Blufftonians love a festival and the eleventh annual Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival presents the best of worlds combining a celebration of the arts visual, musical, historical with the legendary seafood provided by the waters of the South Carolina Lowcountry and prepared by cooks and chefs who know their way around some shrimp and hushpuppies. The weeklong affair kicks off on Saturday October 10, so grab some gear and join in the Inshore Fishing Tournament down at the Oyster company there is a $100 prize for the largest catch!
If angling is not your talent, then take a history tour of the local churches and Palmetto Bluff ending in a Lowcountry supper and concert at the Campbell Chapel AME Church. Sweet harmonies and sweet potatoes. Sunday begins with a local artist showcase along Calhoun Street accompanied by music and dance. End the day with the Boat Parade and Blessing of the Fleet on the May River (bring your lawn chairs) and celebrate the first oyster roast of the season at the Bluffton Oyster Park Oyster Fest.
We know fall has arrived when we taste that first salty, briny oyster of the season served on a cracker with spicy cocktail sauce. A Bluffton delicacy! Monday through Friday choose a kayak or paddleboard tour or a May River “skiff” tour, discovering the local flora and fauna including an up close and personal look at that magical,dark, shiny pluff mud. Book launch parties are also on the menu with a Friday evening party at the Heyward House showcasing local author Ellen Malphrus with special guest author, Pat Conroy, a true son the Lowcountry whose novels have introduced the world to the heart, soul and beauty of Beaufort County.
Now in its eleventh year, the festival is a highlight of the Lowcountry cultural calendar and attracts locals and visitors who enjoy the fun and food of this lovely little village by the river. It’s all here food art, music, books, wine, history, excursions, a street dance, fireworks, even a 10K road race and an Iron Chef competition. Children love the magic show and their own special art activities and fishing tournament. The Chiggers, the band and not the itchy insect, is one of the local favorites which will be on stage on Saturday afternoon and the music will continue with Rockin’ on the Dock at the Bluffton Oyster Company until the sun goes down on Saturday night. The Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival runs from Saturday October 10 for a week until Sunday, October 18 ending with the Art and Seafood Fest on Calhoun Street.