It’s fall in the Lowcountry, which means the Coastal Carolina Fair is here near Charleston. Believe it or not, the fair’s been going on for 62 years in these parts.
But before I get to that, a quick mention of tomorrow night. As I covered in that last blog, if you’re on the Isle of Palms and have kids, you might want to check out the Halloween happenings at the Rec Center. It’s going on between 5-7:00 p.m. with a costume contest starting at 5:30. There will be plenty of games and treats for all. The Rec is in the middle of the IOP at 24 28th Avenue.
If you’re here on the Isle of Palms vacation rentals and want to feel like a local, here’s what you do. Most island kids hit the IOP Rec Center first, often in a decorated golf cart. Then they make their way up Hartnett Boulevard toward 41st Avenue. There are several homes decorated with spooky yardscapes and who are known for giving out the “good candy.” As I also covered in that last blog, not all Halloween candies are created equal. There’s a good list and a bad list. FYI, there are also a couple of well decorated houses on Waterway Boulevard.
If you are working on a last minute costume, here are a couple simple Halloween makeup recipes to complete your look.
Tip: For darker, more realistic blood, add a little blue food coloring. You can also mix in some chocolate syrup.
For a much happier and less macabre costume…
Mix well together and spread on your skin. You can also opt for mineral makeup or L’oreal instant bronzer for a tan beach fairy.
Here’s a helpful link to more chemical-free, homemade costume makeup recipes. They include face paint (also good for football season!) plus one for edible goop (perfect for making fake wounds, warts, etc.).
As they tend to be around the country, the annual fair is a pretty big deal around these parts. Believe it or not, 250,000 folks are expected to attend over the course of its run.
Who knows – you just might experience your own “The Notebook” Noah-meets-Allie moment. After all, Noah first spotted Allie at a fairground. Speaking of which, many key scenes of the movie were filmed in locations near Charleston. They shot important scenes at Boone Hall Plantation (just over the Connector from the Isle of Palms), in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant, on Upper King Street, at the old Navy Base, and in Cypress Gardens.
The fair is going on now through Sunday, November 4th. Here’s the official website with the full scoop, including ticket prices, hours, schedules, and parking info.
Also, here’s Live 5 News’s coverage of it. According to them, “The fair claims to have something for everyone: rides and rodeos, national and local entertainment, exhibits including arts and crafts, and a barn and animals.”
And here is a list of frequently asked questions about the fair.
…and that’s all on top of several dozen Midway Rides and Kiddieland Rides.
Last but not least, there’ll be the famous very bad-for-you deep-fried fair food. According to Hanna Raskin, the Post & Courier’s resident foodie, this year’s hot item: Deep-Fried Cheesy Meatballs-on-a-Stick. Apparently it was a big hit at Raleigh’s fair and is the creation of Derek Porter of State Fair Foods. Read more about it here.
The Coastal Carolina Fair is located at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds in Ladson, a pretty convenient drive from all our rental homes South Carolina. For your GPS, it’s at 9850 U.S. Highway 78, Ladson. From your Charleston beach house on Isle of Palms, head over the Connector to Mount Pleasant, get on I-526 till you reach I-26, then head north (well, technically west, I-26 West) till you reach the Ladson exit.
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If you’re going to be in Charleston this coming week, there are some fun fallish events going on, and Halloween candy is involved. After all, Halloween falls smack in the middle of the week.
As I shared in that last blog, there are plenty of places to snag a cute pumpkin for your front stoop. You can even pick one out of the patch at Boone Hall nearby. They also have a fun corn maze to explore as well as spooky Fright Nights in the evenings. I would not recommend that last one for the young ones, however. And maybe not for the older ones either; it sounds downright creepy.
You can check out Boone Hall’s special events page for all the goings on.
Tomorrow – Saturday, October 27th – there’s a neat event at Towne Centre in Mount Pleasant. That’s the great outdoor shopping center just over the IOP Connector. The merchants there are cranking up their 9th annual Fall Festival, from noon till 3:00.
