Beach Report | Festival a great place to bog down

Festival a great place to bog down

The Grand Strand and surrounding areas offer a plethora of delicious eats at festivals distinguished by regional favorites and other classics stomachs have known for years.

“I think people love festival food because of the atmosphere,” said Samantha Norris, executive assistant to the board of directors for the Loris Chamber of Commerce. “At festivals, you want to eat and walk around.”

Norris should know: She is affiliated with one of most beloved festivals in Horry County, S.C.

The annual Loris Bog-Off Festival always appeals to folks because of the good eats, and this year will be no different. The 29th annual event will take place Oct. 18 in Loris, S.C.

Of course, chicken bog, the star attraction, will be plentiful. The dish is a regional favorite that allows chicken, smoked sausage and seasonings to huddle together in white rice for a filling meal that keeps the masses coming back for more.

Smoked turkey legs, funnel cakes, barbecue chicken and shrimp will also be among the eats featured at the Loris Bog-Off Festival.

About 7 miles north of the Loris city limits – in Tabor City, N.C. – food from another popular festival also gets stomachs in an uproar.

The N.C. Yam Festival allows lovers of sweet potatoes to be adventurous with beverages like yam punch or treats like sweet potato bread. The celebration is Oct. 23-26, with a parade and food vendors on Saturday.

More traditional but just as tasty festival foods – such as fish, corn dogs, fries, wings and funnel cakes – can be found at nearly every festival. Coming up quickly: The 52nd annual S.C. Tobacco Festival in Lake City, Friday through next Sunday.

Sample the Greek Festival's classic delights

Of course, these festivals often have cold sweet treats too, including snow cones and ice cream.

And they also give folks a chance to try ethnic dishes they may not eat during the rest of the year.

It is no wonder those hordes of 9-to-5ers trek to the annual Greek Festival for lunch and then head right back later in the evening for dinner. The event, now in its 17th year, will be held at St. John's Greek Orthodox Church in Myrtle Beach, Sept. 25-28. The church is on U.S. 17 Bypass North (at 33rd Avenue Ext. North).

The spinach pie (spanakopita) is like candy to adults and children since neither seem to be able to get enough.

The moussaka (a baked dish with eggplant, beef, cinnamon and other goodness) and pastitsio (a pasta and meat dish) are just as divine and are eaten by the Styrofoam platefuls.

As good as they are, however, bigger temptations await those with a penchant for all things sweet.

From the wildly popular baklava to the fried doughnuts drenched in honey, powdered sugar and cinnamon called loukoumades, people are doomed to ruin their diets.

Eat now, diet later. Your stomach will thank you for it. Johanna Wilson, The Sun-News