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Pawleys Island: Town considers fall spinoff of Pavilion Reunion

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Save the date.

The committee that markets the town of Pawleys Island to tourists has endorsed a proposal to hold a fall event at the island’s nature park that mirrors the Pawleys Pavilion Reunion in the spring. “I think it’s great,” said Wendell Cantrell, who chairs the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee. “It’s a little late for this year.”

Town Administrator Ryan Fabbri pitched the idea to the committee, saying the Pavilion Reunion, organized as a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, has the ideal mix of music, dancing and drinking. “The space is there. We don’t use it,” he said.

“The reason we don’t use it I thought was the town didn’t want it,” committee member Sassy Henry said.

“It’s a subtle change,” Fabbri said, echoing comments he made after being named Citizen of the Year by the Pawleys Island Civic Association. He said at the time that adding events would benefit the island and its property owners along with the wider community.

October is a busy month for events around the area, including the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Art and the Georgetown Wooden Boat show. Fabbri said he hopes to tailor an event that would complement those activities and still draw a crowd. Committee member David Teems suggested an oyster roast. Henry suggested the town link with a nonprofit whatever the event turns out to be.

“Events are what bring people down in the off-season,” said Lauren Joseph, who manges tourism marketing for the town and Georgetown County’s Tourism Management Commission. “Any time you can run a promotion with an event, people respond to it.”

The Pawleys Pavilion Reunion, held in May to celebrate the dance halls that were once a feature of the island, seems to attract more property owners than tourists, committee member Betsy Altman said. “Everyone says that they love it, why not do it in the fall?” she said. “That’s such a beautiful space. It’s a shame we don’t use it.”

Fabbri will work on some ideas for an event and present them to the committee in December.

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