October is when Georgetown flaunts its heritage as a bustling port town in Winyah Bay, showing off classic dories and duck boats, sailboats and schooners at the annual Wooden Boat Show (Oct. 18-19; www.woodenboatshow.com).
More than 140 wooden boats will be displayed on water and land at the show, extended to two days for the first time to celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary. Attendance is free.
“We get everything from kayaks (and) stand-up paddleboards… and a lot of the classics,” said Sally Swineford, board member of Georgetown’s S.C. Maritime Museum ( www.scmaritimemuseum.org). “We get a lot of handmade boats and we get a lot of people who take older boats and refurbish them and bring them back to life.”
And there’s more to do than merely gaze with envy at gorgeous watercraft: You can try your hand at knot-tying and maritime arts and crafts while kids can practice building model boats. Live bands will perform early jazz, ragtime, bluegrass, country and folk music.
There’s a beer garden and a bloody Mary brunch on Sunday.
Those who want to test their maritime skills can try rowing with the New Charleston Mosquito Fleet between noon and 4 p.m. Also on Saturday, teams will compete to build wooden rowing skiffs in four hours – and then demonstrate their boats’ seaworthiness in a rowing race across the Sampit River. Sunday includes an Optimist Pram regatta, a collection of the miniature sailboats used to teach children how to sail.
Throughout the event, wooden boat craftsmen and owners will be on hand to talk shop with festival attendees.
Cooler weather makes fall a good time to view remaining waterside plantation mansions and the now-abandoned rice fields via a charter boat river tour, such as those offered by Cap’n Rod’s ( www.lowcountrytours.com). Inside the city, tram rides offered by Swamp Fox Tours ( www.swampfoxtour.com) take you past historic homes and churches in the city.
Area information: http://bit.ly/1qGvIws. Amber Veverka