Friday, October 8, 2010

Where We're From

Every town has their "thing." Dillon, SC is known for housing America's favorite highway oasis - South of the Border. Columbia is famous for its Annual Greek Festival (apart from also housing the nation's best football team...duh!). And Charleston has put itself on the map for Spoleto Festival each year!

And while we don't have giant burrito or sombrero sculptures or serve up yummy baklava or fine arts performances, Beaufort (really) comes alive two times a year....once in July for the Water Festival and in just the past two years, in September for the Shrimp Festival.
I didn't attend this event last year and reluctantly went this year only to find out that this charming festival put on by "Main Street" (how much more American can you get?) was a barrel of fun. The weather was perfect - mid-70s with a light breeze and sunshiney skies dotted with puffy cotton ball clouds. The air was filled with the aroma of shrimp....every kind. As Forrest Gump would say "barbecued shrimp, boiled shimp, baked shimp, sauteed shrimp....shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried...pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, srhimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich....." There was no lack of shrimp! And it was made better only be the distinguishable grease and powdered sugar smell of funnel cake!

The Lieutenant Dan Band played Friday night - awesome 80s cover song after another. And Saturday Shannon and I ventured downtown again to fill our afternoon with a shrimp boat tour and browsing the vendor booths(where we scored the best chotskie shrimp necklaces complete with whiskers) and succesfully stayed away from all things fried, battered or dipped.

It's festivals like these that make a small town what it is...and different from the next. Festivals that add that "special charm" to a town. Though I write more often about wishing I could wake up and see skyscrapers and a clamor of city lights, it's weekends like these that make me appreciative of where I'm from and the beauty of the Lowcountry.

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