What’s the food situation?
Crawfish, of course — specifically more than 10,000 pounds of the little red critters shipped straight from Louisiana.
If you want more than that, though, here’s some of what’s available: Alligator tails are fried up. Etouffee with the festivals titular crustacean is served over rice. Gumbo will be available, along with jambalaya, as well as assorted po’ boys and boudin sausage.
Say Louisiana fare isn’t your thing. You have a number of options, from fish tacos to muffulettas to barbeque to Philly cheesesteaks.
An array of fair foods — like turkey legs, Polish sausage and funnel cakes — are also on deck.
Pick up libations include a gourmet beer garden and a wine garden.
How do you eat these strange little river creatures?
First you got to catch the crawfish.
At the Rosewood Crawfish Festival, that means getting there a bit early, as people tend to scarf the crawdads down.
When you do get your hands on some, here’s how to eat them in three simple steps:
1. Pull the the head part from the tail and set the head aside.
2. Squeeze the tail to crack it open and get the meat out. Deliciousness awaits.
3. Pick the head back up. Suck the juices from cavity of the head. (OK, that part's optional.)
Most folks eat the fellows boiled with Old Bay or whatever seasoning the experts put in.
Usually, this comes with some potatoes and corn, much like a Lowcountry boil.
Throw some hot sauce on your mudbugs if you’re feeling spicy.
Who’s bringing the jams?
Bud Light Stage
On Rosewood Drive between Woodrow and Harden streets.
SUSTO, 6 p.m. An Americana-rock act that’s grown exponentially over the last three years with their combination of songwriterly tunes mixed with personal and wit-filled lyrics (the song "Drug Money" is an entertaining based-on-truth story about someone slashing their tires) as well as just enough jam essence to make people move.
The High Divers, 4:30 p.m. Southern-indie-Americana that’s part The Band and part Bruce Springsteen blended with everything that’s happened in rock music since those artists' heyday.
Travelin’ Kine, 3 p.m. Country rock in the modern sense vis-a-vis Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, and Chris Stapleton.
Megan Jean and the KFB, 1:30 p.m. Gypsy swing voodoo duo that stews the mystical energies of the South.
Lord Nelson, noon. Acoustic guitar songwriting with hot guitar licks and rhythm section which bring kisses of Soul to their music.
First Citizens Stage
Howard Street, south of Rosewood Drive.
Black Iron Gathering, 4:30 p.m. The Flogging Molly of Columbia.
Ashes of Old Ways, 3 p.m. Hook-laden indie rock.
She Returns from War, 1:30 p.m. Ragged folk-rock with depth.
Donald Merckle and the Blacksmiths, noon. Acoustic balladeering with rock instrumentation.
Many other bands and solo performers grace the streets of the Crawfish Festival on two other stages, such as Columbia favorite the Reggie Sullivan Band and Greenville bootstomper Darby Wilcox.
What else is going on?
Aside form the festive atmosphere, music, and crawdaddy eating, the Rosewood Crawfish Festival offers much more.
The Crawdaddy Dash is a 5K that starts and ends at City Roots near Owens Field airport.
It's $35 to register or $40 the day of the race. The jaunt roams through the Rosewood neighborhood, beginning at 9 a.m., with an awards ceremony starting at 10 a.m. at City Roots. All participates get admission to the festival. Register at crawdaddydash.com.
Every year, the festival features an artists’ village of more than 25 artists displaying and selling their work. After sucking down some of Louisiana's finest export, you can get a taste South Carolina and Columbia’s art scene.
The Li’l Crawdaddy Carnival offers fun for the kids with face painting, crawfish races, rides, bouncy houses and more.
If you go
Rosewood Crawfish Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 12.
WHERE: On Rosewood Drive between Holly and Harden streets.
ADMISSION: $10. Children 12 and under get in free with an adult. Admission does not include food (even crawfish) or drinks.
PARKING: Park at the State Fairgrounds RV lot at the corner of Rosewood Drive and Assembly Street. Free shuttles run every 20 minutes, delivering attendees to and from the entrance gate. Handicap parking is available at First Citizens Bank, 2600 Rosewood Drive.
WORTH NOTING: The festival goes on rain or shine. No refunds are offered.