosewood Crawfish Festival, please visit the event website.