Summertime in December: 33rd Annual Edisto Beach Christmas Parade

It was a beautiful afternoon last Saturday, December 9 when the 33rd Annual Edisto Beach Christmas Parade took place. There truly is no greater way to feel the Christmas spirit than to kick off the merry season with a parade celebration. This year, the theme was Summertime in December, and everyone was tasked with coming up with the best way to show that theme through their decorations. The weather adhered to the theme as well with a warm 70 degree day!

The 25+ participants made everyone’s day with their creativity and dedication to bringing smiles (and some candy) to those they passed along while parading down beautiful Palmetto Boulevard. Every participant put their all into making this parade one to remember. And of course, no Christmas Parade is complete without an appearance from Santa Claus himself!

Each year, one person is chosen for the honor of being the Grand Marshall to lead the parade. This year, we felt that our Martha Whetstone Service Award winners, Peter & Linda Beck, should have the honor. The Becks serve many local organizations, volunteer throughout the community, and are huge advocates and supporters of the Edisto Chamber.

Carrying the banner to start the parade this year were the 2023 Business of the Year Award winners, the Plantation Course at Edisto. A longtime supporter of the Edisto Chamber, the Plantation Course has been a significant stakeholder in the community for years.

Parade Winners

This year’s Parade Awards were sponsored by Ace Basin Lock and Key. Custom awards were made by local artist Patrick Reid O’Brien.

Awards are typically given to Best Float, Best on Wheels, and Best on Foot. We didn’t have many walking entries this year, so two awards were given in the Best on Wheels category.

Best Float: Animal Lovers of Edisto

Best on Wheels: EWMA SC-C Motorcycle Association

Best on Wheels: Susan Frick

Thank you to everyone that took the time to participate in this year’s parade, whether you were in the line-up or cheering from the sidelines! Every year, it is a joyous occasion that would not be possible without everyone working together. Congratulations to the well-deserved winners, we look forward to seeing you again next year! In the meantime, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

$97,000 Raised at Second Turtle Tide Art Auction

The Edisto Chamber of Commerce hosted the second Turtle Tide Art Auction in conjunction with the Edisto Fall Festival last Saturday, October 7. It was a warm Fall day at Edisto; the sun was shining, the band was playing, and more importantly, people were feeling very generous. 10 turtles were auctioned off, raising $97,000 to benefit eight local non-profits, far exceeding last year’s total raise of $60,000.

 

Since this was only the second year for the Turtle Tide Art Project, no one really knew what to expect, just hopeful to raise just as much if not more money than last year. The fee to become a turtle sponsor was still $1,000 per turtle and with 100% of the proceeds going back to the designated non-profit for each turtle, anything above the sponsor fee was considered a win.

The live auction began a little after 2:30pm. Bidders had to register beforehand and were given auction paddles with bidder numbers. It was a slow start for registration but by the time the auction began 47 people had signed up and were ready to start bidding!

Since this was only the second year for the Turtle Tide Art Project, no one really knew what to expect, just hopeful to raise just as much if not more money than last year. The fee to become a turtle sponsor was still $1,000 per turtle and with 100% of the proceeds going back to the designated non-profit for each turtle, anything above the sponsor fee was considered a win.

The live auction began a little after 2:30pm. Bidders had to register beforehand and were given auction paddles with bidder numbers. It was a slow start for registration but by the time the auction began 47 people had signed up and were ready to start bidding!

Local business owner Peter Beck volunteered as the official auctioneer for the event again this year. Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison, along with help from Darrin Moore, introduced each turtle, along with its sponsor and the artist who painted it. As each turtle came up for auction, representatives from the turtle’s associated non-profit were invited to come speak about their organization. Speakers touched on their mission and explained how they planned to use any proceeds from the auction. Bidding started at $1,000 and was increased in a minimum of $200 increments. Bidding began with the first turtle, “Sunny”, grossing $7,000 to kick off the auction. Turtle #4, “Leo” was the first one to cross over the $10,000 threshold but, he most definitely was not the last. A few friendly and highly entertaining bidding wars broke out over several turtles to keep things interesting.

From left: Auctioneer; Peter Beck, Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison, and Darrin Moore

From left: Walton Salley, Ashley Judy, Mott Parker, Sue Wooten, Matthew Kizer, and Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison with “LilyBelle”

The last turtle that went up for auction was “LilyBelle”, sponsored by the Edisto Belles, and dedicated to one of Edisto’s own – Ding Kizer. Unfortunately, Ding lost her battle with cancer a few months prior. Ding’s sister, Walton Salley, spoke about her sister and how important early detection is when it comes to cancer. It was very clear that this turtle, painted by local artist Caroline Eynon, was very special. Ding’s husband, Matthew Kizer ended up being the highest bidder. “LilyBelle” was the highest grossing turtle, coming in at an impressive $14,400. The Edisto Belles had two turtles benefitting them and grossed over $24,000 from the event to put towards their mission of helping people with breast cancer throughout their journey.

