Get Happy At HarbourFest : A Festival of Fun for the Whole Family
Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: Photography by Anne
Looking for something fun to do in the evening? If you feel like a room without a roof or just want to relax with your favorite beverage and watch the sunset, join the crowd and get happy at HarbourFest, Monday-Friday, now through Labor Day. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. when islanders and visitors alike flock to Shelter Cove Harbour for an unforgettable evening of entertainment. One of Hilton Head Island’s most beloved traditions, the summertime celebration features food, arts and crafts and live music, as well as, a spectacular fireworks display at dusk on Tuesdays.
HarbourFest truly offers something for everyone in the family. Adults enjoy strolling along the harbor, shopping, sipping cocktails and dining at the many waterfront restaurants, while children get a chance to run, play and release some extra energy. Activities include family shows, bouncy houses, hair braiding, face painting, sand art, and much more.
A highlight for both children and adults is the Shannon Tanner show, which includes an array of lighthearted and humorous songs and stories that encourage audience participation. Onstage at the gazebo (mid-harbor), wearing his signature beanie hat, the local legend is back for his 26th season at Shelter Cove Harbour.
Tanner has audiences clapping their hands and singing along with two high-energy shows every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Families return year after year for a souvenir money can’t buy. “It’s all about filling their memory banks,” Tanner said.
On Thursday nights through Aug. 14, from 7-9 p.m., Tanner shifts gears for Parrot Palooza, performing an island-inspired concert with the Oyster Reefers, a full Jimmy Buffet tribute band. While a bit more adult oriented in style, the show is family-friendly and sets the vacation tone for everyone. “We want to capture that ‘It’s 5 o’clock’ somewhere’ feel with this fun show on Thursday evenings,” said Karen Kozemchak, director of marketing for Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort and Shelter Cove Harbour.
Cappy the Clown entertains guests at Shelter Cove Harbour.
Lowcountry character, Cappy the Clown, also brings her special brand of entertainment to HarbourFest from 6-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. Cappy uses her cheerful antics to teach, entertain, and inspire kids—and they inspire her! “I love my job,” she said. “I get to laugh all night and forget all the rest of life’s worries.” With infectious energy, Cappy mesmerizes audiences. “I can talk to 20 kids at once and they all think they’re the only one,” she said.
Dining options at HarbourFest include everything from festival fare, provided by sidewalk vendors, to full-course meals in six restaurants, all with waterfront views and many with additional live entertainment. Whether you’re in search of the freshest seafood in town, a plate of pasta, a slice of pizza, a kabob or pile of nachos, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Shelter Cove Harbour.
It’s easy to satisfy your appetite for shopping as well. You’ll want to stop in the unique waterfront stores, featuring everything from designer clothing and fine art to children’s apparel, gifts, Christmas collectibles, housewares and souvenirs. In addition, during HarbourFest, an array of vendors line the walkways, offering handmade crafts ranging from jewelry and handbags to T-shirts and toys.
Tuesday Night Fireworks Return with a Bang
One of the most popular HarbourFest events is the Tuesday night fireworks, provided by a number of local sponsors, including the Shelter Cove Merchants Association. The fireworks show starts at dusk, weather permitting. A special extended show on July Fourth makes Shelter Cove Harbour the place to be for your annual Independence Day celebration.
To view the show from a unique perspective, book a sunset cruise at the Shelter Cove Marina. Explore your options at palmettodunes.com or call the marina at (843) 842-7001. Outside Hilton Head also offers special “Fireworks Paddle” guided kayak tours, private charters and pontoon boat rentals. For information, call (800) 686-6996 or (843) 686-6996 or visit outsidehiltonhead.com.
Come see why everybody’s happy at HarbourFest. Free parking. Free admission. If you are a resident or guest of Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, call the Dunes Buggy for complimentary transportation. (843) 689-4222.
For more information about any of the HarbourFest activities, call (800) 827-3006 or visit palmettodunes.com
Expanded Show Friday, July 4 (No show Tuesday, July 1)
Tuesdays, July 8, 15, 22 & 19
Tuesdays, August 5 & 12
Every Day is Special at Shelter Cove Harbour
In addition to the evening festivities, Shelter Cove Harbour is a hub of activity any time you choose to visit. Day or night, it’s the perfect place for shopping, dining, sightseeing and more. Stop off for lunch or dinner at any of the fine waterfront restaurants. Between meals, explore refreshment options such as coffee, ice cream, Italian ice, cocktails, cold beer or a relaxing glass of wine.
If it’s time on the water you crave, visit the Ship’s Store and discover an array of boating activities, including fishing, sightseeing and adventures for the whole family. Call (843) 842-7001 or toll-free (866) 400-7894 to plan your day on the water. Be sure to check out the high-flying fun at Parasail Hilton Head and HHI JetPack—two of Shelter Cove Harbour’s newest thrills, and get your creative fix at the Art Café, Too, a paint-your-own pottery studio.