September 2018

A Note From Our Mayors

Author: David Bennett & Lisa Sulka | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

A Note from David Bennett
Let the Festivals Begin!

Fall means kick-off on Hilton Head Island, and not just for football. The island’s robust festival season begins, and our multi-faceted arts, culture and heritage offerings take the stage. There is something to satisfy everyone’s tastes as we celebrate international influences, from the Italian American Heritage Festival this month to the Latin Music Festival in October. Indulge in all types of cuisine, from savory vegetables at the Lowcountry Vegfest to BBQ and oysters at other popular food gatherings across the island. And feast your eyes, ears and hearts upon cars and planes and outdoor art. As you plan your fall calendar, take note of these events.

Thanks to a partnership between the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the Town of Hilton Head Island, our biannual Public Art Exhibit will adorn the grounds of the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. This large-scale exhibit features 20 sculptures, ranging in size from 6 to 21 feet, displayed from September 27, 2018 through January 31, 2019. You’re invited to tour the exhibit for free. Come early and often to view these art pieces that have traveled from all across the country to be installed on Hilton Head Island.

Moving into October, in honor of National Arts and Humanities Month, the Arts and Cultural Council of Hilton Head Island will produce Crescendo. This month-long celebration of art, culture and history on Hilton Head Island will feature more than 80 unique arts and cultural programs, concerts, theatrical productions, museum and gallery exhibits, lectures, poetry readings, dance performances, historical tours, hands-on arts experiences, and educational offerings. This is a great time to go out and enjoy the depth and breadth of the creative community we have here.

Also beginning in October, the season openers for both of our island’s professional theatre companies are upcoming. The thrilling Amadeus will be on the stage at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and the hilarious Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love) will open the season for the Lean Ensemble Theater.

Lastly, be sure to mark your calendars for two of the island’s biggest autumn events: the Heritage Library’s History Day and the Concours d’Elegance. History Day, set for October 13, is highlighted by tours of the island’s rich historic sites, by bicycle or in the comfort of a trolley, led by engaging and knowledgeable docents. The day includes reenactments of historic events and is a fun and fascinating way to learn about our island. And on November 3, over 200 cars, motorcycles and boats will be arriving at the Port Royal Golf Club for the 2018 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival.

Fall will be a great time to be on Hilton Head Island and enjoy an abundance of activities. And this year will be the best ever, because our own Office of Cultural Affairs has assured that you can find out all about what’s going on by visiting our website at


A Note from Lisa Sulka
Preparing for the Plastic Bag Ban

Beaufort County is getting ready for a cultural shift as every resident and business owner prepares for the plastic bag ban. This ordinance goes into effect in the Town of Bluffton and across Beaufort County November 1, 2018. Town leaders and staff members thank you in advance for your partnership as our community prepares for the ban on single-use plastic bags.

We are here to provide you with the information to help with this transition. Switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable bags is one way we can all do our part to contribute to the health of our region’s natural resources. The objective of this ordinance is to reduce litter and protect our region’s waterways and marine wildlife.

As of November 1, business establishments may no longer provide single-use disposable plastic carryout shopping bags to customers. To accommodate this new ordinance, businesses are encouraged to provide reusable carryout bags or recyclable paper bags for your customers. The town is grateful for those businesses that are already making these types of bags available to their customers, either as a courtesy or for sale at a minimal charge. The town is also grateful for residents and guests who are already shopping and using reusable bags.

Reusable carryout bags are made of cloth or other washable fabric or are comprised of recyclable plastic with a minimum thickness of 2.25 mils. Under the new ordinance, some plastic bags will still be allowed, including those used for newspapers, dry cleaning, meat/produce/unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods and plastic bags used by pharmacists or veterinarians containing prescription drugs or other medical supplies.

We realize this new ordinance represents a significant change to your business operations. During the initial period of transition, town officials will continue to be available to provide clarification or answer questions. The new ordinance, however, does carry penalties for non-compliance. Failure to comply may result in a written warning. If subsequent violations occur after a warning, a penalty of up to $100 can be issued for the first violation and $200 for a second violation within any 12-month period. After the second violation, a $500 fine can be issued for each violation thereafter within any 12-month period.
If you have questions, please contact Debbie Szpanka, the town’s public information officer at<

Together, as residents and business owners, let us all begin using recyclable or reusable bags as we strive to protect our region’s environment.

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