Kids are invited to dress up and trick or treat at the various stores. There will be arts and crafts, face painting, bounce house, balloon animals, bubbles by Good Clean Fun, tons of exhibitors, music, food vendors and crafts.
And what is likely the highlight of the festival, be sure to check out the Pet Costume Contest at 2:00 sponsored by Hairy Winston Pet Boutique.
The festival is centered in the new park area, The Oaks, across from Barnes and Noble. Admission is free. It’s $10 to enter the pet costume contest, with proceeds going to PetHelpers.
For your GPS, it’s located at 1218 Belk Drive in Mount Pleasant. From the Isle of Palms, just take the IOP Connector, turn left onto Highway 17, then left at the next traffic light into Towne Centre. Here’s more from their website.
Then, on Halloween itself, the Isle of Palms will sponsor its annual Halloween Carnival and Costume Contest. It’ll have all sorts of fun activities and takes place the Rec Center at 24 28th Avenue.
Here are the deets:
Costume contest at 5:30, in several age divisions:
Read more on the IOP website.
With October 31st comes candy. Approximately 179 million folks in this country will celebrate Halloween. The average each one will spend on candy: $27. That’s a lot of potential biz for the dental industry.
The folks at CandyStore.com have crunched the numbers, and they have come up with the favorite Halloween candy by state. The results are in – and folks in the Palmetto State have a new favorite Halloween candy.
South Carolina’s favorite Halloween candy:
Check out their cool interactive national candy map that’s colorful and fun.
They also came up with a so-called definitive list of the Top Ten Worst Halloween Candy and Top Ten Best Halloween Candy to give out to those trick-or-treaters. This comes in handy if you’d rather avoid your house getting egged on Halloween. Here they are.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
As I covered in that last blog, fall is finally falling near Charleston, which means it’s time to hit a pumpkin patch or two.
Obviously Charleston and its island beaches are a great place to kick back in the summer. You can lounge by the pool, whiling away the hours in the balmy sunshine.
But as we locals know, fall is one of the best times to be here. It’s a rather well-kept secret. The days tend to be sunny and warm and the nights are just cool enough to be blissfully refreshing.
There’s a nip in the air that reads: lack of humidity , that reads: more energy. It’s downright lovely.
So now that fall is here, there are some rules. Rule #1 is, you gotta get search for an old fashioned pumpkin patch (or at least a farmers market or grocery store) and pick out a pumpkin …to carve, to put on your front stoop or dining room table. To cut up and cook into a delicious pie or a really good muffin.
One of the best local places is Hibben Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant, across from the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market on Coleman Boulevard.
They’ve been running a pumpkin patch for many years now. Best part is, it’s for a good cause. The pumpkins are grown on Navajo Indian land in New Mexico and harvested by Native Americans. 60% of profits go back to the growers, and 40% goes to charities like Epworth Children’s Home, Hibben Mission, United Methodist Relief Center, Hibben youth programs. It’s open 10:00 a.m. till dark Monday through Saturday, noon till dark Sundays through Halloween.
Then of course there’s nearby Boone Hall Plantation, which has mega fall festivities going on right now. You can pick your own homegrown pumpkin and pay by the pound in their famous Pumpkin Patch.
Boone Hall also has a gigantic elaborate corn maze (a maize maze!) that’s fun for all ages. Actually, this year they have two. One is a shorter, fairly straight forward trek. The other is longer and more challenging, with lots of twists and turns for “adventurous explorers.” They offer a bunch of other fun activities, including:
You can read all about it here, including admission and hours. Kids under two are admitted free. Boone Hall is an easy drive from all our rental homes South Carolina. From our Isle of Palms luxury rentals, just cross the IOP Connector, turn right onto Highway 17 North, then keep an eye peeled for the pumpkins on your left.
Legare Farms over on Johns Island hosts its annual Fall Festival celebration weekends in October, complete with a major pumpkin patch. There are also hayrides to go feed the cows, a build-your-own scarecrow area, horse rides, a place where you can feed and pet sweet animals in the barnyard. They have duck races and a corn cannon. You can even mine for gems.
