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December 2020 Happenings

Art Showings, Plays & Performances

Antonina & David: The Mentalists

An extraordinary show of mind-reading and telepathy that’s been described as “simply mind-blowing.” This divining duo has captivated hundreds, and they’ll predict you’ll be dazzled and delighted!

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1

Where: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

Christmas with the Celts

First there was Riverdance, then Celtic Women, now there’s Christmas with the Celts. Experience lively music, Irish instrumentation and the Celts’ crowd-pleasing dancers.

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6

Where: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

Henry Cho

Comedian Henry Cho says, “I’m an Asian with a southern accent… that’s funny right there.” This Art Center favorite is a refreshing comic who proves that you can be funny while keeping it clean. Cho keeps audiences laughing all night long.

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10

Where: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

A Broadway Christmas

Celebrate the season with music that will make your spirits soar. This talented trio is comprised of Tony-award winners and internationally-known artists, including a vocalist from Celtic Women. It’s the best of Broadway with festive holiday hits.

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 13

Where: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

A Carpenters Christmas

Singer Lisa Rock and her six-piece band keep The Carpenters chart-topping holiday traditions alive, bringing their unforgettable Christmas songs to the stage. Based on The Carpenters’ two holiday albums, this joyful holiday variety show will put you in the spirit.

When: 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21

Where: The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

First Thursdays Art Market

This market at Sea Pines Center showcases the works of the Artists of Sea Pines, an alliance of over 40 artists who live and work in Sea Pines. Ten of these artists will personally present their art for show and sale throughout the plaza of The Shops at Sea Pines Center on the first Thursday of every month. In addition, musical performances and art demonstrations will be part of the event, as well as in-store events hosted by several of the center’s merchants.

When: 4-6:30 p.m., First Thursday of every month

Where: The Shops at Sea Pines Center

Festivals & Fun

The Manger Project

The Manger Project is a fun and interactive Christmas tradition that helps families focus on the true meaning of Christmas while building a manger. This event gives parents a chance to teach their kids hard work, perseverance, and most importantly, why the manger is so important to their faith. You must register online for the event, but if you’re unable to make it, kits will be available for purchase to bring home.

When: 3-5:30 p.m., Dec. 5

Where: St. Luke’s Church, Hilton Head Island


Virtual Christmas tree lighting

The Town of Bluffton Christmas Tree will be lit on Friday, December 4. However, due to safety precautions, the Town will stream the event on its Facebook page, instead of having a crowd gather. Mayor Sulka is expected to announce the parade’s Grand Marshal at the tree lighting. The popular event will not have its customary children’s choir, cocoa and Santa this year out of an abundance of caution.

Reverse Christmas Parade

The town of Bluffton will host its annual Christmas parade as a “reverse” parade this year as a way to keep the holiday traditions alive while incorporating health and safety precautions. The reverse parade will allow entrants to stay socially distant while being stationed on May River Road while spectators drive by.

When: 10 a.m., Dec. 5

Where: May River Road, Bluffton

Christmas Bird Count

This year is the 121st Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The count, which identifies species and each bird seen or heard, covers a 15 mile area including Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie, Pinckney Islands and parts of Bluffton. A meeting will take place on Thursday, December 10 via Zoom with a presentation from Robert Rommel, past president of Hilton Head Audubon and professional wildlife photographer. He will be sharing tips on how to identify the birds for the count day, which takes place on Tuesday, December 15.


Holiday open house at Forsythe Jewelers

Browse from a large selection of top brand jewelry designers, MacKenzie-Childs houseware, and holiday decor in a fun and festive atmosphere. Enjoy complimentary gift wrapping with your purchase.

When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 9

Details: RSVP to 843-671-7070 or [email protected]

Fundraising Events

The Children’s Center Holiday Auction

The Children’s Center will host its 2020 Holiday Auction online this year. Items will include golf packages, restaurant gift cards, closet organization consultations and more. All proceeds from the auction will support the operations of The Children’s Center, a unique non-profit early education and childcare center for working families in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

When: Nov. 30 – Dec. 14


Coat drive

The annual FWDG Coat Drive collects winter coats for children and adults throughout Beaufort County. Through December 31, area residents are encouraged to donate gently worn winter coats, sweaters and warm clothes such as scarves, hats or gloves and mittens. The coat drive will benefit Help of Beaufort and The Deep Well Project of Hilton Head Island.

Drop off location: 745 Robert Smalls Parkway, Beaufort

Food drive

Custom Audio Video is hosting a food drive to support Sandalwood Food Pantry. Donations can be dropped off at Custom Audio Video in Bluffton.

When: Dec. 1-18

Where: 8 Pennington Dr., Bluffton

Pinecone gnomes

The Maye River Gallery Gals prepped for their annual holiday fundraiser by gathering at jeweler Susan Knight’s home for a Pinecone Gnome workshop. These fun little creatures will be the centerpiece of this year’s holiday offering. This is the 13th season that the gallery’s artists have sold hand-crafted holiday wares for the benefit of local charities, with total charitable contributions to date in excess of $10,000. The gallery represents 15 local artists, quite a few who are very well known here in the Lowcountry. Learn more at

Holiday pop-up shops

At Shelter Cove Towne Centre, a unique luncheon will take place to celebrate the arts. Pop-up shops will be in front of Jane Bistro, and will include vendors such as Art League of Hilton Head, The Society of Bluffton Artists and the Palmetto Quilt Guild. Holiday music will be enjoyed from the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and there will also be “live paintings” taking place. At 11:30 a.m., the luncheon will begin at a choice of Poseidon, Wayback Burgers, World of Beer, Tio’s, Jane Bistro and Kilwins’, where dine-in and to-go options are available. All attending are asked to bring a wrapped present labeled with the recipient gender and age for the annual toy drive that benefits The Children’s Center of Bluffton Self Help.

When: 10 a.m., Dec. 8

Where: Shelter Cove Towne Centre

Virtual Talks

Alexandra Bell: Nuclear Weapons Policy in the Next Administration

Alexandra Bell is the senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation. She will outline current global nuclear threats and their related policy choices. She will then discuss how the President and Congress can and should respond to those threats. World Affairs Council Hilton Head members can participate in the Zoom webinar with no charge. Non-members can register via the website and pay $10 to participate.

When: 10-11:30 a.m., Dec. 4


David Eisenhower: Great Power Rivalries – Through the Rear-View Mirror

A graduate of Amherst College and George Washington University Law School, David Eisenhower served in the U.S. Navy and authored “Eisenhower at War, 1943-1945,” a New York Times bestseller and one of three history jury selections for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1987. Eisenhower is the director  of the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg School at  the  University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches Communication and the Presidency, which examines the impact of the “Bully Pulpit” on recent and contemporary national politics. World Affairs Council Hilton Head members can participate in the Zoom webinar with no charge. Non-members can register via the website and pay $10 to participate.

When: 10-11:30 a.m., Jan. 8


Calling all Pat Conroy fans

What was your favorite Pat Conroy book? What was he like as a student at Beaufort High School? What influenced him to become a teacher? Join World Affairs Council Hilton Head for a presentation by Jonathan Haupt, executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, who will speak about acclaimed southern storyteller Pat Conroy (1945-2016), the author of a dozen beloved books, including The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, and The Water Is Wide. This event is open to the public, but registration must be made in advance.

When: 7-8:15 p.m., Jan. 12


Fall Forum 2020

The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head’s Fall Forum is a thought provoking and challenging series of group discussions based on an outstanding book focusing on international affairs. Locally designed and facilitated by WACHH members, multiple small groups meet once a month, for four months. The forum is free to WACHH members. Each group is limited to 20 registrations to allow for an excellent exchange of ideas. Each participant is expected to read the selected book which is available in hard copy, paper back and electronic versions. Registration is required. The 2020 Fall Forum is built around the ideas in the book, “Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy” by Kishore Mahbubani. Learn more at

Coastal Discovery Museum Events

Shrimp Tales: Small Bites of History

The Coastal Discovery Museum will host local Author Beverly Bowers Jennings as she discusses her new book, “ShrimpTales: Small Bites of History.” The first of its kind, this unique photo book portrays the people, places, and boats that tell the fascinating story of the commercial shrimping industry in the Southeast. Hundreds of historical and recent photos provide perspectives on life in the major shrimping ports up and down the coast, such as St. Augustine, Thunderbolt, Port Royal, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bennetts Point, Edisto, Rockville, Shem Creek, McClellanville and Georgetown.

When: 2 p.m., Dec. 2

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum or online


Basic Navigation in the 16th Century

The Coastal Discovery Museum will host Doug Nelson and Howard Heckrotte for this program. Today we move about with the aid of satellite-based navigation tools and internet maps. Researchers are even confident that we will have self-driving vehicles in just a few years. This program allows you to learn the art of navigation and to discover the methods sailors used 500 years ago. Learn from master navigators to plot a course using a sextant, quadrant, compass, and chronometer. Learn how these 16 th Century tools advanced European discovery and exploration of the New World.

When: 2 p.m., Dec. 7

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum or online


The Great Race

The Coastal Discovery Museum will host Doug Nelson and Howard Heckrotte for this program. In 1565 both France and Spain set out for Florida to establish ownership not only of the Florida peninsula, but the whole of perceived North America. Both countries were driven by rampant greed and lust for new lands and also gold, silver, slaves and anything else of perceived value. This talk is about a “great race.” It will cover the different routes taken by the protagonists.

When: Dec. 9

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum or online


The Uniqueness of Port Royal Sound

The Coastal Discovery Museum will host Kristen Mattson, environmental educator for the Lowcountry Institute and Spring Island Trust. The Port Royal Sound stands apart from other estuaries on the East coast. It is a submerged coastline created by rising sea level, exceptionally high tides, and unique geology. The result is a vast expanse of salt marsh, a critical marine habitat. Come learn about this unique environment and how it was formed, as well as about the fantastic biodiversity that lives here.

When: 2 p.m., Dec. 14

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum or online


Carolina Wetlands: Climate Change & Resiliency

The Coastal Discovery Museum will host Rick Savage from the Carolina Wetlands Association and will speak on the various types of wetlands in the Carolinas, efforts to protect them, and how they are impacted by climate change. The Carolina Wetlands Association, based in North Carolina, works with communities to restore wetlands, create community resilience and environmental equity to mitigate climate change effects.

When: 2 p.m., Dec. 16

Where: Coastal Discovery Museum or online


Shop Local

Crafted in the Lowcountry Gift Guide

Get your holiday shopping done and support local artisans and businesses with this one-of-a-kind gift guide, made possible by Hargray. The Crafted in the Lowcountry Gift Guide Presented by Hargray is a curation of more than 40 locally made items. Give a locally crafted gift, support a local business or just treat yourself. View the guide here.

LOCAL Life Merchandise

Look like a local with the coolest cap in the Lowcountry, a LOCAL Life rope tote or purchase the LOCAL Flavor cookbook. View merchandise here.

Doing Good in our Neighborhood

Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Hospital Auxiliary receives $5,000 from Spartina 499

The Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Hospital Auxiliary is receiving a $5,000 gift from Spartina 449. Photographed from left tis Dave Hales (Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Hospital Auxiliary President), Kay Stanley (Owner and CEO of Spartina), Meagan Copeland (Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Marketing Manager) and Jeremy Clark (Hilton Head Regional Healthcare Market CEO). The proceeds from Spartina’s recent breast cancer awareness initiatives will be used by the Hospital Auxiliary to provide handbooks and guides to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at Hilton Head Regional Healthcare’s Breast Health Center in Bluffton. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States. To schedule an interview about breast health and breast cancer, contact communications manager Daisy Burroughs at 803-833-0104 or email [email protected].

Second round of HUD COVID-19 grant recipients announced

The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the Town of Hilton Head Island have awarded an additional $125,500 in HUD grants to six local nonprofit organizations serving Hilton Head Island residents impacted by COVID-19. This brings the total grants awarded so far to $279,500 from HUD money received by the Town of Hilton Head Island. Grants were awarded to Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity, Second Helpings, Native Island Business & Community Affairs Association, Mental Health America of Beaufort/Jasper, Sandalwood Community Food Pantry and The Literacy Center.

Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association launches Education Foundation Certificate Program for supporters

The Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association has launched a new initiative to recognize and encourage supporters of its Hilton Head Area Home Builders Education Foundation scholarship program. The new program will enable supporters of the Education Foundation who donate $100 to receive a special framed certificate suitable for hanging in their offices to highlight support of the program, as well as a badge to include on marketing materials to showcase their role helping the Education Foundation help local high school seniors. Participants in this new program who show their support through a donation will also be recognized on Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association social media pages. KBRS is the first company to receive a recognition certificate for their $500 donation.

Teacher of the Year honored

The Foundation for Educational Excellence presented the Dr. Wayne Carbiener “Above and Beyond” $1,000 Grant Award to Dr. Megan Deweese, a first-grade educator at Okatie Elementary. The award is presented annually to the Beaufort County School District’s Teacher of the Year in honor of former Beaufort County Board of Education member and Foundation for Educational Excellence supporter, Dr. Wayne Carbiener. Pictured from left is Foundation For Educational Excellence team members Karen Beltz and Lisa Carroll, Deweese and Okatie Elementary School principal Jamie Pinckney.

Plaid Pledge funds distributed to food banks

The Heritage Classic Foundation recently distributed $20,000 of Plaid Pledge donations to food banks throughout South Carolina. The pledge was a campaign that encouraged donors to make a contribution to those impacted by Covid-19. A total of $40,000 was divided between the South Carolina Hospital Association Foundation and Heritage Classic Foundation registered charities impacted by the pandemic.