October 2012

8th Annual Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival

Author: Kitty Bartell

As the heavy air of a Lowcountry summer has just about out-stayed its welcome, the droopy lids of summer lift in anticipation of the freshened air and renewed energy that comes with autumn, making it the perfect time for the 8th Annual Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival.

This year’s event invites friends, neighbors, and visitors to melt into the atmosphere of a very special week of community, art, food, entertainment, competition, and fun.
Bluffton has a trio of enticements from which to draw for this weeklong festival: the natural beauty and rich history of this May River community, the succulent bounty of the local waterways, and the vibrant and active cultural and artistic community. Disguised as great entertainment and outstanding food, there is a more noble purpose for the festival: “to help raise awareness that fosters protection of the May River and the rich culture and history of our area for the enjoyment of generations to come.”

repeat festivalgoers, many familiar events and activities will be returning, in addition to a few new treats. The week will begin on Sunday, October 14 with the all-new, Friends of Bluffton Artists First Annual Invitational Showcase of Local Art, a special celebration of hand-made and original local art. After a day of local art, the annual Blessing of the Fleet and Boat Parade will commence. The locals’ best advice would be to pack a picnic and spread out on the bank of the May River at the Church of the Cross for the parade, the blessing, and great music.

Forget about your usual weekday routine and try not to miss anything. Monday features a tour of the Waddell Mariculture Center by Al Stokes, manager and Wildlife Biologist IV, followed by a delicious Lowcountry boil. On Wednesday, October 17, the festival is thrilled to host Author Night with Mary Alice Monroe, Barbara J. Bergwerf and Ken Burger. These award-winning Southern authors will share stories about their writing and their books and will provide a sneak peak at what is next for each of them.

On Thursday, October 18, the new Backwater Boat Cruise & Archeological Paddle is the must-do for the day. This unique opportunity will take adventurers on a scenic boat excursion through the back creeks and rivers of local waters with a stop at Page Island, where guests will begin a kayak tour and continue their exploration from water level. Kayak and paddle board tours are ongoing Monday through Saturday of the festival. Other events during the week include the annual 5K “Art-Sea” Dash Kick-Off Party on Thursday evening and Family Night at The Promenade on Friday night.

The annual 5K run has a new look and a new name this year. According to Mary O’Neill, festival board of directors president, “Every year events are tweaked or new ones are added to keep the festival fresh and exciting. The 5K has been revamped this year due to the growing number of 5K races offered in the area.” The 5K “Art-Sea” Dash is now a poker run-style event. Competitors will make planned stops along the route to gather items that will be used at the finish to complete their own
art masterpiece.

Art & Seafood Street Fest on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 & 21 is the culmination of the week’s fun. Over 100 artists from 10 states will show their fine art, local restaurants and caterers will be serving mouth-watering seafood dishes, and environmentalists will be highlighting the area’s natural resources and talking about conservation. The Children’s Fishing Tournament and “Iron Chef” competition and Chef’s Auction will be returning, with local bands and street performers entertaining both days. In addition to the board of directors and dedicated festival committee, the Bluffton Rotary Club provides the majority of manpower to make it all happen.
Bluffton’s annual festival is a breath of fresh air after a long, sticky summer and offers locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a bountiful harvest of the art, food, nature, and history of this charming May River community. Best advice… miss nothing.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Sunday, October 14, 2012
FRIENDS OF BLUFFTON ARTISTS 1ST ANNUAL INVITATIONAL

SHOWCASE OF LOCAL ART – 11 a.m.-4 p.m. – Calhoun Street

BLESSING OF THE FLEET AND BOAT PARADE – 4 p.m. – Church of the Cross

OYSTER FEST – 5 p.m. – Bluffton Oyster Factory Park

Monday, October 15, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER
8 a.m. and 10a.m. – reservations required

TOUR & LOWCOUNTRY BOIL AT WADDELL MARICULTURE CENTER
5:30 p.m. – reservations required

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER – 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. reservations required

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER – 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. – reservations required
AUTHOR NIGHT WITH MARY ALICE MONROE, BARBARA J. BERGWERF, AND KEN BURGER—6-8 p.m.—Rotary Community Center at Oscar Frazier Park—reservations required

Thursday, October 18, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER—
8 a.m. and 10 a.m.—reservations required
BACKWATER BOAT CRUISE & ARCHEOLOGICAL PADDLE—
9 a.m.-1 p.m.—Calhoun Street Dock—reservations required
5 K “ART-SEA” DASH KICK-OFF PARTY—
5:30-7:30 p.m.—Rotary Community Center at Oscar Frazier Park

Friday, October 19, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER
8 a.m. and 10 a.m. – reservations required
FAMILY NIGHT AT THE PROMENADE
6-9 p.m.—The Promenade

Saturday, October 20, 2012
KAYAK & PADDLE BOARD TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER
8 a.m. and 10 a.m. – reservations required

MAY RIVER DOLPHIN & HISTORY BOAT CRUISES
every hour, on the hour, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.—reservations required
5K “ART-SEA” DASH – 8:30-10 a.m. – registration required

CHILDREN’S FISHING TOURNAMENT
10 a.m.-2 p.m. – Bluffton Oyster Company

BOAT TOURS ON THE MAY RIVER – every hour on the half-hour, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. – reservations recommended
ART AND SEAFOOD STREET FEST
10 a.m.-5 p.m. – Historic District Bluffton

MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT – Roaming performers throughout the day and local bands on three stages
THE “ART OF THE CUISINE” IRON CHEF CHALLENGE
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Neptune’s Galley

ROCKIN’ ON THE DOCK – 6 p.m. to Dusk – Bluffton Oyster Company

FIREWORKS – Dusk – Bluffton Oyster Co.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
MAY RIVER DOLPHIN & HISTORY BOAT CRUISES
every hour, on the hour, 10a.m.-3 p.m.

ART AND SEAFOOD STREET FEST
10 a.m.-5 p.m. – Historic District Bluffton

MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT – Roaming performers throughout the day and local bands on three stages

For more details and an expanded schedule of events, please visit blufftonartsandseafoodfestival.com or call (843) 757-BLUFF (2583).

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