It all began in 2005 to focus the inhabitants of Bluffton, South Carolina; the young and old, rich and poor, locals and transplants, as a community, to benefit the citizens, the local area merchants and artists through tourism.

Those who experience the uniqueness of the Town of Bluffton had and continue to express the need to protect and maintain the pristine quality of the May River and the historic Bluffton Oyster Company, as they are both fundamental to the very essence of the community.

In the words of Dan Wood, Festival Founder:

As Bluffton continues to grow, it is paramount that we continue to introduce our citizens, old and new, to these precious Bluffton gems. Festivals are like magnets; they attract all to celebrate their community

What began as a one day event in 2005 and expanded to a weekend of merriment in 2006 has, since 2007, become a week-long celebration highlighting the “gems of Bluffton”: the natural beauty of this river community; its rich history; the pristine quality of the May River; the bounty of the local waterways; and the cultural and artistic aspect of the community itself. It is truly the celebration “where fine art and the bounty of the sea come together”!

The fundamental purpose of the festival each October, is to help raise awareness that fosters protection of the May River and the rich culture and history of Bluffton for the enjoyment of generations to come.


The Calhoun Street art show which takes place on Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20 will feature over one-hundred fine artists from all around the country. Festival goers will enjoy seeing a variety of media such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, mixed media, photography, metals, clay and wood.

In addition, there will be an Opening Day Artist Showcase.

What a wonderful and serene beginning to the week of festivities, strolling through Old Town Bluffton viewing Friends of Bluffton Artists Annual Showcase, a celebration of exceptional handmade, original local art. Exhibits for this Showcase event will be on Calhoun Street.

Food Vendors

A relaxing stroll along Calhoun Street, will lead you toward the sights, sounds and aromas of the 15th Annual Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival. You will not only enjoy the walk and the sights, but you will not be able to resist the unbelievable selection of delights for your palate.

To entice you let me share a few of the edibles you will be able to gobble up:

  • Bratwurst
  • Clams
  • Craft Beer
  • SheCrab Soup & Gumbo
  • Hand Tossed Pizzas
  • Hot Appel Dumplings
  • Hush Puppies
  • Crab Chowder
  • Crab Spring Rolls
  • Kettle Corn by the Bag
  • Lobster Mac 'n Cheese
  • Lobster Rolls
  • Oysters
  • Paella
  • Shrimp 'n Grits


Although the event is entitled Arts & Seafood Festival, what would a festival be without entertainment.

If the festivals of the past are any measure, the attendees of this year’s festival are in for a treat.

The 2018 entertainment included:

Lavon Stevens

Lavon Stevens is known for his Soulful Jazz, Contemporary and Blues music. A native of Savannah, Ga. Lavon began singing and playing piano at the age of 7. He began performing in local groups across the Southeast at the age of thirteen. His first instrument was the violin. He later studied voice and piano at Dekalb College in Atlanta, Ga. from 1979 to 1983.

He has traveled and performed all over the country, on the board as a member of The Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and is one of the music producers for The Native Island Gullah Festival. Further, he is very active with The Junior Jazz Foundation at The Jazz Corner and he is also a member of the Circle of Songs organization.


MUDDYCREEK is a five-piece variety cover band that became a Lowcountry favorite almost overnight. From their first public performance for the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Business After-Hours party in the Spring of 2014, this group has been pleasing different types of audiences with their surprising array of ever-growing musical offerings.

Unlike other variety bands that all seem to play the same song list, MUDDYCREEK has their own approach to song selection for putting together a show that suits just about any gathering to create an exciting experience. The band roster includes members who are multi-instrumentalists and the songs they perform often include multi-part vocal arrangements for a band sound that is unique to the area and dynamic throughout their shows.

Audiences throughout the Lowcountry have enjoyed and danced to this band’s unique mix of Pop, R&B, Country, Classic Rock, Blues, Disco, Rockabilly Swing, and more.

Julie Gribble

This is a performer not to be missed! It just comes naturally for Julie Gribble, writing, singing, and performing. But what she loves most is to inspire, to reach people with her music.

With her Traditional Americana/Country Music, Gribble has entranced audiences with her modern stories of life, love and relationships. When you think about the edge of an artist like Lucinda Williams, the melodies of Allison Krauss, and a likeness to Natalie Merchant, you'll find Julie. Audiences connect immediately to the unique lyrics because they’re not the same old love clichés. As Craig Ferguson said, on his show about her record, So Typical, "It's Fantastic!"

Gribble has toured the US, Canada and The Caribbean, opened for major label artists and has become the face of Hotel Indigo's Featured Artist.


Posted by Randy Smith on
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