 

 

 

In addition to the generosity of our donors, the day was made successful by all of our volunteers, our project partners, sponsors, artists, and non-profits involved. You can read more about the start of the project here. THANK YOU to everyone involved in making this project a success!

Project Partners:

Project Sponsors:

Turtle Tide Art Project Sponsors and Partners

 
 

Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison ready for an exciting day!

Volunteers Patti Smyer, Stephanie Renner, & Amy Stephens

Chamber President Leslie Hurley, Emily Johnston & Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison ready to sign people up for the auction!

Chamber Communications Coordinator Michelle Smyer giving Rosie a bath before she went to her forever home.

The lovely ladies of ALOE

Edisto Gumbo

Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison & Midnight from ALOE.

Auctioneer Peter Beck

Turtle Movers Robby Harrison and Michael Stephens with Hype Man Cubby Huffines

Edisto Island Youth Recreation

Walton Sally speaking about LilyBelle being dedicated to her sister Ding Kizer

 

“LilyBelle” raised $14,400 to benefit the Edisto Belles.

The second highest grossing non-profit for the day was Edisto Island Youth Recreation, who had two turtles auctioned to benefit them as well, grossing over $22,000. “Summer Breeze” sponsored by Sea Spirits Liquor and Edisto Ace Hardware and painted by Elysia Carrison Yelton brought in $11,200. Their second turtle, “Pearl,” sponsored by 1st Federal Savings Bank of SC and painted by Patrick Stare, went for $11,000.

 

“Summer Breeze” pictured with her new owners, Dallas & Debbie Lovelace

“Summer Breeze” was the second turtle auctioned to benefit Edisto Island Youth Recreation, raising $11,200.

The turtles brought in a total of $97,000 that stays within the Edisto community by supporting 8 local charitable organizations. You can find more information on all of the turtles and how much they raised here:

 

TurtleSponsorArtistBeneficiaryAmount RaisedWinning Bidder
SunnyPressley’s at the Marina & The Marina at EdistoElysia Carrison Yelton#WhoYouWhitBenefit$7,000 Larry Mullis
KudaBarbara DillickTom McElroyLowcountry Food Bank$7,200Karen & Brad Bouse and Velma Kenyon
AssisiEdisto Watersports & TackleKim WaltersAnimal Lovers of Edisto (ALOE)$9,000Kenny & Connie Austin
LeoThe Waterfront Restaurant & High Tides at DocksideDorothy RogersEdisto Belles$10,000Amy Blanchard & Dave Terris
Peace OutSandbar Pizza JointZack MangumGood Samaritan Clinic$8,600Danny & Dawn Mangum
Summer BreezeSea Spirits Liquor & Edisto Ace HardwareElysia Carrison YeltonEdisto Island Youth Recreation$11,200Dallas & Debbie Lovelace
Pearl1st Federal Savings Bank of SCPatrick StareEdisto Island Youth Recreation$11,000Jeanine Rhodes
RosieWeber Foundation of Helping HandsGerry McElroyEdisto Seniors$7,400 Bert & Cynthia Dooley
Edisto BeachcombersSlo Boat ConstructionGinger Graham VarnerEB Loggerhead Turtle Project$11,200Mike & Nancy Galli Floyd
LilyBelleEdisto BellesCaroline M. EynonEdisto Belles$14,400 Matthew Kizer

 

 

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In addition to the generosity of our donors, the day was made successful by all of our volunteers, our project partners, sponsors, artists, and non-profits involved. You can read more about the start of the project here. THANK YOU to everyone involved in making this project a success!

Project Partners:

Project Sponsors:

Turtle Tide Art Project Sponsors and Partners
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Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison ready for an exciting day!

Volunteers Patti Smyer, Stephanie Renner, & Amy Stephens

Chamber President Leslie Hurley, Emily Johnston & Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison ready to sign people up for the auction!

Chamber Communications Coordinator Michelle Smyer giving Rosie a bath before she went to her forever home.

The lovely ladies of ALOE

Edisto Gumbo

Chamber Director Chelsea Harrison & Midnight from ALOE.

Auctioneer Peter Beck

Turtle Movers Robby Harrison and Michael Stephens with Hype Man Cubby Huffines

Edisto Island Youth Recreation

Walton Sally speaking about LilyBelle being dedicated to her sister Ding Kizer