Yemassee Shrimp Festival in South Carolina

by Lacy Nichols
The Yemassee Shrimp Festival is an annual celebration.

The Yemassee Shrimp Festival is an annual celebration.

Andrea Chu/Photodisc/Getty Images

The coastal town of Yemassee, South Carolina, serves as home to the Yemassee Shrimp Festival each year. The festival celebrates the ties Yemassee has to the growing shrimping industry and spans several days. The festival hosts a slew of events ranging from pageants to fireworks and draws attendees from all over the state.


Yemassee, South Carolina, has had strong ties to the shrimping industry since the 1980s, when a group of Floridian shrimpers moved to the area. This resulted in a growing shrimping industry in the small South Carolina town. In 1993 key members of the community asked the mayor if a festival could be enacted, and the Yemassee Shrimp Festival was born. The festival has evolved from year to year to include more activities.


Several competitions take place during the Yemassee Shrimp Festival. A few of the competitions are actually pre-cursors to the festival but still revolve around the shrimping theme. Prior to the festival, Yemassee hosts a beauty pageant, talent show and shrimp battle, all of which are open to the community.


After the competitions take place, the festival hosts many events over the weekend, including pet shows and kiddie parades. Typically, a fireworks display follows the events of one particular day. During the daytime, Yemassee becomes home to craft fairs, live music, a carnival and a dance. All of these events are open to anyone, but the carnival requires a fee for the rides. Block parties are also a part of the festival, in addition to shrimp galore.

Mud Run

The Yemassee Shrimp Festival's culmination is the mud run. The mud run happens multiple times during the year, one being during the shrimp festival. During a mud run, contestants pay a small fee to be able to compete against others by racing large trucks around a track in the mud. As racers drive the trucks through the mud, spectators of the event are splattered. Application fees are divvied among the contestants who place in the mud run.

Photo Credits

  • Andrea Chu/Photodisc/Getty Images