September 2009

Food, Fun, Friends, Music, and More...What's Not to Love About a FESTIVAL?!

Author: Blanche T. Sullivan

Take just about any subject (e.g. water, dog, roofing) or food item (e.g. shrimp, crab, turnip) and add the word festival to it and you are almost guaranteed a crowd-drawing, crowd-pleasing event. Talk about marketing power! So what exactly constitutes a festival? When did festivals begin, and why do we love them so?

According to a number of historical accounts, the festival concept dates back to ancient Egyptian times and has religious roots. People would celebrate such things as fertility of the land and enjoy a reprieve from their daily grind, or temple building, for example.

Temple officials would reportedly distribute loaves of bread and jars of beer to the masses, and the amount of suds and loaves the king dispensed was often an indicator of a kingdom’s wealth—the wealthier the kingdom, the more elaborate the celebration.

Ancient people viewed festivals as an opportunity to give thanks, eat, drink, dance and be merry. Over the years, festivals have increased in popularity, exist in a huge range of styles and themes and attendees still view them as an opportunity to eat (a lot), dance (sometimes on tables), drink and give thanks (often for beer!). And while we may no longer have kings handing out jars of beer to their subjects (too bad!), we still love our festivals, particularly in the Lowcountry, and see them as a great way to celebrate our community and hang out with friends! Here are just a few taking place this month and next…

Seafood Jazz & Brew Festival
Beer and jazz lovers will unite on Hilton Head Island for the 3rd annual Seafood Jazz & Brew Festival, a passionate, weeklong celebration of beer, world-class cuisine and jazz. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some amazing seafood, fabulous brews and incredible entertainment. This year’s festival will also feature the 1st Annual Men Drinking Beer (MDB) event, hosted by Growler’s Tap Room and Barrier Island BBQ!

Date/Time: Various events running September 14-19, 2009
Location: Brews on the Harbour event takes place on September 19 at Shelter Cove Harbour. A full schedule of the week’s events and ticket pricing is
available online.
Cost: Pricing varies by event.
Contact: Hilton Head Area Hospitality Association (843) 686-4944, or visit

The 2009 Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival
The eclectic and historic district of Bluffton, beloved and known for its quirky arts community and natural beauty, will serve as the site for the fifth annual weeklong celebration of locally harvested seafood, amazing and authentic Lowcountry cuisine, incredible art, fascinating history and unsurpassed Southern hospitality. Come enjoy and celebrate the Bluffton State of Mind!

Date: October 18-25, 2009
Time: The weeklong event kicks off on Sunday, October 18, with a blessing of the fleet at the Church of the Cross at 2 p.m. and a boat parade on the May
River. Visit the event Web site for a complete listing of events.
Location: Historic Bluffton
Contact: (843) 757-BLUF;

Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn’s Annual Community Festival
One of the most family-friendly and well-attended events around, this year’s festival is sure to be more fun than ever! Jumpin’ Jaxx will once again provide its popular obstacle course, as well as a new bungee run and new sports games. The Hilton Head Fire Fighters Association will cook up their tasty hamburgers and hot dogs and have beer, wine and soft drinks available for purchase, while the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand with the Ident-A-Kid program both evenings and may provide other programs.

Attendees will also enjoy some impressive magic tricks, courtesy the Members of the Lowcountry Society of Magicians, and a Mother Nature Trail—an exciting new addition to the festival, featuring costumed characters representing the creatures found on the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn’s historic grounds. Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn is also home to several historic barns and structures.

Date: Friday, October 23, and Saturday, October 24
Time: 5:30-9:30 p.m. both days
Location: Historic grounds of Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island
Cost: $10 per vehicle (each day), which includes $5 worth of food/activities
tickets. Admission is free for museum members.
Contact: Robin Swift at (843) 689-3033 ext. 224 or

Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Attendees will enjoy an abundance of fresh Wild SC Shrimp, the best shrimp in the world, and other fabulous food prepared by Beaufort’s best restaurants, at the 15th annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival, hosted by Main Street Beaufort, USA and the SC Shrimpers Association. The event kicks off on Friday night and continues Saturday, with events throughout, including a music and history walk, shrimp peeling contest, arts and crafts, live music, a restaurant competition for the people’s choice award for the best shrimp dish and Silver Cup award for the overall restaurant. Hot dogs and hamburgers will also be available.

Date: October 2-3,, 2009
Time: October 2: 5:30-10 p.m.; October 3: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. with a 5K Walk/Run at 8 a.m.
Location: Downtown Beaufort, Henry C. Chambers Water Front Park
Cost: Event is free and open to the public. Tickets will be sold for food and
Contact: Main Street Beaufort, USA (843) 525-6644; Androula Weiland (843)
684-1987or; or visit or

Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
Hilton Head Island’s 8th annual celebration of automobiles returns, promising more excitement than ever. Each year, the event treats thousands to historic vehicles, concept cars, a live automobile auction, racecar hot laps, food, art exhibits, a special children’s area and much more!

Date: October 29-November 1, 2009
Time: Varies by day.
Location: Historic grounds of Honey Horn (HHI) and The Westin Savannah
Harbour Golf Resort & Spa (Hutchinson Island, adjacent to downtown
Cost: Ticket prices vary by day/event. Packages available.
Contact: For more information, please contact Lindsey Harrell Brown, or (843) 785-SHOW, ext. 2, or visit

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