Get ready, seafood lovers: To mark its 10th year, the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival is planning an expanded week of events Feb. 20-26.
Events include culinary workshops, Lowcountry adventures on the water, a new VIP Lounge, Kids Zone, Artisan Market, celebrity chef demonstrations and music from the Town Mountain bluegrass band and Deas-Guyz, according to a news release.
2017 festival highlights include:
▪ The Coastal Culinary and Heritage Dinner is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 23, with a 5:30 p.m. VIP meet and greet, at Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort. The event is a collaboration with the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. It will showcase several chefs from the Carolinas, including some from Hilton Head. The interactive evening — a walk-around tasting format — will explore African influence on coastal cuisine from South Carolina to Louisiana and kick off a “West meets East” coastal alignment designed to deepen the understanding of sustainable practices.
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▪ The Pig Pickin’ and Oyster Roast will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Waddell Mariculture Center. The celebration takes place waterfront this year, with award-winning local and celebrity guest chefs and some of the South’s most acclaimed Pitmasters. The event will feature local oysters, whole hogs, chicken, Brunswick stew and more — with locally sourced sides. Wash it all down with limitless brews, wines, signature cocktails and music by the Asheville, N.C.-based bluegrass band, Town Mountain.
▪ The festival’s headlining event, with the new VIP lounge, will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25 at Shelter Cove Park. The family-friendly event features area restaurants/chefs serving up seafood specialties and other cuisine, a kids zone, a new artisan market, a chef cooking demonstration stage and more. Participating restaurants include the Black Marlin, The Crazy Crab, Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, The Old Oyster Factory, Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar, Red Fish, Skull Creek Boathouse, American Culinary Federation and more. Live music by Deas-Guyz and Town Mountain. Adult admission is $7 at the gate, or it’s free for kids 10 and under. Food and beverage tickets will be available for purchase separately.
▪ A pop-up Sunday brunch by Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26. The grand finale with Gullah friends will celebrate island heritage with active culinary stations, including seafood, raw bar, meat lover and vegetarian selections with Champagne, mimosas, a bloody mary bar, spirits tastings, beers and more — with Gullah gospel music. Tickets are limited for this event.
Multiple-ticket packages are available for purchase. There is special pricing available through Jan. 31. For ticket information, a full schedule and more, go to www.hiltonheadseafoodfestival.com.