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October 2021 Happenings

Crescendo 2021

Monthlong event celebrates Hilton Head’s arts, culture and history.

By Carolyn Males

Live arts events are back. Hilton Head’s fifth Crescendo Celebration of Arts & Culture brings more than one hundred unique offerings, a much-needed antidote to the long months of social isolation of the past year or so. This regional event, honoring National Arts and Humanities Month, abounds with outdoor festivals and tours, museum and gallery exhibits, talks, hand-on learning experiences, virtual happenings, as well as live music, theater and dance performances. Crescendo events run from October 10 to November 13. For time, venues, ticketing information and updates on Covid protocols, go to and click on the link for Crescendo. Some highlights:

Kick Off
Annual Crescendo Community Celebration
(Oct. 12). Performances by local musicians, storytellers and dancers, as well as Columbia’s Little Big Band. Live painting demonstrations, wine and beer, door prizes. Booths will feature island arts and cultural organizations. Free. Shelter Cove Community Park

Italian Heritage Festival
(Oct. 23). Celebration of Italian culture and cuisine. Cheeses, breads, pasta, calzones, fish, meat, gelato and other mouthwatering fare, plus live entertainment and contests including grape stomping and pizza eating. Coastal Discovery Museum

Gullah Food Festival
(Oct. 30). Gullah fare like shrimp and okra gumbo with rice, barbecued ribs and deviled crabs. Gospel music and Gullah storytelling. Games, face painting for kids, and more. Gullah Museum of Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
(Nov. 4-7). A multi-day event featuring the finest of automobile history along with the best of today’s technology and design. Classic cars and motorcycles, vintage airplanes, Car Club showcase, film festival, automotive-related dinners, seminars and insider experiences.

Hilton Head Oyster Festival
(Nov. 12-13). All-you-can-eat steamed local oysters, Lowcountry boil, pulled pork, seafood chowder and chili. Live music, football viewing area, wine pull, artisan pop-up shops. Shelter Cove Community Park

La Isla’s Latin Music Festival (Oct. 10). Live bands, deejays, dancers, zumba lessons and dance competitions. Latin American and international food. Crafts, games and raffles, bouncy houses, face painting and other kids’ activities. Shelter Cove Community Park

HHSO Outdoor Pops at Celebration Park (Oct. 22). Free concert of film and popular music. Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro John Morris Russell. Featuring Erica Gabriel, 2018 Gold Medal Winner of the American Traditions Competition. Lawn seating. Bring your own chairs and blankets. Lowcountry Celebration Park

Jazz for All Ages Jazz Festival featuring Arturo Sandal, 10-time Grammy winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient (Oct. 27). Deas Guyz Orchestra (Oct. 28). Motown, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Presented by the Junior Jazz Foundation in affiliation with The Jazz Corner. Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort

Jazz Corner, October and November. Lavon Stevens, Martin Lesch, Ray Charles Tribute, Bobby Ryder, Deas Guyz, Christian Tamburr, Anything Mose, Fat Tuesdays (New Orleans & Beyond) and more.

Kinky Boots (Sept 28-Oct. 31). The Tony award-winning hit with music by Cyndi Lauper. Art Center of Coastal Carolina

The Thanksgiving Play (Oct. 21-31). Lean Ensemble Theater’s regional premiere of Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire on wokeness. HHP Main Street Theatre

Clicquot – A Revolutionary Musical Concert (Nov. 5-6). Pre-Broadway performance about the French woman who, in the wake of the French Revolution, transformed the champagne industry. Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

Aretha Franklin Tribute by Candice Glover (Nov. 12). American Idol winter performs the Queen of Soul’s music. Arts Center of Coastal Carolina

The Nutcracker (Nov. 12-13 & 19-20). Hilton Head Dance Theatre’s performance of the classic holiday ballet. Seahawk Cultural Center

Come See Me: Coastal Paintings by Julie Jones, Art League of Hilton Head Gallery (Oct. 5-30)

Shell Shocked Inspirations from Nature’s Shell Game: Sheri Farbstein (Nov. 2-27). One-of-a-kind creative hand-built stoneware clay vessels, wall hangings, sculptures. Art League of Hilton Head Gallery

Off the Wall (Through Oct. 17). Exhibit showcasing sculpture, pottery, and functional forms by students of artists Sheri Farbstein and Maxine Uttal. Coastal Discovery Museum.

Volumes of Light: The Amazing Lanterns of Chantelle Rytter (Oct. 22-Jan10). Featuring the giant puppets and lanterns, along with sketchbooks and photos by the creative mind behind Hilton Head’s Lantern Parade. Coastal Discovery Museum

Lantern Making Workshops and Other Art Workshops (Oct-Nov). Offered by the Coastal Discovery Museum, Art Academy of Hilton Head, and other organizations.