This time of year, lots of places have corn mazes. Not Legare. Here they have a Myrtle Maze, cleverly carved into 10 acres of wax myrtles. They also have plenty of concessions available for purchase. Admission is free, though some activities requite tickets. Read all about it on the website. Hours: 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Saturday, 1:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
A beach holiday, especially one spent in a luxury house on Isle of Palms, is a fun and practical way to spend the holidays, which are kicking off now.
One of the many good things about our rental homes is they have large gourmet kitchens, the perfect place to prepare big family meals. They tend to have open concept floor plans, with large dining and living areas and plenty of room for family and friends to gather. Each one is also equipped with plenty of flat screen TVs to watch the big game.
If you are interested in coming to Charleston for a beach holiday, you should call EP as soon as you can. Beach holiday rentals in general are in high demand, and the Isle of Palms in particular is hot, what with Charleston making all these best place to visit lists.
Special days come in all shapes and sizes and colors. We’re fast approaching an orange and black one.
If you are on the Isle of Palms right now, there’s a pre-Halloween treat in store for you this evening.
It’s Ghostly Tide Tales… eerie but family-friendly ghost and pirate stories that relate to the Lowcountry.
The event is sponsored by the IOP Rec Center (which, by the way, has a bunch of ooky spooky Halloween decorations in the lobby). There will also be s’mores by the campfire and something yummy like hot cocoa to drink.
You are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, a flashlight and a friend or two. Meet at the 25th Avenue beach access this evening, Friday, October 19th, at 6:30. The fun will last about an hour.
So take in some seasonal storytelling on the beach. The weather looks wonderful for it, just a slight nip in the air. And when you are looking for great beach holiday homes, be sure to call Exclusive Properties.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
It’s time to snag those festival tickets for some of the many late fall and early spring events near Charleston. Word to the wise: it pays to shop early.
Case in point: as I blogged about recently, tickets for the Wine + Food Festival went on sale a while back. Within hours of the ticket launch, many events had already sold out.
Festival tickets have just become available for another one of the big events happening in the months ahead.
You can now purchase tickets for the 37th installment of SEWE – the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
SEWE draws more people to the Lowcountry than any other single event. It’s set for February 15th through the 17th, 2019. Get ready to spend a weekend enjoying some of the best wildlife art, crafts, demos and activities in the world. It’s all about “Celebrating Wildlife Art & The Sporting Life.”
SEWE is also quite good for kids. Children ten and under are free. There are many events and activities perfect for educating AND entertaining young ones. They’re sure to get a kick out of the petting zoo and the DockDogs. Actually, there’s no age limit on enjoying both of those. They tend to be two of my favorites to check out at SEWE.
And then there’s the art. This is how SEWE describes it:
“The Thrill of the Hunt: Sewe is nature’s gallery, where collectors and conservationists capture the experience through coveted works of art. For the avid sportsman, for the person who revels in the sporting lifestyle or even a simple moment unplugged, this weekend is the ultimate luxury – the pursuit and the prize. SEWE is…Nature. Curated.”
SEWE recently announced the official poster and featured work of art, which you can see in the image above. Entitled, “Little Havoc,” this painting by Lou Pasqua shows a Boykin Spaniel rushing a covey of quail.
By the way, the Boykin Spaniel is the official dog of South Carolina. So when you’re here visiting, keep an eye peeled for the state canine!
You can read more about Lou and his work here.
You can order either general admission festival tickets or special VIP packages with insider access. The latter tend to go fast. Here’s the official website, with the full schedule as well as online purchasing for festival tickets.
As a special bonus, if you order general admission tickets now through October 31st, you’ll save 20% off the price by using the promo code WILD during checkout.
There are several good things about coming to the Lowcountry in the so-called offseason. Temps are generally moderate to downright delightful. The beach is less crowded. You’ll get the best rates on all our beach homes. You’ll also get the best selection from our portfolio.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
When you come to stay in a Charleston beach house, it stands to reason that you can use some good beach reading material during your visit.
