Bluffton’s annual Arts and Seafood Festival kicks off Saturday, and the week that follows is packed with activities highlighting the local seafood along with the history and culture of the town.
The week culminates in a Street Fest in Old Town Bluffton. Hours for the Street Fest are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22.
The fest includes a juried art show featuring more than 100 local and regional artists, food from local restaurants and environmental exhibits. Bands will entertain on three stages each day. Art in the Park will offer children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at DuBois Park, with a family-oriented magic show at 1 p.m. each day. During the Street Fest, shuttles will ferry festival-goers to and from Red Cedar Elementary.
Paddle board, kayak and boat tours of the May River will run most mornings during week.
Here are some of the other events planned:
Saturday, Oct. 14
New this year is a Chalk the Walk street art competition from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chalk artists will receive supplies and a space to work on the Promenade or on Calhoun Street. The registration deadline has passed, but observers will have the chance to vote in a People’s Choice competition.
Sunday, Oct. 15
A boat parade on the May River and the blessing of the fleet from 3 to 4 p.m. from the sandbar to the bluff near Church of the Cross. This year’s admiral of the fleet is Island Packet columnist and fishing guide Collins Doughtie.
Monday, Oct. 16
A Dinner and Learn tour is at 5 p.m. at Waddell Mariculture Center and features a tour of the new lab along with crab picking and oyster shucking demos and a buffet catered by Toomers. Tickets are $30 per person, and reservations are required. Call Mary at 843-815-2472 or 843-815-2474 or go to https://cityspin.com/savannah/e/dinner-learn-tour to register.
Tuesday, Oct. 17
Hear spooky Bluffton tales on a walking ghost tour of historic Old Town Bluffton with Bluffton Jack at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children (suggested ages 9 and up), and reservations are required. Call 843-717-2175 to register. Bring your own flashlight and wear comfortable shoes. Tours begin at The Complete Home, 41B Calhoun St.
Wednesday, Oct. 18
West Fraser shares his latest book “Painting the Southern Coast” and his passion for coastal landscapes and waterways during Author Night at the Rotary Community Center at Oscar Frazier Park. Larry and Linda Toomer, owners of Bluffton Oyster Co., will share stories of oystering and people of the Lowcountry. Hors d’oeuvres start at 5:30 p.m. Donations of $15 will be accepted to benefit the Waddell Mariculture Center. Sales of Fraser’s print of the Bluffton Oyster Factory shuckers benefits the Sustainable Seafood Harvest Fund. Reservations are required. Call Mary at 843-815-2472 or 843-815-2474 or go to https://cityspin.com/savannah/e/authornight/preview to register.
Thursday, Oct. 19
Take a guided tour of the Garvin House and the Heyward House starting on the hour from 2 to 6 p.m. during History and Hops. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. Service Brewing Co. will offer its Oktoberfest beer, Teufel Hunden, in tasting portions for $3 at the Heyward House, where participants can also purchase tour tickets.
Friday, Oct. 20
The Red Apron Sips and Seafood Party from 6 to 10 p.m. at Hampton Lake will benefit Bluffton Self Help. The evening features a celebrity chef demonstration, dining and cocktails, along with live and silent auctions. Sponsorships and limited tickets can be purchased at www.sipsandseafood.com.
Saturday, Oct. 21
The Old Town Oyster 10K Road Race and 5K Fun Run kicks off at 8 a.m. from Oyster Factory Park. Registration is $35 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K. Register in person at Palmetto Running Co. in Bluffton or by registering at http://bit.ly/2hZWXuu.
Register for a children’s fishing tournament (13 and under with parents) beginning at 10 a.m. at the Bluffton Oyster Co. Weigh-in is at 12:30 p.m. There is no fee. Bring your own fishing equipment if possible; limited equipment will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To pre-register call Tom at 912-210-1222 or Bryan at 843-540-2895.
Rockin’ on the Dock starts at 6 p.m. at Bluffton Oyster Co. and features a seafood extravaganza tasting and fireworks at dusk.
Sunday, Oct. 22
A Paddle Battle is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oyster Factory Park and includes a 3-mile recreational race and a 6-mile elite open race followed by a kids’ sprint race. The open race will have divisions for stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. The entry fee for the 3- or 6-mile open race is $40. On-site registration, check-in and board drop off will open at 10 a.m., a pre-race meeting will be at 11:30 a.m., and the race will start at noon.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103