Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Yemassee Festival Wrap-up

Lowcountry Arts & Literary Festival

Frampton Plantation's live oaks, Spanish moss, grassy lawn, and historic white plantation house provided an ideal setting last weekend. It was made even better by sunshine and warm breezes. I met interesting writers, ate gumbo, watched reenactors fire muskets, and listened to John T. Wayne (grandson of John Wayne) explain how the word “cowboy” came into our language (orphans who went west after the Civil War became cowboys). 

 Director Jack Gannon and John T. Wayne

According to festival directors Jack Gannon and Cyndi Williams-Barnier, about 450 visitors attended, less than last year. With respect to the traffic, it was a slow day. It seems numerous other Lowcountry events occurred on Saturday, which heightened competition and possibly drew away visitors.

Directors Cyndi Williams-Barnier and Jack Gannon visited.

I arrived early Saturday to put up my tent and arrange my display. Though I would have preferred a location near the porch where a program of speakers and musicians continued throughout the day, my tent was easily visible on entering the plantation. On either side of me were experienced writers—A.J. Brown, author of short stories, and romance writer Stella Price. 

My sister Nila helped me get ready.

Occasional volleys from muskets could be heard during the day. Reenactors kept a camp fire going (they cooked bacon) and wore homespun clothes in spite of the sunny, warm day. The rest of us were spraying insect repellent.  

Artists and writers, as well as caterers, put up tents on the plantation's spacious grounds.  

Jack and Cindi deserve a big "thank you" for providing encouragement for the arts, which have seen support dwindle in the last year with the closing of two major annual events—the SC Book Festival and the SC Writers Workshop Conference. I'm happy to see that plans are already underway for the 2016 Lowcountry Arts & Literary Festival, which will return to Frampton Plantation.

On Sunday, I took the Historic Beaufort Fall Festival of Houses & Gardens Tour. The houses were at some distance from one other (from Pigeon Point to Coosaw Island) and we spent more time than we expected driving. The food samples at each home were top notch. Kudos to the Beaufort restaurants preparing them (Saltus River Grill; Vegetable Kingdom; Plums; The Kitchen; and Breakwater Restaurant). 
Nila helped me enjoy Beaufort's house tour. 

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