Shag dancing festival brings people from all over the country to Edisto

Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 9:27 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2022 at 2:50 PM EDT
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EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The 13th annual Edisto Beach Shag Festival kicked off this weekend bringing over 1,000 people together.

The festival first started as a fishing tournament 14 years ago but has now evolved into a much larger event. Darrin Moore, Edisto Beach Shag Festival Event Organizer, says the shag portion became so big that the event became the shag festival.

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

The non-professional shag dancing competition took place on Saturday night, but 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 over 1,000 people were in attendance on Friday for the first night of the festival.

“It has worked out very well. It’s been a great experience, great times, good family fun for everybody, wonderful bands and just a good time,” Moore says.

Visitors can enjoy dancing, live music, food, drinks and vendors. One of the food vendors this year, Shorty’s Smokin’ Butts, purchased 690 pounds of meat for the weekend, and as of 5 p.m. on Saturday, only half was remaining.

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

Part of the profit from the event goes directly to the city and another portion is donated to different organizations.

The festival’s last day is on Sunday with free shag lessons starting at 3 p.m. and the “Shag Doctors” performing from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.