This weekend just happens to be the perfect chance to stock up on beach reading and much more, appropriate for all reading and interest levels. It’s a fun annual event that also happens to support a worthy cause.
If you’re here right now, the weather is marvelous. Thankfully we only had a little wind from Hurricane Michael. Of course our thoughts and prayers are with those in Florida, Alabama and Georgia who were seriously affected by this historic storm.
We have been blessed and fortunate on the coast of South Carolina. It’s perfect weather to lounge on the deck with a book and take in some Vitamin D, aka sunshine.
This weekend is the Charleston County Library’s annual fall book sale, affectionately known as “That BIG Book Sale.” This is the 37th year that TBBS has taken place. It’s going on today through Sunday.
TBBS is sponsored by Charleston Friends of the Library (CFOL). Proceeds go toward helping the public library do its good work for the community. CFOL pledges at least $100,000 to the library each year; most of that is raised by book sales like this one.
It’s a great, wholesome place to do some early Christmas shopping. They tend to have a lot of local interest items, so it’s also a nice place to grab a souvenir from your stay in the Lowcountry.
TBBS takes place at the Omar Shrine Auditorium at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. It’s located at 176 Patriots Point Road, an easy drive from the beach.
There’s a fun party going on in Ravenel this weekend.
It’s the Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival at Hyde Park Polo Club. Also going on – Victory Cup polo matches, part of the national Victory Cup Tournament happening around the country. Get set for some lovely horses, spiffy fashion and hats.
Here’s more about it from the Post & Courier, along with other fall festivals going on this weekend.
Events happen tonight and tomorrow, October 12th and 13th. Tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon are the polo matches. Sponsors include Ferrari, Bentley Charlotte, Vineyard Vines, Truly, Angry Orchard, Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
You can get the whole scoop about that at the official Victory Cup website.
And last but not least, there’s a new farmers market launching this weekend. Called The Post and Courier Farmers Market, it’s happening on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 in the Visitor’s Lot of the Post & Courier, at the corner of King and Columbus Streets downtown.
They’ll have over 40 vendors, with produce, artisans’ wares and food trucks for your shopping and dining pleasure. This is also a great way to sample local Lowcountry products and find a souvenir from your stay in Charleston.
As a nice bonus, there’s free parking available in the P&C employee parking lot across the street.
So grab some good beach reading at a great price, watch some polo, and check out a new farmers market. And remember, when you are looking for the best beach rentals near Charleston, to call Exclusive Properties.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
The beach is a genuine treasure, and a beach sweep is a terrific way to help keep it that way.
One of our greatest natural resources is our ocean and coastlines. This is hugely apparent here in the Lowcountry. People who come to visit, do so in large part to enjoy the beaches and waters around Charleston. Many of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals are oceanfront, just steps from the sand and surf.
Ocean pollution is a humongous problem, and it often starts at the beach.
Area beaches are public. As such they are open to everyone, whether they own property here, rent a vacation home, or are just visiting for the day.
When the beach gets crowded, particularly during the peak summer months, the trash left behind can be shocking.
It is all of our responsibility to try our best to keep them in clean, if not pristine, condition.
Here in South Carolina, there’s a statewide Beach Sweep River Sweep that takes place on a Saturday each fall. This year’s installment was supposed to happen September 15th. However, due to Hurricane Florence, it was rescheduled to October 20th.
Read more about it here.
However, once a year just isn’t enough to keep our precious beaches clean. As a result, some committed local residents created the IOP Cleanup Crew. This amazing effort, which I covered in a previous blog, netted impressive results.
Now that peak season is over, they have switched to a monthly beach sweep, including one last night. Each cleanup is followed by a gathering at a local eatery like The Windjammer for food and drinks specials for participants. It’s become a rollicking good time, for locals and visitors, alike. You can stay abreast of the latest on their Facebook page.
There’s one graphic that really got my attention recently. It’s the amount of time it takes for certain kinds of trash to decompose. The numbers are shocking. I’m putting it in as the featured graphic on this page. But to recap a couple of stats, check this out….
