Bluffton Packet

Bluffton celebrations and festivals, with a twist from the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Diana Riggle and Meredith Davis having fun at the Perry Lane Hotel with the The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra.
Diana Riggle and Meredith Davis having fun at the Perry Lane Hotel with the The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Submitted

Update: The date of Bluffton’s Boiled Peanut Festival has been corrected.

We have had the distinct pleasure of becoming friends with Diana Riggle. Diana lived in New York for many years, where she was associated with Time Magazine. Diana and her sisters all moved to Bluffton and all built charming houses on Red Cedar Street, being among the first to do so.

Diana and her sister Carole are fully involved in many activities. Diana, among other pursuits, is also a wonderful potter and will show some of her work at an upcoming show at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina on Hilton Head Island.

Both sisters are great fans, as are we, of the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra that frequently plays at The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head and other venues in the area.

Not long ago at one of the band’s gigs, they announced an upcoming trip to Israel and said that if anyone wanted to join them they were more than welcome. Well, guess who leapt at the chance ... Diana, of course, and the band members were thrilled that one of their biggest fans was tagging along.

The trip lasted about two weeks and the entourage had a marvelous time. They rode camels at the Dead Sea, visited the Wailing Wall and saw many religious shrines. Diana kept up with the crew and never complained or lagged behind. In fact, she said she wished they could have stayed longer.

Since I too love jazz , as do most in my family, my daughter Tat and daughter-in-law Dorothy and I were thrilled to be invited by Diana to the rooftop terrace at the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah to hear the Equinox big band play recently. The rooftop terrace offers a beautiful view of downtown Savannah, especially at sunset, and it was made even more wonderful by the music.

Jeremy Davis is the Fabulous Equinox band leader and Clay Johnson does the vocals, with a 17-piece big band behind them. The beautiful Meredith Davis, Jeremy’s wife, was also there with us and Cheryl McCarthy.

The Perry Lane Hotel has a restaurant on the first floor that is charming and is open every day.

If you see or hear that the Equinox Orchestra is playing near you, jump at the chance to go.

Nancy Pogue’s birthday

Last week I had another treat.

Bess Soper invited me to Pour Richards for Nancy Pogue’s birthday celebration. Nancy had told me several times that her birthday was on the horizon but I pretended to pay no attention because I was a surprise guest. Mike and Bess picked me up and then we were off to fetch Nancy in Rose Hill.

It appeared that I was a pleasant surprise to madame, which is a good thing . We had a very nice welcome at Pour Richards, which made the birthday girl very happy.

The menu is always wonderful and changes quite often, depending on what is fresh and seasonal. Ally had made a small, delicious cake, a hummingbird of sorts, with a divine icing. We all sang “Happy Birthday” and ate every bite of it. It was a wonderful ending to a beautiful day.

Boiled Peanut Festival

The Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival is on the horizon — Sept. 21, at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park. There will be lots of peanutty things served up and, of course, the world’s largest peanut that you can take pictures of.

Arts & Seafood Festival

The Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival will take place Oct. 12 through Oct. 20 at various venues around Bluffton. Go to for the complete schedule of events.