Seasonal celebrations bring visitors and locals together to enjoy food, beverage, art and entertainment. Outdoor festivals are hosted in parks or along the water, and the moderate year-round climate lends itself to fun in the sun.
Most events are family-oriented with children's activities, live entertainment and regional arts and crafts for sale. Local restaurants can often be previewed with tastings in tents during festivals.
The major annual festivals are reviewed here, and dozens more are always popping up, so be sure to check
listings for current ideas. Tagged for Festivals & Events...
De Aarts Ob We People XV
annual show and sale
Exhibition celebrating local and regional art including original and print work, paintings, folk art, basket weaving and mixed media plus authors and recording artist Mahoganee
Arts & Seafood Festival
in historic downtown Bluffton
Watch for the next dates, usually the third week in October. The eighth annual event was October 14-21, 2012. The eclectic downtown setting showcases a street fest on the final two days with as many as 70 regional and local art
vendors including sweetgrass baskets
; food from some of the favorites such as fresh seafood
, barbecue, desserts
, snacks and beverages plus educational and entertaining activities during warm fall days.
Bluffton Beer Fest
Bluffton International and Craft Beer Festival
November 3, 2012, was a big event with music and food court featuring Bluffton restaurants
more than 125 international and craft beers. Watch for dates to be set for 2013.
Burgers and Brew
Watch for date to be announced for next year. All new event on Oct. 13, 2012, a fun-filled day for the family with features of best burgers and brew from local restaurants. Burgers of chicken, shrimp, crab or other varieties, and winning restaurants named by professional judges as well as by People's Choice voting.
annual October event
This is a super HOT
and fun family event scheduled for the second Saturday each October. It's sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and includes a local competition of anything-goes chili which is judged in professional and amateur categories. Local judges name winners as well as the attendees who vote after sampling it all for one ticket price. Music is provided by local groups such as the Port O'Johns
; beverages are extra; antacids are available :)
and Motoring Festival
The cream de la cream of car shows,
annual February events
While the rich Gullah history and heritage is celebrated any time, the month-long Gullah Celebration every February includes one of the many recognized opportunities for large scale tasting events as well as an art exhibit
and various additional activities.
Italian Heritage Festival
at Shelter Cove Park
Annual event usually set for the third Saturday in September, this includes plenty of Italian food, grape stomping, silent auction, Italian car show, kids' activities and entertainment.
annual November event
A major gathering for oyster lovers is set for a mid-November weekend each year. In addition to steamed, fried and chowder for the oyster eaters, shrimp, chili, hotdogs and hamburgers are offered.
annual May festival
Mid-May (May 18, 2013) marks the Rib Burnoff
and Barbecue Festival
sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. Restaurants and amateurs begin cooking the night before the festival, and competition HEATS UP
every year. Food typically may come from a dozen cooks including Frankie Bones
, the Smokehouse
and One Hot Mama's
fun and food
Typically set for late April on a Friday evening and full day Saturday, this annual fundraiser has been enjoyed for five years.
Shelter Cove Harbour
Retail shops include gifts, art, apparel, kids’ clothing, home and garden accessories. Special events are frequently in the complex which is waterfront with scenic views of the marina on Broad Creek.
Wine & Food Festival
annual March event
The next festival is set for March 4-9, 2013, with the Uncork
introduction on Jan. 25 and the International Judging
18th annual event
Local restaurants cook their best wings in mid-March in a fun-filled and family-friendly festival. It's set for March 22-23, 2013. It's a lot of good food, a friendly competition among some of our favorite restaurants and fun for everyone.