By Aileen Goldstein
The scene that unfolded last Saturday, May 7, was full of life and bustling as hundreds attended the 38th annual Bluffton Village Festival.
The festival offered more than 200 vendors, three stages with seven acts performing and an abundance of sunshine. The festivities stretched from May River Road to Calhoun Street in the heart of Old Town Bluffton.
The Bluffton Village Festival is enhanced by the charms of small-town contests. Contestants in a range of ages lined up for the annual pie eating contest, each standing behind a chocolate cream pie provided by a local bakery, The Sugaree. Josh Quinn was named the winner and immediately high-fived his young son who had watched with amazement as his dad devoured the pie.
Another annual tradition of the festival is the Ugly Dog Contest. Each year the three ugliest dogs are awarded a trophy handmade by local potter Jacob Preston, who has created the prizes for nearly three decades.
“Sometimes your dog is uglier than you may think,” Richard Coffield of May River Realty told the crowd. First prize went to a lovably scruffy dog named Charlie Brown, owned by Dan Brown.
Even the vendors seem to be enjoying the day. Gini Steele of Steele Studio has participated in this festival for at least 17 years. “It is unlike any show I do, there is such a diversity of vendors and people,” Steele said from her shady spot near the May River.
Photo above: Contestants hoping to win the annual pie eating contest devour chocolate cream pies provided by The Sugaree.