Bring Your Appetite to Ware Shoals' Catfish Feastival

What makes a festival a feastival? Food, of course! And there is sure to be plenty of it at this year’s 36th annual Catfish Feastival in Ware Shoals. But while food is the reason for the festival, there is a lot more than food going on—with music, rides, and more, there is fun for the whole family.

The feastival will run Memorial Day weekend on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28. Carnival rides will be set up for families to also enjoy on Wednesday and Thursday nights in addition to Friday and Saturday. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights are Family Night, with a $5 discount on a bracelet for unlimited rides. No coupon is available for Saturday, but rides are open all day, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

According to organizers, more than 20,000 people attended the two-day event last year. Entertainment this year will include Elvis tribute artist Austin Irby, County music band Darrell Hardwood, musician Bob Shepard, the Russell Scott Band, Dixie Barnes, and beach music band Carolina Coast Band with Rhonda McDaniel. And if you look closely, you may see a familiar face playing the drums from 4:00–6:00 on Saturday—yes, that is weatherman Jack Roper from Channel 7!

On Saturday, festivities will include a parade, which begins at 9:30 a.m., and opening Memorial Day ceremony where Ware Shares mayor John Hansen will welcome feastival-goers at the Town Square. The national anthem will be played by the Ware Shoals High School band and the Armed Forces Medley and Commandant Jewel McCullough, SC Army National Guard will recognize area Veterans. A car show will also be held on Saturday.

The Catfish Feastival will also include arts & crafts vendors featuring bears, dolls, pocketbooks, jewelry, candles, baby items, kids clothing, marshmallow shooters, hair bows, ladies’ accessories, leather goods, wooden toys, wreaths, puppets, and more. Face painting, a tractor show, and amusement rides will round out the family fun.

Of course a Catfish Feastival can’t take place without the food. The Ware Shoals First Baptist Church’s seasoned cooks will be returning to cook their famous fried catfish plates, catfish stew, fried and BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, and much more. There will also be Greek, Caribbean, and southern cooking vendors offering chicken wings, burgers, Hawaiian shaved ice, ice cream, funnel cakes, nachos, fresh squeezed lemonade, pizza, bbq, fried pork skins and bake sale items.

So bring Grandma and the kids, along with your lawn chairs and appetites, to this family-friendly event and prepare to feast. 

Photo Credits: Banner, top right, and bottom right—Catfish Feastival; Middle left—Carolina Coast Band with Rhonda McDaniel

Sherry Jackson is a freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur. Her articles have been featured in InfoWorld Magazine,, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, See the South, Beckett Media, The Simpsonville Sentinel and many other print and online publications. For clips and examples of her work, please visit her website at