Bluffton has always done things its own way. And the best time to check out what the little town on the May River is all about is at the Bluffton Village Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
"It is the Bluffton event," said event chairwoman Karen Lavery. "It says 'Hey, this is the way we are -- a true state of mind.'"
WHY YOU SHOULD GO
The 32nd annual free festival is a showcase of Bluffton's eccentricities put on by the Bluffton Rotary Club. Close to 200 vendors have signed up to populate old town. Artists from both near and far come to sell pottery, paintings, jewelry, glass art, furniture and more.
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Food venders range from Bluffton Oyster Co. seafood to the Church of the Cross' fast-selling shrimp salad sandwiches. The Bluffton Band Boosters fry up funnel cakes, and restaurants such as Montana's and Gruby's New York Deli make sandwiches. Of course, the array of fair food from pretzels, chili dogs and ice cream are available for purchase.
Music continues throughout the day, as well as Civil War re-enactors at the Heyward House Historic Center. And, returning this year is the ever popular Ugly Dog Contest at 1 p.m.
FOR THE KIDS
New this year is the Kid's Luau Carnival presented by May River Montessori School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include face painting, a limbo contest, a fishing tent and a bounce house.
AFTER THE PARTY
The Village Party After Hours picks up when the festival winds down at the Calhoun Street Promenade. Entertainment and food are offered from 6 to 10 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. VIP tables for eight are available for $250. Tables can be catered by Captain Woody's, Cork's Wine Company or Bluffton BBQ. There will be music by the Chris Stevers Band, The Trainwrecks, JoJo Squirrel and the Chilly Willy Band.
PARKING AND SHUTTLE
This year shuttle buses will run to the festival only from Red Cedar Elementary School, 10 Box Elder St. Parking and shuttles are free and equipped to handle handicapped needs.