They look like small lobsters. They’re known, depending on where you find them, as crayfish, craydids, crawdaddies, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs, or yabbies. But Saturday at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, crawfish was the chosen name for the main course and theme of the day.

The Rosewood Crawfish Festival returned after being canceled due to the pandemic in 2020. Masks were required and other precautions were in place this year, but the familiar elements that have made the event popular were all present for the 15th edition.

Prettier Than Matt, Flipturn, Space Force, Duncan Sims and the Accused and headliner Drivin' N' Cryin' provided a day full of live music. Flying Axe SC offered guests a chance to hurl sharp objects at targets in a safe environment. Carnival rides and inflatables and face painting and more family fun options were available, and more than two dozen artists were on hand to exhibit and sell their creations.

The main attraction, however, remained the food - and particularly the crawfish.

“I have never eaten crawfish before in my life but I bought a $20 plate figuring I’d better go all in, and it was good,” said travel blogger Sara Beth Wade of roadtripsandrollercoasters.com, who attended the festival for the first time. “Lots of work and mess for not much meat but it was fun. I chased it a little later with some amazing fries and two little alligator bites. Fun day!”

The festival, which took place on Rosewood Drive in its earlier years, moved to the fairgrounds in 2019 to cut down on production costs. It is still produced by The Rosewood Merchants Association and the money raised goes into improving the Rosewood Drive area for residents and businesses.

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