Wow. That really makes one stop and think. And possibly rethink some habits, like getting plastic bags at the grocery store, or single use water bottles, both of which can so easily blow away on a windy beach.
So help us keep our beaches clean, with a beach sweep if you’re so inclined. It doesn’t have to be an official one. Just next time you find yourself on the beach, conduct your own personal beach sweep and pick up whatever litter you see. There are garbage cans conveniently located at beach access paths.
And remember to call EP, because our Isle of Palms vacation rentals are near the loveliest beaches around.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Fall is here, the weather is wonderful, and it’s time for another very popular local 5K and 10K: the IOP Connector Run.
This weekend is the 26th incarnation of a well-loved local island event. Not only is it healthy fun, it also benefits a worthy cause. Whether you’re a local or here visiting, you’re welcome to take part or just spectate and enjoy the after party.
If you’ve been to the Isle of Palms before, you probably drove over the IOP Connector while you were here. You may have noticed folks walking, running or biking over it. It offers great views of the marsh and tidal creeks, and there’s usually a nice breeze. It’s the easiest way to get between the Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant.
If you’ve been here lately, you may have noticed an unusually large number of people running on the IOP Connector. Chances are they’re training for this weekend’s big event, the official Connector Run.
It’s the 26th annual Isle of Palms Run and Walk for the Child – a yearly 5K and 10K race that draws runners and walkers of all levels to the island.
The race is subtitled “…For the Prevention of Child Abuse & Healing those Affected in Charleston.” As the name indicates, proceeds go toward advocacy programs for children in the area. It’s done a lot of good over the years while also proving to be a fun fall and island event.
This is how organizers have described the race:
“This Run/Walk is the most scenic on the East Coast, providing panoramic early morning views of the Intracoastal Waterway as you walk and run from the Isle of Palms over the marsh towards Mount Pleasant. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the sunrise, and a wide variety of coastal birds and passing boats with thousands of other walkers and runners as well as a fabulous After Party with fun & games, kids’ activities, snacks, beer garden, and Live Music. All of this while helping the Exchange Club of Isle of Palms raise money for the prevention of child abuse!”
It takes place this Saturday, October 6th – that’s tomorrow! The race itself begins at 8:00 a.m. The start line is on Palm Boulevard near J. C. Long Boulevard, right next to our office. If you are taking part, you could literally jog from one of our beach homes to the start line. Not a bad way to warm up before the race.
For the 5K, runners or walkers go halfway over the Connector, then loop back. 10K-ers go all the way over to Mount Pleasant, near the entrance to Seaside Farms), before looping back.
Early and online registrations are over, but you can still enter the race. You can register in person for $35 at the packet pickup today (Friday, October 5th) between 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at East Cooper Hospital. You can also register tomorrow, the morning of the race, between 6:00-7:30 a.m. at the IOP Public Safety Building, 30 J.C. Long Boulevard, right down the street from our office, for $40. You can also give more that the required amount. It will count as a donation to the truly worthy cause.
The race is organized by the City of Isle of Palms and the Town of Mount Pleasant as well as the Exchange Clubs of both towns. It has a slew of big sponsors including East Cooper Medical Center, presenting sponsor Mahle, Harris-Teeter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Windjammer, Mercedez-Benz, Dockery’s, Rivers Kids, UPS, Sullivan Law Office, Isle of Palms Family Dentistry, and many more.
This year’s theme is #Oktoberfest, and you’re encouraged to dress for the part. Unlike many area runs, strollers are welcome.
The post-race party has evolved into quite a bash, especially with this year’s Oktoberfest theme. There is a complimentary beer garden for those participants 21 and over (bring ID), live music featuring the ever-popular PLANE JANE and awards as well as a special kids’ entertainment area. There will also be brats! (Sausages, not kids).
