It’s almost the merry month of May and that means a few things around Bluffton, SC…soft shell crab season (for about 2 weeks, maybe), hanging out at the sand bar on the May River, and it’s time for the annual Bluffton Village Festival. This year marks the BIG 3-5 for this celebration of all things ‘Bluffton’ so come on down (or over or up) for a day of music, art and great food in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Coordinated by The Rotary Club of Bluffton, this street fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mother’s Day weekend Saturday, May 11 in Old Town Bluffton. Obviously, with 35 years under it’s belt there are some traditions to be upheld, like the Ugly Dog Contest (1 pm) and the delicious and locally famous shrimp salad sandwiches made by members of The Church of the Cross. It is not uncommon to have folks bring a cooler to fill with those sandwiches – they’re just that great. My advice – arrive early if you’re got shrimp sammies on your mind.
Above all else the Village Festival (also known as Mayfest) is a celebration of what makes Bluffton unique and so loved by it’s residents – that quirky state-of-mind. Apparently this resonates with a lot of people as the event has grown quite a bit over the years with 10,000 plus expected in attendance and almost 200 vendors selling jewelry, antique and vintage wares, artwork, pottery, handmade goods, flowers, and more. With the Rotary handling the manpower and logistics for the past 5 years, it’s an almost effortless joy to attend… a perfect day to visit Bluffton if you are new to its charms, or just haven’t been there in awhile.
Besides the shrimp sandwiches there will be a variety of food vendors offering up goodies like barbeque, funnel cakes, various Lowcountry seafood delicacies, lemonade or take in a leisurely lunch at one of the Old Town eateries. Want to take home some Bluffton treats for later? Not to worry, here you’ll find locally produced honey, preserves, seafood and the like for your procurement.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of the ‘Fest, there will be a Pie Eating Contest added to the lineup of events too. Prepared by local bakery, The Sugaree, it will be a race to the sweetest to see who can gobble up the most strawberry pies in one sitting. While I may forgo entering this contest it is open to anyone and everyone, so save your appetite and give it your best shot!
The Ugly Dog contest is also open to all pups and their owners – the “top” three dogs receive a trophy by Bluffton’s tallest potter, Jacob Preston. And all friendly, leashed dogs are welcome at this festival too – it’s truly a fun event for WHOLE family!
With lots of room to roam on shady Calhoun Street, a day in Bluffton leisurely perusing the art and antique-filled booths and tasting home-made goodies sounds right on time to this Mom. A happy Mother’s Day, indeed!
Details: Bluffton Village Festival 2013
Old Town Bluffton
Saturday, May 11 from 10 am – 4 pm
Free parking will be available at Red Cedar Elementary School with free shuttle services to Calhoun Street running continuously from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The buses are air conditioned, and there will be one bus designed available for guests with disabilities. Transportation provided by Palmetto Breeze.