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Fall Into Festivals

By Erin Laytham Lentz, Contributor

The south is known for its’ celebrations of heritage, culture, food, water, and basically anything and everything under the sun! Fall in the Lowcountry with its’ perfect weather and charming hospitality, makes it an especially great time to visit and explore the abundance of festivals. There is no better way to experience the local flavors, tastes, sights and sounds of these historic and charming coastal destinations then joining in the popular annual events that feature the best in coastal food, music, art and more. Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah are home to some of the finest festivals in the country. The architectural beauty, eclectic vibes, long-standing traditions and enchanting locals will delight any visitor. Mark your calendar for some of the upcoming festivals that you will not want to miss!

Saturday, September 17th, 11am-5pm. kicks off the inaugural The Jeep Island Event at Shelter Cove Community Park. Calling Jeep enthusiasts to show off their Jeeps or just browse. Prizes will be given for the coolest rigs in the “Show and Shine” Competition. Food vendors, lawn games, raffles and local vendors! Live music all day long. Admission is free. Jeep entry in Show and Shine is $5.


Saturday, September 17th, 11am. -4pm. The 7th Annual Italian Heritage Festival returns to The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. Celebrate Italian culture by sampling food and enjoying live entertainment. The grape-stomping contest and pizza-eating contest also return by popular demand. Admission tickets are $6.


Friday, September 30th, 6-10pm.-Saturday, Oct. 1st-11am.-5pm. The 22nd Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival held at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park brings the area’s best restaurants out to prepare their best shrimp dishes in the  shrimp competition, kids activities, 5k race, live music and no shortage of fun!. The beautiful waterfront sets the backdrop for the sun and fun. Come stroll the friendly town of Beaufort and makes some memories. Free admission.


Saturday, October 1st, 11am-5pm. The Burgers & Brew Festival heads to Shelter Cove Community Park. This festival brings out the spirit of competition with our local restaurants all competing to win the best slider title! You will be able to vote and also sample brews in the Beer Garden. This is a great family event and there will be plenty of kids activities. Admission is $6. Kids under 10 are free.


Saturday, October 15- Sunday, October 23rd, The 12th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival will be jammed packed with activities spanning a week. This is one of the biggest and best festivals of the area. Held in the Old Town Bluffton district, it is a huge celebration featuring fresh, local seafood and Lowcountry food with a huge blend of the arts and history in the streets. The street fest features a fine art show, finest food from local restaurants and a variety of music and entertainment. There are fishing tournaments, kayak tours, a 10k and an Iron Chef Competition. Don’t miss this well-loved community event!


Wednesday, October 12- Sunday, November 6th, The Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance, the motoring festival descends upon Hilton Head and Savannah for ten days of fun- filled events. Festival-goers can purchase tickets for single events, Multi-day passes  or VIP packages. Scheduled events include: The Savannah Speed Classic, Car Club Showcase, Aero Expo, Pace Lap Party, Bluffton State of Mind Driving Tour, Flights and Fancy Airport Gala, HH Island Auction, SCM Insider’s Seminar, Autoweek’s Under the Design Stars and The 5th Annual Evening of Cars and Cigars.


October 28th-October 30th, The Fall Festival of Houses & Gardens takes you on an exploration of historic Beaufort and selected private residences for a peek inside. These 18th & 19th century homes offer an unusual viewpoint into the area’s rich history and storytelling.


Friday, November 11- Sunday, November 13th, 11am-5pm. The 2016 Oyster Festival at Shelter Cove Community Park. The 2016 Oyster Festival serves up oysters in more ways than one! Sample the best oysters in the area. Live entertainment, kids activities and football viewing screen. Plenty of local food options. $6 admission. 10 & under are free.


Monday, November 7th- Sunday, November 13th Experience some southern hospitality at The Savannah Food and Winefest. Jazz and Bubbles Brunch, River Street Stroll, Whiskey at The Whitman, Celebrity Chef Tour, Secret Savannah Speakeasy and Taste of Savannah are all ticketed events within this weeklong celebration of southern charm. A wonderful way to get to know Savannah, its history and beautiful architecture.

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