in , , ,

Tis’ the Season for Crawfish, Mardi Gras, Football, & Festivals

Photo from iStock

Crawfish lovers, get your peelers ready because the 2023 season is full steam ahead.

Several Gulf Coast hotspots have already started boiling Mississippi’s favorite crustacean and serving bright red spicy crawfish by the pound with lots of potatoes, corn, sausage, onions, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and even mushrooms and green beans.

And as Mardi Gras is underway, restaurant lines are already forming with wide eyes and hungry mouths eager to pinch the tails and suck the heads.

So how do you know the best time to buy crawfish?

In many respects, crawfish season in the Magnolia State can be as elusive as finding the baby in the King Cake. Several factors must align to determine when crawfish season actually begins and it’s nearly impossible to give a start and end date to the season from year to year.

Fortunately, the start of crawfish season in Mississippi does come with a few weather hints that let you know when it’s time to buy. Even once the season does start picking up, pricing, size, and general availability can be as varied as gumbo recipes from restaurant to restaurant.

But, when they are hot out of the pot, it’s like a dinner bell going off at Quality Seafood & Poultry in Biloxi. The crawfish are already coming in and the quality standard is high. Retail price at Quality Seafood is currently $5.29 a pound live and $6.29 a pound boiled and only $5.99 if you buy five or more pounds.

“The quality of crawfish that we have is fantastic and so everybody wants them,” said production manager Mark McLean.

If you don’t want to boil them yourself, Bozo’s Grocery in Pascagoula is offering two-pound crawfish platters for $8.99 and three-pound platters for $12.99.

And those little scrumptious crustaceans will be here long after the last of the Mardi Gras beads are tossed and the outcome of Super Bowl LVII is determined.

Generally, the crawfish season on the Gulf Coast runs from mid-January through early July for crawfish caught in the wild, with the peak month being April, which is just in time for the 30th annual Crawfish & Music Festival set for April 21-23 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

The loaded lineup for the 2023 festival includes Jordan Davis on Friday, April 21, Dwight Yoakam and Ashley McBryde on Saturday, April 22, and Bailey Zimmerman rounding out the festival on Sunday, April 23.

Other notable upcoming crawfish events include the Shuckers annual Crawfish Boil & Fest on March 11 and 12 in Ridgeland; the 3rd annual South Mississippi Swamp Pop Music Festival & Crawfish Cookoff from March 30-April 1 at the Hancock County Fairgrounds in Kiln; Community Bank’s Downtown Crawfest on April 15 in Laurel; the Downtown Crawfish Jam Music Festival on April 15 in Hattiesburg; C&R’s 15th annual Crawfish Cookoff and Festival on April 22 in Waveland; and the Leland Crawfish Festival on May 6 in Leland.

So tuck your napkin under your chin and get ready because crawfish season is up and crawling with lots of steam and even more spice.


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


Leave a Reply

What do you think?

A Healthy Heart Takes the Cake

Prep girls hoops: D’Iberville, Gulfport earn big wins; Corpuz shines for Biloxi