Shag Dance Festival draws people from across the country to Edisto

EDISTO ISLAND, SC (WCSC) – The 13th annual Edisto Beach Shag Festival kicked off this weekend, bringing together more than 1,000 people.

The festival started as a fishing tournament 14 years ago, but has now grown into a much larger event. Darrin Moore, event organizer of the Edisto Beach Shag Festival, explains that the shag part has become so big that the event has become the shag festival.

“It just evolved over the years into what I think is just a world-class event here on Edisto Beach,” Moore said.

The non-professional shag dance competition took place on Saturday night, but the shag professionals continue to perform throughout the weekend.

Many residents attend the festival, but some visitors this year come from West Virginia, New York, Florida and Savannah. Moore says more than 1,000 people were in attendance Friday for the first night of the festival.

“It worked very well. It was a great experience, great times, great family time for everyone, wonderful bands and just a good time,” Moore said.

Visitors can enjoy dancing, live music, food, drink, and vendors. One of the food vendors this year, Short’s Smokin-Butts, bought 690 pounds of meat for the weekend, and at 5 p.m. on Saturday only half was left.

“We will keep coming back to Edisto; Everyone has been very supportive and the people here are great,” says Ashley Green-Lamb and JJ Lamb, owners of Short’s Smokin-Butts.

Part of the profits from the event goes directly to the city and another part is donated to various organizations.

The last day of the festival is Sunday with free shag lessons starting at 3pm and the “Shag Doctors” performing from 4pm to 8pm.

Toya J. Bell