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Edisto revels in the island life with late summer, early fall events

Edisto Island, S.C. – The Edisto Island and Edisto Beach communities will relish the long summer days and get set for the shift to fall with a docket full of events. Labor Day weekend brings the annual Edisto Music & Shag Fest, packed with music, dancing, shopping, and great food. Late September brings the third annual Edisto Shrimp Fest 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. A new addition to the fall lineup, the Edisto Blue Grass Festival, will drum up more excitement in October.

On August 30 and 31, the ever-popular Edisto Music & Shag Fest will again take place at Bay Creek Park, located next to the Edisto Marina. Festivities will begin at noon on Friday with arts and crafts, food vendors, and DJ Pat Patterson spinning records until 7:00 p.m. when the dancing starts. From 7:00 to 11 p.m., the Headliners perform, and a professional shag competition starts at 9:00 p.m. Saturday’s events begin at 10:00 a.m. and include arts and crafts, food vendors, and all-day entertainment. DJ Jim Bowers will be providing music from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and then again from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Steve Craig and the Out Of Towners will play from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. There will be a professional shag exhibition during the afternoon. At 7:00 p.m., the East Coast Party Band will take the stage until 11:00 p.m. The annual shag competition for everyone starts 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.

Just before the autumnal equinox, EdistoPride will sponsor the annual Beach & River Sweep on September 21. 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 third annual Edisto Shrimp Fest celebrating the fishing industry and its contributions to Edisto will be held Saturday, September 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., at Bay Creek Park. Local seafood will be prepared using celebrated Edisto recipes. Arts and crafts vendors will offer shopping opportunities, and spinning off of the popular Shag Fest, the Sea Cruz Band will play shag music from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. 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 beginning in March through November 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

As October leaves start to fall, Edisto packs in a host of activities, including the Edisto & Beyond Tour, the Edisto Art Guild’s fall show, and the Edisto Fall Festival, in addition to the first Edisto Blue Grass Festival.

The Edisto & Beyond Tour, sponsored by the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society, will take place on Saturday, October 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The annual tour of plantations, churches, graveyards, and historic sites will feature Crawford Plantation, Presbyterian Manse, Hepzibah’s Tabby Oven Ruins, Oak Lawn Plantation, Frogmore Plantation, Tivoli Beach House, Trinity Episcopal Church, the Historic Graveyard of the Presbyterian Church of Edisto Island, Old First Baptist Church, the Zion Reformed Episcopal Church, and Christ Church in Adams Run. 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.

Also on Saturday, October 12, the Edisto Art Guild will hold its fall show and sale. 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 19 from 10:00 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.

As Halloween approaches, the Town of Edisto Beach will again host Trick or Treat at the Creek at Bay Creek Park on Friday, October 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. This is always a fun-filled time for the kids with 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.

The inaugural Edisto Blue Grass Festival is set for October 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Point of Pines Plantation. Sponsored by the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance, the festival will feature Lonesome River Band, Shovels & Rope, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Southern Flavor Bluegrass, Bluestone Ramblers, Flatt City and Blue Plantation. The festival will take place along the scenic N. Edisto River, a relaxing spot for guests to enjoy themselves and partake in delicious food from Edisto and Charleston area restaurants while listening and dancing to beautiful bluegrass music. For more information, visit www.edistoislandbluegrass.com, or email edistobluegrass@bellsouth.net.

McConkey’s Halloween Costume Contest will be on October 31 at 5:30 p.m. Located at McConkey’s Jungle Shack, 108 Jungle Road, the contest is for children ages 0-12. A Doggie Costume Contest will be at 6:30 p.m. There will be prizes awarded for the “best dressed” child and best- attired dog too.

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. There’s remarkable viewing from Botany Bay Plantation, a wildlife management area set on over 4000 acres of forest, marsh, and beach. Botany Bay Eco Tours offers a variety of eco-tours here, by foot, kayak, or boat. Visitors may also explore this pristine natural area on their own. Hours of operation are from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during the summer months, excluding Tuesdays. For more information, call 843-869-2998 or visit www.botanybayplantation.com.

Other parts of the island are easily explored via a guided kayak excursion with Edisto Watersports & Tackle. For prices and tour times, visit www.edistowatersports.net or call 843-869-0663. Additionally, Island Bikes and Outfitters offers guided kayak tours of Edisto’s most secluded estuaries and beaches. More information can be found by calling 843-869-4444 or by visiting www.islandbikeoutfitters.com.

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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