The Winter Carnival of Hilton Head Island celebrates the joy of living on the beautiful and sophisticated little island. January offers an array of tours, pageants and performing arts events. February is highlighted by the Native Islander Gullah Celebration, which showcases the unique cultural identity of the Gullah people.
Native Islander Gullah Celebration, February
The Gullah people are the descendants of slaves brought from West Africa in the early 1800’s to work the Sea Island plantations. After the Civil War the freed slaves were able to buy and live on the island land as farmers and fishers. Decades of relative isolation from the mainland allowed the unique Gullah culture survive. On Hilton Head, events spread out over the month of February honor the culture and traditions of the Gullah people.Read more: http://www.gullahcelebration.com/index.html
Hilton Head Island celebrates the coming of spring throughout the entire month of March with cultural events, outdoor activities and an international food tasting. Perhaps the most popular event during SpringFest is the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the largest free spectator event on the island. The Hilton Head International Piano Competition is also held during SpringFest. Read more: http://stpatricksdayhhi.com/
The Heritage of Golf
This PGA event began in 1969, when Arnold Palmer ended a 14-month slump with a victory at the Harbour Town Golf Links. The Heritage classic foundation has given over $10.5 million to charity since its inception that year. The course features the smallest greens of any PGA event, and is a favorite for many players.Read more: http://www.theheritagegolfsc.com/index.php
Gullah Festival of Beaufort, May
This three-day Festival has been presenting and preserving the Gullah culture since 1987. Drawing thousands of visitors each year, the festival presents African dance, Gullah cuisine, Gullah crafts and educational forums.
Read more: http://www.gullahfestival-beaufort-sc.com/gullah_menu.htm
Hilton Head Island’s WineFest is one of the largest outdoor wine tasting events on the East Coast. WineFest features more than 1,000 domestic and international wines from over 300 wineries, as well as continuous entertainment and meals from select Hilton Head Island restaurants.Read more: http://www.hiltonheadwineandfood.com/
FoodFest , September
Originally a part of the SpringFest calendar, the FoodFest has become popular enough to deserve its own day in September. More than 20 of Hilton Head Island’s best restaurants are on site offering a sample of their most popular menu items, and entertainment is on hand throughout the day. The Drink Making Contests challenges area bartenders to create the most original and delicious drink. The crowd-pleasing Waiter’s Race pits the area’s best wait staff against each other.
Hilton Head Celebrity Golf Tournament , September 843-842-7711
Held over three days at some of the finest courses in the area, the Hilton Head Celebrity Golf tournament has been pairing amateur golfers with celebrities from the world of sports, TV, film, music and comedy since 1980. The tournament raises money for a number of deserving children’s charities.Read more: http://www.hhcelebritygolf.com
Savannah Music Festival , Mid March-Early April 912-234-3378
Spread over nearly three weeks, The Savannah Music Festival is one of the nation’s most ambitious and distinctive music arts events. The festival celebrates music of all styles from around the world, hosting nearly 100 events in venues ranging from concert halls to historic places of worship to city squares. The festival regularly produces premieres, originally conceived productions and newly commissioned works by internationally acclaimed artists. A commitment to musical education fuels the festival. Most events include a pre-concert talk or lecture, and many events are specifically reserved for school groups. The Savannah Music Festival is a world-class arts celebration with a decidedly southern style. Read more: http://www.savannahmusicfestival.org