March 2018

5 Things You Shouldn't Miss in March

Author: Justin Jarrett

The signs of spring are unmistakable in the Lowcountry: the first skittering Palmetto bug, the dusting of neon green pollen on your windshield, and the crowded calendar of events as we end our hibernation, however brief it might be.

You can spend every weekend from March through November enjoying some sort of activity or event, and choosing which ones are most worthy of your time can be a trick. We did the hard work for you and hand-picked five things you shouldn’t miss in March.

Palmetto Bluff Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K
March 4, 9 a.m.
Palmetto Bluff
Local runners know no one puts on a better race than the team of Palmetto Running Company and Palmetto Bluff. Like the Buffalo Run in the fall, the annual Palmetto Bluff Marathon is one of the area’s biggest and best races for runners and spectators alike.

With the addition of a full marathon—a USATF-certified Boston Marathon qualifier, no less—this year’s event is likely to be bigger than ever. There’s also a half marathon and a stroller-friendly 10K for the more casual runners. All three courses start and finish at Wilson Village and wind through the beautiful, natural environment of Palmetto Bluff, and proceeds benefit the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy.

Even if running is not your idea of a good time, the atmosphere and after party are worth the trip, and it’s a good excuse to explore the paradise of Palmetto Bluff.

Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival
March 7-11
Sea Pines Resort
What began as a simple three-hour wine tasting among friends in a Hilton Head Island parking lot has grown into the area’s premier wine event and one of the top festivals for wine enthusiasts in South Carolina.

The thirty-third annual event kicks off with wine dinners at several restaurants around the island before four days of formal events for wine lovers and foodies alike. One of this year’s highlights will be a Lowcountry seafood cooking class and lunch with Sea Pines Resort executive chef Matthew Roher, a hands-on cooking class and discussion of the best wines to pair with local seafood.

The central event of the festival is the grand tasting on Friday night, featuring a large selection of high-end, award-winning wines, light hors d’oeuvres and live music. The public tasting on Saturday at Harbour Town Yacht Basin will include more than 250 wines from around the world, live entertainment, chef demonstrations, a bartender’s challenge, and the popular waiter race.

Proceeds from the event have provided more than $54,000 in scholarships for the John and Valerie Curry Educational Scholarship Fund over the past five years, so you’re drinking for a good cause. Some events sell out quickly, though, so buy your tickets early.

Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 11, 3 p.m.
Pope Avenue
Maybe you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but watching the over-served stumble down River Street isn’t your thing. Hilton Head Island’s own St. Paddy’s parade provides a more family-friendly alternative.

Like many things on Hilton Head Island, the parade started small, thanks to the work of local business icon Tom Reilley and a few friends and family back in 1983, but it has grown into one of the island’s favorite events with more than 25,000 spectators annually.

The parade committee has big plans for the event’s thirty-fifth anniversary, including marching bands, pipe and drum bands from up and down the East Coast, and novelties like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the Big Idaho Potato, and the oven used to cook the Guinness-certified World’s Largest Meatball created at last year’s Hilton Head Island Italian Heritage Festival.

Local Gullah cultural heritage leader Dr. Emory Campbell will serve as this year’s Grand Marshall. Campbell is an iconic figure in the Hilton Head community; he was born and raised on the island, graduated as valedictorian from M.C. Riley High School in Bluffton, and earned degrees from Savannah State and Tufts University. He has been a leader in preserving and celebrating the Gullah cultural heritage in the Lowcountry.

Hilton Head Island Wingfest
March 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; March 24, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shelter Cove Community Park
For more than two decades, Wingfest has been one of Hilton Head Island’s biggest parties—and you know the island knows how to party.

It’s no wonder the annual event is such a hit. They invite the best local restaurants to serve up more than 6,500 pounds of chicken wings, put rockin’ bands on the stage, have plenty of fun activities for the kiddos, and keep the alcohol flowing.

The party starts Friday night, when celebrity chef Orchid Paulmeier from One Hot Mama’s serves up her best game-day foods, including a special batch of her award-winning wings, to be paired with local libations from The Lodge, as well as live music and entertainment.

The competition heats up Saturday with a couple dozen local restaurants vying for the title of the island’s best wings as well as the stomach-churning (and burning) wing-eating contest. There will be a kid’s zone, rock climbing wall, and bungee jump, preferably enjoyed before your belly is full of wings and booze.

Oh, and if you’re a college hoops fan who already has that weekend blocked off on your calendar, don’t worry. Title sponsor Hargray has teamed up with Custom Audio Video to provide a big screen where you can watch all the March Madness action.

World’s Largest Yard Sale
March 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hilton Head Island High School
It hasn’t been officially recognized by Guinness (yet), but it’s a pretty big deal. Whether you’re looking to unload some junk or on the prowl for the perfect piece of gently-used furniture, trying to de-clutter or add to a quirky collection, you’ll probably have better luck here than on Facebook or Craigslist—and you’re far less likely to get scammed.

It’s $55 for a seller to rent a space, but admission is free for those looking to turn another person’s trash into their own treasure.

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