Welcome to the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival
Come and Enjoy the best of the Low Country
The 2013 Winyah Bay Heritage Festival has once again come and gone as we have wrapped up two days of fun filled and educational events. We want to thank each of you that joined us this year to enjoy the art, dogs, ducks, snakes, birds, and each other. Thank you to all who helped put on this event and to our proud sponsors for contributing to make the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival a continued tradition in Georgetown County for the past 6 years. Your support has been so crucial to our success. Thanks go out to our outstanding volunteers and committee members who all work so hard and so many long hours to make the festival possible. And we cannot leave out the wonderful group of exhibitors and artisans including our featured artist Lee Arthur. We thank the City of Georgetown and Georgetown County Parks and Recreation for the tremendous help in preparing for the festival. It is so wonderful to be part of a community that reaches out to help each other. Over the next weeks please check our website to enjoy some of the photographs that were taken at this year’s festival and you may see a familiar face. And if you didn’t get a chance to pick up a Pluff Mud t-shirt, you can find them in the gift shop at the Georgetown County Museum.
Thank you all for your support of the Georgetown County Museum in this year as it relocates to a new facility at 120 Broad Street. The move will allow the museum to better preserve the history that the festival celebrates as well as serve our community and it’s children for many years to come. Until next year…
Winyah Bay Heritage Festival
Events, Exhibits, Excitement all in one
East Bay Park, Georgetown SC
March 2 & 3, 2013
Welcome to the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival. Now in its sixth year, this year’s festival brings lots of excitement. We are proud of our slogans and this year’s is “Pluff Mud: Where life is slow and oysters grow.” It is important to point out that life isn’t really slow around pluff mud, but the lifestyle lived by many in the lowcountry is slow. Some of you may be asking why we are so obsessed with Winyah Bay and pluff mud. To put it simply, it’s in our veins. This year, the festival will take place March 2 and 3 at the Bobby Alford Recreation Center.
And please don’t forget the exhibitors. Without them, we have no festival. Many of
them travel from far away and we want to make it worth their while.
In addition to festival activities, many museums and tours in the area are available to further your knowledge of this special place. Come visit, enjoy the festival and just when you think life is slow, a sturgeon might launch out of the bay.
This year's festival celebrates the Atlantic Sturgeon."The sturgeon family is among the most primitive of the bony fishes. The shortnose sturgeon shares the same general external morphology of all sturgeon. The body surface contains five rows of bony plates or "scutes." Sturgeon are typically large, long-lived fish that inhabit a great diversity of riverine habitat. Sturgeon are found from the fast-moving freshwater riverine environment downstream and, for some species, into the offshore marine environment of the continental shelf." (Source: NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources)
The service of the NOAA Tides & Currents website is not be available after the 2011 calendar year.
The Winyah Bay Heritage Festival returns to Georgetown March 2 - 3, 2013.
The Festival is designed to celebrate the rich history of the Winyah Bay area, with an emphasis on conservation, preservation, art, hunting, fishing, decoy carving and other unique traditions.
It unites wildlife artists, a variety of unique exhibitors, outdoor lovers of all sorts and collectors from across the nation. The festival takes place in various locations throughout Georgetown County, and proceeds benefit the Georgetown County Historical Society and the Georgetown County Museum.
Winyah Bay's Rich History
Winyah Bay comprises the geographic region now known as Georgetown, South Carolina. From the first inhabitants, the Indians, hunting and fishing has always been a way of life. In 1526, Spaniards made the first recorded North American expedition to Winyah Bay, and the indigenous fauna of waterfowl, turkey, deer, fish and shellfish provided the basics to survive.
The 525,000-acre Winyah Bay area covers the lower drainage of the Black, Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Sampit and Waccamaw rivers and their confluence into Winyah Bay itself. Together, these waterways form the third largest estuarine watershed on the East Coast.
Rice has been cultivated here for centuries, and the wetlands are a regionally significant habitat for waterfowl, colonial water birds and nesting ospreys. Upland tracts support endangered red-cockaded woodpecker colonies. Many other threatened or endangered species can be found throughout Winyah Bay, including bald eagles, short-nosed sturgeon, loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons, least terns, piping plovers, and wood storks. At any time of year, you will see schools of dolphin and large alligators swimming the area waters.
In 1732, when the seaport community of Georgetown was established, the Winyah Bay region had already begun to embrace the rich traditions of its diverse residents. Native American, European and African cultures mixed to form a rich blend of art, architecture and accents. In these early years, hunting and fishing provided much of the food and its importance was well understood.
In the early 1900s, affluent northerners flocked here to hunt and fish with local sportsmen and landowners. Their quarry varied from ducks, deer, quail and hogs to the fish found in our rivers, creeks and Winyah Bay itself. Out of this came a fine Southern Sporting Heritage. Hunting, fishing, sporting art, dogs, decoys and firearms are part of the landscape. This in turn, spawned many of the region’s great writers and artists. It is a heritage that continues to this day.