McClellanville Wisteria Parade

This Saturday, April 2nd at 10:30 am is the McClellanville Wisteria Parade.  This is truly a site to behold if you’ve never attended; golf carts, strollers, floats, hats, horses, bicycles, pets, and little red wagons all loaded to the brim with flowing wisteria blossoms.  The event starts at the Presbyterian Church and continues on Pinckney Street to the Town Hall where there will be an inflatable jump castle for the children.  This is one of those silly McClellanville events designed for no other reason that to be outside and enjoy each other’s company in the beautiful weather.

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McClellanville Holiday Art Walk

McClellanville Christmas LightsFriday, December 3rd  (tonight) from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday, December 4th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the business district of Pinckney Street in “downtown” McClellanville will be transformed into a shopper’s paradise as local businesses, artists, and craftsmen showcase their works in the 3rd Annual Village Holiday Art Walk.   There will be live music, food, furniture, antiques, collectibles, clothes, paintings, drawings,  jewelry, pottery, photography, books, and more all from hard-working, local artists.

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Fall Events in McClellanville

Plenty to do on the events calendar over the next couple of weeks in McClellanville as we enter into fall and the chill in the air hopefully fights off the mosquitoes.  I’m also particularly proud because I built all of the websites mentioned in this article.
October 26th at 7pm – Candidate Forum
October 30th at 10am- Eggstravaganza
October 30th at 4:30pm – ARA Halloween Carnival
November 6th – Children Clothing Sale
November 6th at 6pm – Village Museum Oyster Roast

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34th Lowcountry Shrimp Festival in McClellanville

local mcclellanville shrimpIt is my honor to announce of 34th Lowcountry Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, May 1st, 2010 at the McClellanville Boat Landing.   This is the fourth time I’ve had the pleasure to write about the event and like always there is something for everyone; Great Seafood (Duh!), Kabobs, Cold Beverages (for kids and adults), Arts and Crafts, Vendors, Dancing, and Kid’s Corner with Games and Rides.  You’ve also got to pick-up a t-shirt to commemorate the date and enter to win some great stuff offered in the silent auctions and door prizes.

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Village Holiday Art Walk 2009

Looking for the 2010 McClellanville Holiday Art Walk?
McClellanville Village Holiday Art WalkQuick Post here: Village Artists and Craftsmen Group would like to welcome you to the Village Holiday Art Walk
Friday, December 4 (Tonight) from  5 p.m. -8 pm
Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. – 5 pm
Enjoy holiday shopping, dining and visiting artist’s studios along Pinckney Street in the Historic District of McClellanville. Find original reasonably priced treasures including antiques, collectables, paintings, drawings, woodcut prints, jewelry, pottery, photography, books by local authors, handmade baby fashions, sculpture and much more…Participating Shops, Restaurants , Artists and other Venues

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November means Oysters in McClellanville

Looking for 2010 Village Museum Oyster Roast?
Village Museum Oyster Roast in McClellanvilleI’ll go ahead and say it.  I don’t like seafood.  Yes, I grew up in McClellanville, “the seafood capital of the world”, but the taste of  crabs, clams, shrimp, fish, and oysters has never really been that appealing to me.  I try not to open with this point, because most seafood lovers write me off as crazy, but I can’t help my taste buds.
All that aside, I’ve got to say that I love a good oyster roast.  It’s such a great excuse to get bundled up, go out and see friends you haven’t seen in a while.  There are also, of course, OYSTERS and if you enjoy those slimy boogers (yes, I said it) then you’ve got a lot to look forward to this weekend.

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2009 Hurricane Season Begins…and I need your help

Hurricane Hugo McClellanvilleHurricane season is once again upon us and this year will mark the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo which devastated McClellanville on September 21st (and well into the 22nd) of 1989.  Amazingly there was no loss of life within the town, but the path of destruction was the worst left by a hurricane at it’s time and McClellanville was ground zero.   Anyone that lived here at the time knows that there are many reasons to not want to relive the agony and loss experienced. However, I’d like to propose that after 20 years  we are due for an “I Survived Hurricane Hugo” celebration and remembrance.
Hurricane Hugo PicturesI’ll be posting more about Hurricane Hugo and hurricane preparedness later, but to prepare for the coming anniversary I would like to gather pictures of the village after Hugo in order to prepare a slideshow.  Fallen trees, muddy floors and streets, damaged homes and boats, volunteers, National Guard, cleanup efforts, whatever you have that will add to the story.
If you have a scanner you can scan and email your photos to me.  Otherwise I will be scanning pictures.  You can submit them at our office and I will scan them and get them back to you as soon as possible.  Be sure to mark them with your information so nothing gets mixed and they are returned to the right place.  You can submit individual pictures or packages and I will sort through them and choose the best. Through this effort, we will be preserving these images forever.  If we get enough images I will even prepare a slideshow presentation for the town and make CD’s available.  All credit will be given to the original photographers, so please feel free to submit your best images.
Palmers Point Front Yard HugoWe have a whole new population in the village that didn’t live through this experience that forever reshaped the way we viewed life.  Many have seen scrapbooks from one person or another, but few know the whole story.  An event like this can pull us together as a stronger community as we share our past experiences.  As the eyes of the nation fall on us again I propose that we present an image fitting the way that we banded together after Hugo to repair the Village.
ARA's gym became a relief center over nightThere is no denying that it was a horrible experience.  A decade later, we still used “before Hugo” and “after Hugo” as the major time indicator.    I know some suffered enormous financial loss, but I dare say that McClellanville is a better place because of those tragedies because of what we learned about ourselves in the rebuilding process.  We learned the generosity of the human race as volunteers poured in to help a small town they had never heard of but saw only glimpses of on the news.  FEMA was probably less helpful than their dreadful performance in New Orleans after Katrina, but nobody gave up and begged for a handout.   We rebuilt.
If you ask most people you’ll find that the biggest tragedy wasn’t the shrimpboat in their front yard, 6 inches of mud in their house, or even their missing roof…it was that grandma’s quilt was missing or the ruined wedding album.  These are the things that we lost that we’ll never get back.  I was only 9 at the time of Hugo and couldn’t grasp that at the time (it was a big adventure for me, since there was no school for weeks and weeks and tons of new things to see) but I realize this now.
So dust off your scrap books and share your stories as we remember a part of our history that helped make us the town we are today…Who’s with me?
Update: These picture provided were used to create a gallery in my McClellanville: 20 Years after Hurricane Hugo posts
Shrimpboat picture courtesy of Mike Burton.

