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Press and Standard: Weather doesn’t dampen Edisto Beach tourism

By GEORGE SALSBERRY

This summer’s rainy weather hasn’t dampened Edisto Beach’s tourism.

Dan Carter, executive director of the Edisto Beach Chamber of Commerce, said that at the start of June when rain started to become an almost daily occurrence “I started speculating on if it would affect us.”

He said as he checked around, he found that was not the case.

Rentals weren’t down and if the rain was falling, vacationers were spending their time with indoor activities.

“They are visiting places like the serpentarium,” Carter said.

With the rain falling, businesses were seeing “a sharp increase in foot traffic,” Carter said. It could be, he suggested, that the rainy weather might just be putting more money in the cash registers.

Carter was volunteering at a blood drive last week when he got a chance to talk to one of the island’s realtors about the rain and its effect.

The realtor said he had not seen any change in the number of rentals because of the rain.

Carter said the realtor said that the vacation rental business on the island has been rebounding after a couple of down years caused by the economy.

The realtor told him that last year the island had had a good year for rentals and this season “the advanced bookings had been better than in previous years.”

With the summer rains not deterring the beach’s warm weather visitors, the city, chamber and businesses are continuing their efforts to extend the tourism season deeper into the fall.

This year the Edisto Bluegrass Festival joins the list of fall programs on the island.

The festival, to be held Oct. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Point of Pines Plantation will welcome bluegrass devotees to the island.

The festival, sponsored by the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance, will feature Lonesome River Band, Shovels & Rope, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Southern Flavor Bluegrass, Bluestone Ramblers, Flatt City and Blue Plantation to the banks of the scenic North Edisto River.

Edisto and Charleston restaurants will be providing the food.

More information on the festival can be found at www.edistoislandbluegrass.com or by e-mailing edistobluegrass@bellsouth.net.

Labor Day weekend brings the annual Edisto Music & Shag Fest and in late September, the third annual Edisto Shrimp Fest comes to the beach.

Other popular fall events that locals and visitors await every year include the Edisto Art Guild Fall Show and Sale, the Edisto & Beyond Tour, the Fall Festival, and Trick or Treat at the Creek.

For more information on the fall events, call the Edisto Chamber of Commerce at 843-869-3867 or 1-888-333-2781 or visit www.edistochamber.com.

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