December 2010

December 2010: OUR TOWN: How the Lowcountry Does The Holidays

Author: David Tobias

For those who have spent holiday seasons in the north, hoping for snow, but enduring the bleak brown of bare trees, welcome to the Lowcountry, where we don’t fret about such things. Snow’s not happening, and we know it (last year was an aberration), so we can get on with other more predictable parts of a very lively December.

For a large number of people of this community who know how lucky they are, the holiday season is a time to be effusive about it—Hilton Head and Bluffton residents are known for their spirit of giving and their generosity. And there are plenty of opportunities to help those who aren’t so lucky during the holidays.

DOVE STREET LIGHTS, while not technically an “event,” is perhaps the best way to feel connected to traditional Christmas. It’s been described as a “drive-through extravaganza” (for those of you from North Carolina, this is not like a Brew-Thru), with thousands of cars making their way on Dove both sides of North Forest Beach Drive, on the south end of the island, to take in the sights of approximately 60,000 lights on more than 30 houses in the neighborhood.

Dove Street Lights was started 20 years ago by Dove Street resident Rob Lolik, who decorated an enormous magnolia tree in his front yard when his daughter Amanda was born. Keeping up with the Lolik’s, but perhaps not knowing the motivation, his neighbor across the street, Paul Beckler, followed suit. It didn’t take long for the entire neighborhood to galvanize around this project, and soon it became a focal point and fundraiser for the Deep Well Project, which raises funds and collects food for people in need. Lights are on from about 5 p.m. until about 1 a.m. starting on Saturday, December 4 and will run until at least New Year’s Day. GPS it. You can’t miss it. The canned food, toys and cash donation drop off is at Rita’s Italian Ice in Coligny Plaza.

One of the most popular in recent years is TASTE OF THE SEASON, which starts the season off on Friday, December 3, is one of Hilton Head Island’s most popular culinary events. Sponsored by the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the event limits the number of $45 tickets to 150, which allows guests to sample gourmet food from island restaurants and hang out in the company of 35 top area chefs, including Dinner: Impossible’s Robert Irvine.

OLD TOWN BLUFFTON’S CHRISTMAS PARADE is definitely in keeping with Bluffton’s well-known “state of mind.” Starting at 1 p.m. (more or less…don’t forget this is Bluffton time) on Saturday, December 4, this year’s parade begins at the corner of Prichard and Bridge Streets, next to Town Hall, and makes its way through eclectic Calhoun Street, to May River Road, then to Pin Oak, ending at Oscar Frazier Park. Insider hint: Be on the lookout for buzzards!



Gregg Russell’s Annual Christmas Concert:
At Harbour Town under the Liberty Tree, December 23. For More Information visit

The 19th Annual Jingle Jingle 5K Road Race and Health Walk:
Features all standard male and female running divisions. Holiday prizes are presented to the top three overall male and female finishers, plus the top three in each age category will also receive unique holiday awards. Hilton Head Regional Medical Center, December 18, 9 a.m.; $25 pre-registration, $30 day of race. Visit for more information.

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