McClellanville Mother's Day Wrap-up

My Mother’s day in McClellanville was spent watching my little one to give mom a well deserved break.  We wrapped up the day by going to the Town Hall to the “Mothers Who Love Puppies Benefit Concert” to benefit Helping Hand Animal Rescue & Rehab Therapy to hear Kathy Livingston (the one from Nature Adventures Outfitters) sing.  She had a great voice, singing a great mix of kids songs, folk songs, beach songs, and contemporary and all of her record sales go to charity.
Ken Burger had a great article in the Post and Courier about being “Raised by a Hundred Mothers“, a feeling I can definitely relate to having grown up in McClellanville.  I’ve written about the it-takes-a-village mentality before, but Burger puts it best with this line, “Looking back, there were truly super women. They worked full time, sang in the choir, volunteered at the school, taught us to dance, held our families together and somehow found time to raise a village full of children.”
The Post and Courier also reported on one of our own this weekend, St. James Santee Episcople Churches minister, Jennie Olbrych.  I adore Jennie.  She is an amazing woman who is passionate about God’s word and always willing to help members of the community despite not living in McClellanville.  You can spot her in the videos on my most recent Shrimp Festival article as she has been responsible for blessing the fleet the past few years…come rain or shine.
Finally, I’d be remiss to not take a moment to acknowledge the two mom’s that make my everyday life possible.  My Mom, Susan Bates, lives just around the corner from me.  I can literally see her house through the woods (do I get credit for not being a momma’s boy if I told you that I lived away from home for 8 years?).  My mom is a strong, confident, and beautiful woman. My wife and I both have a great relationship with her (and my dad) and eat dinner with them almost every week (Thursday’s are Survivor night at the Bates house).  She’s also been a Godsend the past two years watching our son while we work and even allowing the occasional date night and I’m so happy he has someone like her to take him out in the garden, tromping in the woods, and crabbing.
My wife, Josie is my rock!  We were friends before dating and as a result know each other very well and compliment each others weaknesses.  She is an amazing mother with the perfect amount of discipline and love for our son.  She keeps me grounded but always supports me a rare thing to find.  She works hard and always has a smile on her beautiful face.  I definitely couldn’t do all the things I do without the help from these two great women and I often call upon them to review my articles, so my website wouldn’t be the same without them either.
PS – Charleston Painter, Katherine Muschick, wrote a great article about the McClellanville Arts Council’s Youth Art Show, so please check that out and leave a comment on her site.  Congratulations to the great local artists as well!

Strawberry Picking at Patriots Farms

Patriots Farm Strawberries in McClellanville SCPatriots Farms
10970 A N. Hwy 17
Pre-picked Bucket: $10
U-pick Bucket: $7.50
A few miles north of McClellanville on Highway 17  you’ll find Patriots Farms, or as it is more commonly known, “the strawberry farm”.  The strawberries have just ripened and will only be in season for another month or so, so be sure to go get some soon.  You may want to give them a call and listen to the answering machine message for their times as it may change depending on the availability of the crop. If you’re picking your own ($7.50 per bucket), I’d recommend the morning while it’s still cool. You can easily fill a bucket in twenty or thirty minutes worth of picking…even with a 2-year-old robbing a few.  Or you can pick up a bucket of freshly picked strawberries for just $10.  They also have strawberry jams and honey.
Homemade McClellanville Strawberry ShortcakeNot only is strawberry picking a great summer activity, but they’re of course a tasty treat that can be prepared many ways.  They’re great as a snack all by themselves or on cereal or shortbread with whipped cream or baked into a cobbler.   I personally love to cut the tops off and lay them on a baking sheet and freeze them.  From there you transfer them to zip lock bags and keep them year round.  Use them like ice cubes, a cold treat, or blend them up in daiquiris!
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