From the “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” Department we find ourselves with plans to spend a good bit of time on Hilton Head Island this week. The island never met a festival it didn’t like, especially when it comes to food. You can have any number of eats all year long on the island, all for wonderful causes, but the one that has been somewhat flying below the radar has the potential to be one of the biggest some day. It’s the Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival. It runs March 1st through the 7th. Wraps up in Shelter Cove Park with live music, food and fun for the entire family.
“It started out as Spring Fest in the 80’s”, says Andrew Carmines, one of the event organizers. “Then when my brother passed away from cancer in 2002 we decided to revive it a little bit”. That was about five years ago. Since then, they’ve created the David Carmines Foundation for Cancer Research and have raised thousands of dollars for that charity and others on the island. “We are hoping for $50,000 this year.” That’s no small bit of change for an event that continues to grow.
Some of the highlights including a couple of wine pairing dinners throughout the week. Monday night Lucky Rooster will have center stage. Executive Chef Clayton Rollison has created quite a buzz on the island with the type of fare you don’t typically expect hidden amongst the trees and bike paths of Hilton Head. We spend a good bit of time travelling around the South, eating here, tasting there. Lucky Rooster is the spot that most resembles what is developing in the Southern food scene. It’s almost a fish out of water on the island, but Chef Clayton’s approach is catching on. Michael Anthony’s certainly needs no introduction on Hilton Head Island. One of the island’s Italian icons will be up to bat Thursday night when they will offer a wine dinner featuring Shell Ring Oysters.
The finale on Saturday, once again at Shelter Cove Park, is a day in the sun for everyone. There will be an area for kids, bounce houses and slides, games for young and old. Live music great food and great fun. And all proceeds go to any number of worthy causes. All monies stay on the island, which is pretty special.
For more information on the festival and the events going on, you can log on to www.hiltonheadseafoodfestival.com. Ticket prices are reasonable, the dinners quite obviously will be a bit higher, but the food will undoubtedly be some of the best seafood bites on the island. We’ll see you there.