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Charleston Digitel: Shrimp, shag, festivals and fun: Edisto winds down with late summer events

With school starting back and summer days shortening, the Edisto Island and Edisto Beach communities are prepared for the seasonal shift with a lineup of events for the fall season.

On Labor Day weekend, Edisto will savor the last few official days of summer with the Edisto Music & Shag Fest, loaded with music, dancing, shopping and plenty of good eating. Later in September, the Edisto Shrimp Fest returns for a second year, following a successful inaugural event in 2011. Other popular fall events that always bring visitors back year after year include the Edisto Art Guild Fall Show and Sale, the Edisto & Beyond Tour, and the Edisto Fall Festival.

On August 31 and September 1, the Edisto Music & Shag Fest will be held at Bay Creek Park, located next to the Edisto Marina. The festival will begin at noon on Friday with arts and crafts and food vendors. Entertainment from the Hollow Point Band starts at 3:00 p.m. and the ever popular East Coast Party Band is on from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Saturday’s events, starting at 10:00 a.m., include arts and crafts, food vendors, and a full line-up of entertainment. During the afternoon hours, DJ Jim Bowers will be providing music. The Urban Roots Reggae Band will play from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.  At 7:00 p.m., the Headliners will take the stage until 11:00 p.m. The annual shag competition begins at 9:00 p.m.  Shag clubs from around the southeast will be on Edisto to participate.  For more information, please call 843-869-3867 or visit www.edistochamber.com.

In preparation for the fall season, EdistoPride will sponsor a Beach & River Sweep on September 15. The sweep will begin at Edisto Beach State Park. Those interested in participating should contact EdistoPride by phone at 843-869-4422 or by email at edistopride@aol.com.

The Edisto Shrimp Fest will be held Saturday, September 29, from 12 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Bay Creek Park to celebrate the fishing industry and its contributions to Edisto. Local seafood is center stage and will be prepared using celebrated Edisto recipes. Arts and crafts vendors will offer some great shopping opportunities for island and other treasures. For more information, please call 843-869-2505 or visit www.townofedistobeach.com.

The picturesque Bay Creek Park is also the setting for the weekly Arts and Crafts Market, featuring many local artisans. The market is held every Wednesday through November 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

October brings in more blustery temps and another busy month, marked by yearly favorites, including the Edisto & Beyond Tour, the Edisto Art Guild’s fall show, and the Edisto Fall Festival.

The Edisto & Beyond Tour, sponsored by the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, will be held on Saturday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The annual tour of plantations, churches, graveyards, and historic sites will feature Prospect Hill Plantation, Woodruff Cottage, Brick House Ruins, Grove Plantation, Willtown Bluff, Trinity Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church of Edisto Island, Old First Baptist Church, and Zion Reformed Episcopal Church.  The tour will begin at the Edisto Island Museum, located at 8123 Chisolm Plantation Road. Tickets for this event sell out quickly each year, with a limited number being offered. For more information or to check ticket availability, contact the Edisto Museum at 843-869-1954 or visit www.edistomuseum.org.

The Edisto Art Guild will hold its fall show and sale on Saturday, October 13. The show will be held at the Edistonian, which is located on the island at 406 Highway 174. For more information, contact the Edisto Chamber of Commerce at 843-869-3867 or visit www.edistochamber.com.

The Edisto Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its annual Edisto Fall Festival the following weekend. This street fair, featuring art, local culinary treats, and activities for the kids, will take place on October 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Jungle Road.  Following the festival, local restaurants will be sponsoring evening events.  For more information, contact the Edisto Chamber of Commerce at 843-869-3867 or visit www.edistochamber.com.

The Town of Edisto Beach will host Trick or Treat at the Creek at Bay Creek Park on Friday, October 26.  For the kids, there will be a costume contest, games and prizes, plus table-to-table trick-or-treating. For more information contact Town Hall at (843) 869-2505 or visit www.townofedistobeach.com.

Meanwhile, nature lovers may want to consider any of the numerous tours that focus on birds and other wildlife on Edisto, including dolphins and migratory birds that pass through the area, such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons, along with thousands of shorebirds, such as the dunlin, whimbrel, and godwit.

Set in a rare, sparsely-developed corner of the world, Edisto, with its vast green spaces, ancient live oaks, wide open marsh views, and quiet, pristine beach, offers a coastal island experience uncommon today among Eastern seaboard communities. Visitors and residents arrive under a live oak canopy via Highway 174, designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a National Scenic Byway. Here, there’s a slower pace of life, coupled with a broad range of year-round recreational activities, all set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. This is the coastal island destination that is said to offer its own “state of mind…any time, any season.” For more information, please call the Edisto Chamber of Commerce at 843-869-3867 or 1-888-333-2781 or visit www.edistochamber.com.

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