Marie McAden



Hilton Head celebrates 350-year anniversary with a week of events

Posted 9/30/2013 2:51:00 PM

A 350-year anniversary calls for an epic blowout. And that’s just what’s planned for Hilton Head Island’s 350/30 Celebration, a week-long wingding commemorating the island’s discovery by British Captain William Hilton and the 30th anniversary of the founding of the resort town.

It was September 1663 when Hilton spotted a high point of land in Port Royal Sound while on an exploratory voyage along the Carolina coast. The headland came to be known as Hilton’s Head. Three centuries and two decades later, the barrier island was incorporated into the Town of Hilton Head Island.

To commemorate both of these historic occasions, the town is throwing the party to end all parties with dozens of scheduled events from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5.

The festivities kick-off with a parade of cyclists carrying birthday banners along Hilton Head Island’s 57 miles of trails. A number of morning and afternoon bike rides for the public also are planned that day, culminating with an open house at Town Hall.

Historic tours, concerts, lectures, 5K runs, art shows and nature walks are planned throughout the week. One of the highlights of the celebration will be a series of free guided bus tours of historic sites on the North End, Mid-Island and South End of the island. Self-guided maps also will be available for those who prefer to pedal their way along the routes.

Also on tap is a free eco-tour through Mitchelville and Fish Haul Creek parks. Trip leader Kathy Weatherhead, a University of South Carolina-Beaufort professor, will talk about the physical features and ecology of the area, as well as the important historical and environmental roles of the Baygall and Mitchelville communities on Hilton Head Island.

The 350/30 Grand Finale Celebration takes place Oct. 5 at Coligny Beach Park and will include live music, food, a sand castle completion, shag dancing, a commemorative canon shot and the reenactment of Captain’s Hilton’s memorable sighting.

For more information on Hilton Head Island’s 350/30 Celebration, click here.