When the Savannah Striders took their regular early Saturday morning run through the streets of Isle of Hope, normally with very little traffic, they found themselves bobbing and weaving and darting out of the path of heavy loaded vehicles setting up booths all along Bluff Drive.
By 8 a.m. the streets were beginning to fill up with artwork, music, books, pottery, t-shirt, food and drink vendors, all offering goods with a distinctive Isle of Hope flair.
The 10- 4 event was largely hosted by the Isle of Hope Historical Association, which was formed in July of 1979 to preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of the Island which is home to about 2500 people and is famous for it’s southern wood plant homes, often with two stories and wrap around porches.
The parade began around 10:30 a.m. after the firing of the cannon off the bluff.
Jack Kingston, Buddy Carter, Ben Watson, Helen Stone, The Christensen family, the Pig from Piggly Wiggly, Uncle Sam, the 3rd Infantry marching band and a number of local characters paraded down Bluff Drive with the sun reflecting so brightly off the river and sparkling off the white wood houses, that sunglasses or squinting were a must.
There were antique cars, festively decorated golf carts and truckloads of children including a group form Isle of Hope Elementary School who were yelling out the back of the pick-up, “We love going to school!”
The Piggy Wiggly Pig was a big hit, with one woman yelling, “I’m roasting you for dinner later…”
Apparently she was going to the pig roast on Ossabaw Island later that day.
While US Congressman Jack Kingston, who lives on the island, was a big hit, Mrs. Lucille Christiansen was a real traffic stopper, with people running out in the streets to shake her hand. She boasts of being part of four generations of Christiansen’s who lived at Isle of Hope, has served on the volunteer fire fighting force there and taught swim lessons at the Isle of Hope pool.
Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone road a draft horse behind two mounted patrol officers and surrounded by police officers on bicycles.
The Crabettes entertained the crowds with song and dance and music and some very talented artists exhibited paintings, pottery and hand-crafted goods at the marina.
There were some very realistic colonial costumed people doing reenactments on one end of the island and lots of children events on the island and at Wormsloe Plantation just down the road.
The Baptist church was cooking up hamburgers and there were tours of churches and classic cars and homes.
The weather was perfect, if perhaps a little warm, but everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoyed the parade and festivities.