At the helm February 2018

At the Helm
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It’s February and love is in the air. Did you know that 40 percent of engagements happen between Christmas and Valentine’s Day? In honor of this romantic time, we look at love in its many forms. Lasting love is celebrated in two profiles of local couples who have been married for more than 30 years. Finding love by way of dating websites and apps is increasingly popular, so we’ve included two perspectives on love in the digital age. We also bring you the humorous side of first dates, some of which became first steps on a path to marriage.

We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for a unique Valentine’s gift for your significant other—be sure to check out our local gift guide, starting on page 68. February is also our big bridal issue. Have you bought your tickets for the 2018 Hilton Head Bridal Show? Now in its 11th year, this annual event has grown into the biggest bridal event in the region and is a natural extension of our work with the local bridal industry. This year’s show takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Hampton Hall Clubhouse in Bluffton. Come meet the area’s best vendors, taste cakes, view wedding portraits and check out the latest in bridal fashions. Tickets are $8 and include a free mimosa. To purchase them before the big event, go to hiltonheadmonthly.com; on the day of the show, tickets are $12 at the door.

But February is also important for another reason: Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African-Americans and a time to recognize the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The month was chosen it marks the birthdays of two great statesmen and abolitionists, Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Inside this issue, you’ll find a schedule of events for the Lowcountry’s month-long Gullah Celebration, paying tribute to Gullah history, culture, food, art, crafts, music and dance. Since 1996, the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association, a Hilton Head Island nonprofit group, has showcased the island’s rich Gullah heritage and history.

Speaking of festivals, don’t miss the Hilton Head Seafood Festival, a weeklong culinary and cultural event from Feb. 19-25, where top chefs, mixologists, sommeliers, local seafood, artisans, live music and the outdoors come together. Read about the 11th annual event hosted by the David M. Carmines Memorial Foundation on page 130.

We guarantee you’ll love it.

– ANUSKA FREY AND CAROL WEIR