2014 Bluffton Village Festival Insider Tips
Bluffton, SC May Fest on the Horizon!
What: 36th Annual Bluffton Village Festival
When: Saturday, May 10th - 10AM - 5PM
Where: Calhoun Street, Bluffton, SC
Who to Contact: Bluffton Rotary Club, 843-815-2277
Cost: FREE to Everyone
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 46 towards Bluffton. Take first right off traffic circle to Bluffton Parkway. At first light take a left onto Red Cedar. Follow parking signs to the school from May River Road. Take a left onto Red Cedar and follow parking signs to the school.
What you'll see at the Festival!
Every year people wait and wait for this family friendly festival. Calhoun Street is closed off and you can wander all the way down the street stopping - and shopping - along the way to visit many of the 200 vendors who come with all kinds of arts and crafts. The festival was the brain child of Babbie Guscio, owner of The Store. Babbie felt that Bluffton needed an event to showcase the talents of the many local artists. It isn't juried because, as Babbie says, "I couldn't bear the thought of saying 'no' to any artist who wanted to display his or her art."
Babbie turned the event over to the Bluffton Rotary in 2009 and since then it has grown to include many vendors on the side streets, more food, and more music.
NOT TO MISS!
The 'Lemonade Man' - according to Babbie, 'there's nothing better than a glass of sweet homemade lemonade on a hot day'. In the 'old days' Tex was THE MAN - but there's always a vendor with this sweet/sour elixir!
Sun City Cloggers - these men and ladies are the star attraction and usually perform right in front of The Store. With their clacking heels, wide skirts and petticoats, and amazing energy, they really are fun and bring excitement to the festival.
Shrimp Salad Sandwiches - A staple at the festival, the ladies from the Church of the Cross have the BEST shrimp salad sandwiches. Beware - people even come with coolers and buy them to take home, so head to the end of Calhoun Street first so you don't miss out!
The Ugly Dog Contest - This is always a hoot and the dogs really don't seem to mind being made fun of. Most of them are truly more cute than ugly but, that's the name of the contest.
Insider Tips to Enjoy the Festival
1. Parking is free but this is a popular event so either come early or enjoy free parking at Red Cedar Elementary and travel in air conditioned comfort on one of the many shuttle buses that run from the school to the festival all day. Buses provided by Palmetto Breeze
2. BRING WATER - there are all kinds of drinks available but if the day turns out to be one of the wonderful days it usually is, it can be toasty and shopping, eating, and enjoying the entertainment is thirsty work!
3. Dogs are welcome - on leashes - but remember, there are lots of people, lots of kids, it's a hot day - and the pavement gets hotter. Either have booties on their feet, bring water, or let them enjoy their home while you get out and meet and greet.
4. Bring bug spray. If there's a breeze off the river, the 'no-see-ums' are kept at bay but if not, well, I'm not taking any responsibility for the welts on your arms and legs. We should probably name the "Bluffton slap" a dance as we watch folks hop around and slap at themselves.
5. Bring cash - the food vendors tend to prefer it though most of the vendors all have the capability to take credit cards. You'll be truly tempted with all the terrific art and the stores along Calhoun Street are all open of course so, if crafts aren't your thing, there's always something to buy.
6. Bring a chair. There are plenty of shady spots to rest under the beautiful oaks along Calhoun Street or over by The Dispensary, or by the kids playground area, or did I mention the spacious lawn at the Church of the Cross. Way more fun to sit and enjoy your shrimp salad sandwich and cold beverage on a chair.