Editor’s Note: January 2009
Author: Maggie Washo
Last Saturday I went to Bluffton.
I went for the Christmas parade but stayed for the “locals.”
All week before our (Kelly Stroud is the other half of the “our”) “trip” to Bluffton (to photograph the Christmas parade for the magazine), we made jokes about getting our passports ready for the trip. When we pulled up to the four-way stop sign in front of Nickelpumpers and saw that the road had been blocked off for the event, we knew we were in for a treat.
Weaving our way through masses of families, strollers, good ol’ boys and southern belles, we stopped routinely to take photos of tractors pulling floats filled with kids dressed as angels and elves. My personal favorites, however, had to be the “Belfairies,” both for the creativity of costume and wordplay.
Kelly and I wandered through Eggcentricities and giggled over the creative gifts displayed with Blufftonian flair. Kelly’s personal favorite was a book entitled Everyone Poops. Yep, the name says it all.
We wandered down Calhoun Street immediately after the parade, sidestepping candy wrappers and poo (did I mention there was also a donkey or two in the parade?) on the way to our next stop, The Party at the Promenade. At first Kelly and I were feeling a bit out of place, not knowing anyone. But that was quickly remedied when we met up with Erik and Ross (two new friends from the HHI Oyster Festival & Bachelor contest). We were quickly introduced to Marc and Diana McDougall & Mitchell and Debbie. This is when the real fun started.
People drive golf carts around Old Town Bluffton. Being from upstate New York, I find this somewhat amusing, but really endearing in a strange sort of way. It’s good for the environment, right? But I digress. Our golf cart party went to an old-fashioned oyster roast in the middle of Oyster Street (and when I say in the middle of the street, I mean, in the middle of the street). There Kelly and I were introduced to several Blufftonians (Hi Barbara Ann!) and were treated to some of the best homemade French fries and pulled pork I have ever tasted.
The sun was setting as we headed to Pepper’s Porch. I had heard so much about this Bluffton hangout, but I am almost embarrassed to say it was my first time visiting. Do you know they have a tire swing and an outside fire pit right in the center of everything? And pool tables? We were introduced to the owner, Brian, who made us feel at home, and we ordered a quick bite to eat before starting an impromptu dance party in the middle of the Back Bar (that’s the name, due in part to its location I suppose, in the back of the restaurant).
It’s funny, really. We went to Bluffton at 11 a.m. for a parade. We left at 11 p.m. with several new friends and many fond memories. Next time we won’t stay away so long. I recommend everyone who lives on Hilton Head Island travel to Bluffton more often.
I’ll be getting my passport stamped there again real soon.
Happy New Year!