There’s an important note to those staying on the Isle of Palms. If you’re coming to or leaving the Isle tomorrow morning, the IOP Connector will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 7:00 a.m. due to the Connector Run. They will reopen the Connector around 10:30 a.m. when the last runners and walkers and all the course markings are cleared. Between those hours, you will need to access or leave the island via Breach Inlet and Sullivan’s Island.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
There’s a fun island event going on this evening that benefits a great cause: the beloved loggerhead turtle.
As I covered in a recent blog about the Turtle Trek, the loggerhead turtle is an iconic Lowcountry resident. They lay eggs on the sands of the Isle of Palms and other area beaches each summer.
Though an adult loggerhead turtle reach several hundred pounds and are agile swimmers, these majestic giants are surprisingly vulnerable.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that many of the threats to their wellbeing are manmade.
The last one is why we frequently remind folks staying here about “Lights out for Loggerheads.” Basically all homes that are oceanfront should turn off all exterior lights after dark from May through October. Any light visible from the beach – even cell phones – is a no-no.
Luckily, the South Carolina Aquarium has a wonderful Sea Turtle Hospital that rehabilitates injured or sick turtles. It recently underwent a massive renovation and upgrade and is now known as the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Exhibit. It’s a state-of-the-art facility with the best medical care, an exercise pool and a CT scanner. Special windows allow visitors to observe the sea turtle treatments without any disruption in their important work.
The Aquarium and its hospital, located downtown, is a terrific destination for all ages, especially kids. There are countless fun exhibits, activities and tours designed just for them.
Since its start many years ago, the turtle hospital has nursed back to health hundreds of specimens of the loggerhead turtle (both adult and juvenile) as well as other sea turtles like Kemps ridley, green and hybrid.
When turtles are released back into the ocean after having been at the hospital, it’s become a hugely popular celebratory event. These loggerhead turtle releases often take place on local barrier islands – either Folly or the IOP. Here on the Isle, they are usually done at the Isle of Palms County Park.
Crowds line a large cordoned-off section of the beach well in advance. Aquarium staff and turtle team volunteers hoist the turtles off the truck. They usher them down toward the water as people cheer wildly and take photos. It is a definite feel-good event, and something for all ages.
Tonight (Oct. 2nd) from 7:00 till 10:00, The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms will host its very popular and fun fundraiser to support the turtle hospital. This is the sixth annual one they’ve done.
The event was created in honor of Jammer, a loggerhead who was rescued near the Windjammer in April of 2011. He was lovingly treated and brought back to life and health at the hospital. Jammer was released back into the ocean a year later.
Here is more about Jammer. This was written by Mary Pringle, turtle team member and friend to wildlife of all kinds, in the Island Eye News a while back:
“For those of you who are not familiar with Jammer’s story, he washed ashore near death, suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome, and was taken to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital. After receiving excellent care there, he was released in May of 2012 at the Isle of Palms County Park, near where he was rescued.
The before and after photos did not seem to show the same loggerhead. The healthy, robust sea turtle carried for release by Isle of Palms Fire Department Chief Ann Graham and Windjammer co owner Bobby Ross was strong and ready for a new chance at survival.”
At Jammin’ for Jammer, there will be plenty of live music by Sweetgrass and No Shoes Allowed. There will be tons of great food from many favorite area restaurants.
There will also be a silent auction with great items like art, jewelry, outdoor items, kitchen items, home décor, even a ukulele with sea turtles on it. They’re also raffling a special handmade quilt that’s all about the loggerheads.
The suggested donation is $20, and tickets will be available at the door. There will be a cash bar. All proceeds go to the Sea Turtle Hospital to help others like Jammer get healthy again and get back into the wild, where they belong. An area of particular support is the ongoing genetics research project involving the local Island Turtle Team.
The Windjammer is located at 10th Avenue and Ocean Boulevard on the IOP. It is an island institution. Here’s more about the event from their website.
Here’s the whole scoop from the Island Eye News.
So be a part of helping this gorgeous gentle giant of the sea, the loggerhead turtle. And remember, when you are looking for luxury beach house rentals SC, to give Exclusive Properties a call. We’ll put you in the perfect one.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger