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Experience the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art

Music Is in the Air in Pawleys Island
25th Annual Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art

by Kimberly Duncan

The Hammock Coast is a best kept secret as regards culture in South Carolina. From the fishing village of Murrells Inlet south to the historic and charming port city of Georgetown, the Grand Strand’s southernmost reaches serve up an enviable wealth of riches every day of the year. There are literary lunches with famous authors (ClassAtPawleys.com), museums, fine art and photography galleries, performing art venues, one of the world’s most prestigious sculpture gardens, plantation homes, historic churches, tea rooms, poetry readings, lectures and classes of every sort.

Of all the Lowcountry’s stellar events, the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is one of which the region is especially proud. In fact, this year marks the 25th anniversary of a weeks-long event counted among the most celebrated music and art festivals in the entire Southeast. In celebration of this silver anniversary, 2015’s Festival timeline spans four full weeks. Start planning quickly because the dates are surprisingly close – September 25 through October 17!

The big draws – just to name names most might know – include Grammy Award Winning artists Aaron Neville, Steve Tyrell and Mike Farris; their performances stretch over three weekends. Around those blockbuster opportunities, there is a whole host of other enlightening and enjoyable cultural opportunities. Here’s a brief sampling:

Seaside Palette en Plein Air will take place on Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26, when more than fifty artists will gather in the Georgetown Historic District to participate in the Third Annual Seaside Palette. Artists will paint until dusk on Friday and begin again on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. until painting ends at 2. Then, from 3 until 5 p.m., attendees will have a chance to meet all the artists and buy their creations at the Wet Paint Sale & Reception on the wide, beautiful lawn of the Kaminski House Museum – a downtown riverside spot tucked beneath old oaks, steeped in history and steps from Georgetown’s Harborwalk.

Also on that Saturday in the Historic District, Seaside Palette will feature the Sixth Annual Chalk Walk. In the Italian tradition of street painting, this event is a valuable way to teach and promote the history of this lost art to artists of every age and level of skill. Also on that day, a very special musical group, The Squonk Opera, will present a genius show that’s hard to classify and different from anything you’ve ever seen – or heard.

Among the next week’s biggest events is the Sixteenth Annual Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala on Thursday, October 1. Patrons will enjoy hors d’oeuvres prepared by the area’s best chefs, tastings of 100+ wines from vineyards around the globe and the opportunity to purchase many options at a discount. The evening will also include a dessert tasting and a silent auction with tempting trips and treasures. AJ Croce, Natalie Douglas, Ken Lavigne, Davis and Johnson and The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra round out the Silver Anniversary Celebration represented by Blues, Classical, Big Band and soulful ballads. There’s lots more planned on many dates than room to specify.

The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is one of a hundred mighty fine reasons to visit South Carolina’s Lowcountry for a cool-weather beach vacation. Check out a wealth of detail about the Festival at PawleysMusic.com, or call 843.626.8911. Start planning a beach getaway to The Hammock Coast of South Carolina at HammockCoastSC.com.