Every Saturday before Mother's Day Sunday for the past 30 years thousands of people have flocked to the charming historic streets of Bluffton for the Bluffton Village Festival, more affectionately known as May Fest. This long-running festival was the vision of Babbie Guscio, who single-handedly organized this successful event without a hitch, up until this year. Now, in its 31st year, the Bluffton Rotary Club has stepped in to lend a hand, not only to keep the traditional elements of the event alive, but also to infuse a few snazzy additions, which promise to bring even more excitement and camaraderie. I spoke with Karen Lavery, co-chair for this year's festival and past president of the Bluffton Rotary Club.
Why did the Rotary Club take this project on?
Babbie ask our Rotary Club if we could take it on. It just got too big. She has grown this event into a huge success and honestly, it has taken our entire club to do the work she has done all by herself. We are so happy to be the new organizers of the event. It is so Bluffton and so us. It's a perfect fit!
Describe the Bluffton Village Festival in a nutshell.
It's a day of community fun, old friends seeing each other, great crafts, artistry, foods, and bands. It's a great party for the town of Bluffton. It exemplifies the Bluffton State of Mind! We have the Ducky Derby, the Ugly Dog Contest, the Civil War reenactment, and so much more. It's quirky and traditional all at the same time!
How can I reserve a booth for my organization or craft?
Participants for the Festival from 10:00 to 3:00 are welcome. Arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, churches and non-profits may contact Corinne Reeves, who can be reached at 843-757-4283 or Karen Lavery at 843-384-1442.
Is there anything new festival goers can expect?
Yes! Every year people have always asked for something else to take place after 3:00 due to the momentum and fun they've already enjoyed during the day. So, in response, we are excited to introduce a new event as a finale, The Village Party After Hours - a new music event taking place at the Calhoun Promenade from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. right after the end of the Bluffton Village Festival! We have four great bands playing, good food and plenty of fun and dancing planned."
Entertainment will include the popular B-Town Playaz, the Earl Williams Band, Flashback and Tommy Beaumont. Individual tickets will be $5.00 at the entrance gates with proceeds going to Bluffton Rotary charities. There will be food and beverages for purchase throughout the late afternoon. VIP tables for eight can be reserved for $300 and include wine and food for your guests. For VIP reservations call 843-815-2277 or log onto www.blufftonvillagefestival.com.
Yes. The Greater Bluffton Pathways organization will be offering free valet parking at the Heyward House for bicycle riders. They want to encourage locals to ride their bikes by making it easy and safe to park and leave their bikes while enjoying the festivities. This is one way we are contributing to the "green movement".
Why is this a "Don't Miss" event?
It's a Bluffton tradition! This is something for the whole community. It's all about connecting. People come into town for this event, and sometimes it's the only time the entire year you get to see them. It's just a really positive day and we want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves. Leave your worries behind for a day and just have fun, good ol' fashioned fun.Bluffton style!
Saturday, May 9th - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Calhoun St. in downtown, historic Bluffton. The festival will continue to the Promenade area of Calhoun St. with a new music event called The Village Party after Hours, featuring live entertainment, food, and beverages from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. $5 Cover. For more information, log on to Blufftonvillagefestival.com or call 843-815-2277.