As Bluffton grows, annual Christmas parade gets more and more fun

features@islandpacket.comDecember 18, 2013 

Babbie Guscio having fun at this year's Bluffton Christmas Parade.



    1 cup fig preserves

    1/2 cup soy sauce

    4 cloves minced garlic

    2 2- to 3-pound fryers

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix preserves, soy sauce and garlic. Brush mixture on chicken last hour of roasting. Roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Bon appetit.

For many years I was in charge of the Bluffton Christmas Parade. Trying to decide who the grand marshal would be each year was one of my favorite things. I spent many sleepless nights on my quest for the perfect person. I invited presidents, and even got a reply from one of them -- Jimmy Carter, who said he was too busy at the moment to make the trip to Bluffton. I was sad, but I understood. Later I found out it had something to do with the shah of Iran.

There have been many special moments at the parade. One I remember with great affection was when Blufftonian Simone Griffeth accepted my invitation to be grand marshal and flew from Los Angeles for the occasion. Simone was just starting her acting career, and I was thrilled she said yes.

One day our dear Mayor Lisa Sulka came by my store and posed the same question I have asked many times to others: Will you be the grand marshal of the Bluffton Christmas Parade? I have said no many times when asked because I feel there are so many Blufftonians and others more worthy of the honor. After much thought, though, I accepted this time.

So for me to be in the cat bird's seat Dec. 7 was amazing. To see all the adorable children and the happy faces of everyone was so much fun. We had such a hoard of candy I could not believe it was gone before we turned onto May River Road. I learned to wave slowly and toss the goodies far and wide. I loved every minute of my reign for the day, and I have loved every moment of being a part of our town.

A friend of mine and I were talking the other day about how Bluffton has grown. She was saying in the old days she had to put on makeup and make sure she was presentable before going out anywhere. Now that Bluffton is bursting at the seams and so many new people are moving to town, we can relax a bit. She now feels as though she can leave home without her "face on," and dressed in comfortable clothes. I reminded her it might apply to most of us, except Patsy Hodge. That girl probably wakes up looking put together, let us hope she is becoming near-sighted in her old age.

If you missed the beastie feast after the Christmas parade, you really missed a great repast. There were many delicious beasts to dine on and wonderful music. The feast is in its second annual outing, and I am sure the fun will continue. It is an underground event presented by some really swell hunters and cooks. From all reports, a fun time was had by all.

  • Jaja Epps has a great idea. In many parts of Europe and Asia, one must take off their shoes when entering the house and put on slippers. It probably has to do with the weather since it is snowy and rainy in many places. Most houses have rooms called mudrooms where you enter and there is a bench to sit on. You take off your shoes and put on your slippers. In Jaja's country, the Czech Republic, you even do this at school. It seems like a very comfortable idea to me, and I think our floors would love it too.
  • "Downton Abbey" is coming soon to a living room near you. Sunday evenings will now be more fun starting Jan. 5. My Sundays are fun, but my cast of characters are my 1-, 2- and 3-year-old grandchildren. They are wonderful, but I miss Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess. All hail the Crawleys. I can't wait for their return, and the return next Sunday of my dear chickies: Patterson, Campbell and Lili -- and the older and much wiser, Jes, age 8.

  • Citizens Opposed to Domestic Violence will present a "Winter Solstice" sunset party from 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 21, at Bluffton Oyster Factory Park. There will be a bonfire, a visit from Santa Claus, music and a craft beer garden. Tickets are $5, children younger than 5 are free. Attendees are asked to bring diapers, gift cards, gas cards or used cellphones to donate. Proceeds benefit CODA.

  • If you would like to visit Ossabaw Island, this is your chance. There will be a New Year's Eve overnight trip sponsored by the Ossabaw Island Foundation from Dec. 31 till 11 a.m. Jan. 1. The cost of the trip includes roundtrip ferry transportation, food and overnight accommodations. The trip is for adults and children older than 12. Go to for more information.

  • Society of Bluffton Artists is having an artists boutique through Dec. 31. The collection features handmade items and small paintings at their beautiful new Center for Creative Arts building next to the SoBA gallery at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. Call 843-757-6586 for hours and information.

  • Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.


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