An annual festival delights the senses and engages the community all year long

Beneath a tent studded with string lights, guests mill about enjoying hors d’oeuvres and wine. The air is full of the gentle whir of friendly chatter, and friends scope out a table of trips and prizes available to win in a silent auction. This is the Pawley’s Island Wine and Food Gala at The Reserve Golf Club — and it’s only one event in the Pawley’s Island Festival of Music and Art lineup.

The annual fall festival is one of the few times The Reserve prepares its grounds for an event other than golf, and it’s a welcomed change of pace. “People come from all over,” says Club Manager Donald Clement. “Folks come and stay from out of town to attend.” Over three consecutive weekends, there are concerts, a fresh-air painting class, the wine-and- food experience, and a seated dinner; 90 percent of the events happen at The Reserve. “This is our fifth year of hosting,” Clement says. “It’s a big three weeks, to say the least.”

To say more, the nonprofit celebration has existed in some capacity for more than two decades. “We believe in the value of the arts as an essential part of civilization,” states the organization’s website, “and in its role of preserving accomplishments of humanity.” The musical-performance-heavy yearly roster enhances cultural awareness, and the events raise money for both the festival itself and its outreach efforts.

Festival-goers don’t just enjoy themselves - and they do - they support local art education, too. When it’s not festival time, the organizing board of directors is busy coordinating band and chorus workshops and dance classes with nearby public schools. Program funding is entirely dependent on proceeds from the festival.

This year’s celebration takes place on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of each weekend from September 24 - October 15. McConnell Golf is happy to contribute discounted venue space throughout the festival: Events at The Reserve begin September 29. To learn more, visit the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art website. 

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