Back to the Future at Taste of Bluffton

I’m guessing 4-5 years ago now, I was invited to participate in some festivities in Bluffton. It was a food festival, so I was game. I mean, why not? I was judging an Iron Chef competition. What did I expect? A bunch of fried shrimp baskets, maybe some oysters and I’d call it a day. What did we get? Plain and simple one of the best food lover events of its kind in the area. And I’m not just saying that. It was a great day. A great event. By the way, the winner that day was a dish called “Crabby Britches” made by Pour Richards. Crazy good. Since then, Taste of Bluffton has gone through some growing pains but it never stopped being a great event. This year though could wind up being the best one yet.

On Saturday April 8 (yes, this Saturday) about 4 dozen vendors will line Calhoun Street in Old Town Bluffton setting the stage for a great afternoon of food in one of our regions most quaint settings. Taste of Bluffton will take over old town and feature live music, kids zones, a locals ‘rib contest’ and most importantly, a ton of great food.

Some of the names that will be involved are Bluffton Oyster Company, Jim and Nicks BBQ, Old Town Dispensary, The Cottage, Palmetto Bluff and a whole lot more. Best part? Admission is free. Tickets will be sold for $1 a piece, but no taste will sell for more than $5.

“We were very particular about that.” according to Megan Kelly, one of the events organizers, refferring to the price point. “We wanted to make it clear that this is a great chance to taste your way around the festival without spending a lot of money.”

Besides the food, as I mentioned the best part of this event is the fact that it has been moved back to Calhoun Street in the heart of Old Town. It had been held in an open parking lot at Bluffton Village for a few years and I have no problem saying it lost a lot of it charm. Organizers tell me that holding an event of this size on Calhoun Street isn’t cheap which forced the move to the other location. Festival growth to this point has allowed them to return to their original spot and they will be better for it.

Of course, the area is going to turn out for this event, especially if the weather cooperates, so parking is an issue if you don’t know where to go. This year they are staging parking at Red Cedar Elementary (click here for map) in Bluffton and will be running shuttle buses from the parking area to the festival zone. Yes, it will be a tight squeeze, there is only but so much room to get around in downtown Bluffton. That said, it is incredibly picturesque.

They’ll get underway Saturday at 11am and go until 4pm in the afternoon. For more information about the event as well as an updated list of participants, click here.

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Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.