Tours & Talks
Coastal Discovery Museum (various dates). Island history and heritage including Civil War era, forts of Port Royal, and Daufuskie Island artisans. Plus eco-cruises, butterfly discovery, marsh tacky tours and birding.

E. Ethelbert Miller memoir writing workshop and poetry reading and book signing (Nov. 4). Both events sponsored by the Pat Conroy Literary Center, featuring Black poet, author, and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller. Coastal Discovery Museum

WACHHI Global Speakers Program. John Bolton on National Security Challenges (Oct. 1); Ambassador Deborah McCarthy on Russia and the Balkans (Oct. 22); John Tierney – Questions Congress is Failing to Ask (Nov. 11)

Lantern Parade Eve Safari Drive-Thru (Nov. 12, 6-8 pm) Up-close look at the Lantern Parade’s giant glowing puppets from the comfort of your car. Accessible for all ages and abilities. Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park

HHI Lantern Parade (Nov. 13. 5-7 pm) Giant puppets and lanterns and marching musicians light up the shoreline. A not-to-be-missed free event featuring Chantelle Rytter and her “krewe” of puppeteers, along with children and adults from the community who parade with their hand-made lanterns. South Forest Beach

Festivals & fun

Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival
The 7th annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival will be held October 16 through 24. The weeklong festivities will take place in the historic district of Bluffton. Attendees can enjoy locally harvested seafood, Lowcountry cuisine, history, culture and art of the area. For more information, visit the Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival Facebook page.

Italian Heritage Festival
The 11th annual Italian Heritage Festival is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 23 at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. Italian culture will be celebrated with live entertainment and food such as cheese, breads, pasta, fish, meatballs, sausage, calzones, Italian ice, gelato, biscotti and zeppolis. There also will be grape stomping and pizza-eating contests. For tickets and more information, visit

ZIN Experience with Italian Flair
The annual Zin Experience with Italian Flair will introduce attendees to exciting new zinfandels as well as an array of Italian varietals to taste and purchase. Wine experts will be available to pour their wine and describe their offerings. The wine selection will be accompanied by a spread of hors d’oeuvres. The event takes place 5:30-8 p.m. October 13 at the Omni Oceanfront Resort ShoreHouse. Tickets are available at The Wine & Spirit Shop at Shelter Cove, 843-785-2277.

Save the date for the Seafood Festival
The 15th anniversary of Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival will be February 21 to 27 to celebrate Southern heritage and culture. The event is expected to raise more than $1 million for local charities and over $31 million in economic impact to Hilton Head Island. Events include Lowcountry Seafood Experience on the Water, Pitmaster 101, Salt Water Super, and Pig Pickin’ & Oyster Roast, just to name a few. The main event will be held at Shelter Cove Harbour & Marina, where samples will be offered from over 100 food and beverage vendors, and two stages will provide live music, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, and wine, beer and cocktail seminars. For tickets and additional information, visit

Hilton Head Kiwanis Chili Cookoff
The Hilton Head Kiwanis Club’s Annual Chili Cookoff and Jeep Island will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 9 at Coastal Discovery Museum. Chili cooks will compete to earn donations to the youth charities of their choice and to determine the best chili on the island. Guest judges include LOCAL Life publisher Lori Goodridge and editor Lance Hanlin. For more information, email [email protected]

Rodney Strong Reserve Wine Dinner at Alexander’s
Alexander’s will be hosting a wine dinner featuring a selection of wine, food and conversation while enjoying live music by Martin Lesch on October 21. For more information, visit

Fall Southern Estates Auction
Everard Auctions & Appraisals’ Fall Southern Estates Auction will have over 900 lots for preview/pre-bid starting October 7. The exhibition is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. October 20-22, and the auction will take place October 7-28. For more information, visit or call 912-231-1376.

APP Hilton Head Open
The Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center will host one of the biggest pickleball events of the year, the Association of Pickleball Professionals Hilton Head Open from October 13 through 17. This event will act as the “golden ticket qualifier” for amateurs and professionals for Nationals, which will be held at Indian Wells in California this December.

Art shows, plays, performances

Lean Ensemble ticket packages
Lean Ensemble subscription ticket packages are now on sale for the 2021-22 season. The Preview Subscription Package will allow you to join all five shows at the preview performance; the Flex Pass 1 will allow you to purchase four tickets when you like; the Flex Pass 2 will allow you to purchase eight tickets whenever you like; and the Flex Pass 3 will allow you to purchase 10 tickets whenever you like. Here is a look at the 2021-22 season:
October 21-31: The Thanksgiving Play
December 9-19: Art
January 20-30, 2022: Other Desert Cities
March 17-27, 2022: Mitchelville
April 21-May 1, 2022: Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody

Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra 2021-22 season
Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra upcoming season, its 40th, includes nine Orchestra Series programs, two outdoor Pops concerts, two Symphony Under the Stars concerts, the 25th Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and many other offerings. The free outdoor Pops concerts will be October 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Martin Family Park in Bluffton as an affiliated event of the Historic Arts and Seafood Festival. The second show is at 7:30 p.m. October 22 at Lowcountry Celebration Park in Coligny. The Orchestra Series begins October 24 and 25 at First Presbyterian Church with violinist Will Hagen. For a full list of the 2021-22 season and to purchase tickets, visit or call 843-842-2055.

Swing FORE the Symphony
The League of the Hilton Head Orchestra is excited to announce its new fall fundraiser, Swing FORE the Symphony. The event is set for 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 15 at Wexford Golf Club. Teams of four will play in a step-aside scramble followed by heavy hors d’oeuvres in Wexford’s clubhouse. All proceeds support the orchestra’s youth programs. To enter, call Linda Moloney at 843-384-4810 or email [email protected]

Fall Spectacular! A Musical Cabaret
Hilton Head Preparatory School’s award-winning performing arts department is performing their third annual “Fall Spectacular! A Musical Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. on October 5, 6, and 7 at their Main Street Theatre. The hour long musical revue is performed cabaret-style and features Hilton Head Prep’s wealth of talented actors, dancers, musicians, and singers. Tickets can be purchased at the door and at 

Local markets

Farmers Market of Bluffton
Every Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., the Bluffton Farmers Market is open at 71 Green Street. Vendors include 7th Heaven Spices, Clark & Sons Farm, Palmetto Pops, Myers Family Farms, Sprout Momma and Tuten Farms, just to name a few. Check out the market’s Facebook page the morning of the market for a complete list of vendors.

Fashionable & fun

Roberto Coin Trunk Show
Join the team at Forsythe Jewelers for the Roberto Coin Trunk Show, Friday and Saturday, October 29 and 30 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Explore the Newly Coined Fall Collections from Roberto Coin including Love In Verona, Medallions, Navarra and more. Plus, meet Miss South Carolina, Julia Herrin of Bluffton, in person from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, October 29. Enjoy a gift with your Roberto Coin purchase. RSVP to 843-671-7070 or [email protected]

Enlightening conversations

Russia and the Baltics
Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy will be speaking at the First Presbyterian Church at 10 a.m. October 22 to discuss if Russia is a threat to the Baltic States as part of the World Affairs Council of Hilton Head’s Friday Speaker series. For tickets and more information, visit or call 843-384-6758.

2021 WACHH Friday Speaker Series
Oct. 1: John Bolton “National Security Challenges & Opportunities”
Oct. 22: Deborah McCarthy “Russia and the Baltics”
Nov. 5: John Tierney “Questions that Congress is Failing to Ask”
Nov. 19: Anand Menon “UK in a Changing Europe”
Dec. 3: Nury Turkel “The Future of Uyghurs”

Fundraising events

Be A Saint FORE Life
Benefiting the Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Lowcountry, this fundraising event will take place on October 25 at the Port Royal Golf & Racquet Club. To register, visit

Walk to End Alzheimer’s
This year, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on October 30 at The Promenade in downtown Bluffton to help end Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Currently, there are more than 95,000 South Carolinians living with the disease. You can register at

Night on the Sound
In its seventh year, this popular Port Royal Sound Foundation fundraiser will be taking place online. A three-day virtual auction filled with local adventures and experiences in, on, and around the Port Royal Sound. You will be able to browse and bid on items such as day trips, fishing experiences, family activities and more. All proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s mission. The big event will include the launching of the virtual auction along with a video release party at 5:30 p.m. October 14. The presentation will give attendees an in-depth look at the mission and work of the Port Royal Sound Foundation. Bidding will take place from 5:30 p.m. October 14 through 9 p.m. October 17. For more information, visit

Camp Leo Charity Golf Tournament
Crescent Pointe Golf Club in Bluffton will host the 10th Annual Camp Leo Charity Golf Tournament on October 9. This Greens Keepers Revenge Scramble will include pins located in interesting places and scenarios, promising a fun time for the participants. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, 12th, 20th, and last places, along with a putting contest winner. This tournament helps fund Camp Leo, a weeklong residential camp for legally blind campers ages 7 to 17. To register for the tournament, individuals and foursomes, contact Lion Dale Larow at 843-707-9004.

2021 Pro League Finals
Long Cove Club will host the 2021 HHI Pro League Tennis Finals at 6:30 p.m. on October 29. Spectators are welcome into Long Cove Club at no charge. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase (cash only). For additional information, visit the HHI Pro League’s Facebook page.