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Sullivan’s Island Mayor’s Message: March 2018

Dear Island Neighbors,

Hopefully it won’t be madness, but March has a number of events for the island that are well worth noting.


The March program by the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center will continue their great record of intriguing looks into our unique past. This one will be on Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at the Fort Moultrie Visitors’ Center. Islander Scott Bluestein, Esq., is a long-time practitioner of admiralty and marine law. He will present “Slave Ships, Property, Pirates: Charleston’s Maritime Law,” which promises to be a very informative and interesting tour of the ways that maritime law and legal matters have influenced the history of our seaport community since the early 1700s.  Full event information at


This year, happily, Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, occurs on a Saturday, so we can celebrate the occasion on its actual date.

It’s a special day for us on the Island, and not just because the Saint had such a great name. Recall that the eponym of our special place was Florence O’Sullivan, an Irish soldier of fortune dispatched to the Island to warn Charleston of any troubling arriving ships, and that the Island has had a tradition ever since then of welcoming immigrants from Eire.  We’ll have two separate events on the day:

St. Patrick’s Day Family Party in Park

This family-friendly event takes place in J. Marshall Stith Park from 10 a.m. until noon, sponsored by the Town of Sullivan’s Island. There will be live entertainment at the bandstand, including Celtic music by Hazel Ketchum and a magic show by No Sleeves. There’ll also be face painting, balloon artists and treats. Parking available behind Town Hall.

We want this to be a child-friendly event, so no animals or alcohol are permitted in the park, and all children must be accompanied by an adult.  Full event information online at

And for the grownups as well as the kiddos

We’ll have the traditional celebration in the commercial district. From 10 a.m. until a bit before dusk, there will be outside food and beverage service at most of the establishments (Dunleavy’s, 450 Pizza, Home Team, Mex 1 and Poe’s). Station 22 ½ between Middle and I’on (alongside Dunleavy’s) will be closed during this time. Middle St. will remain open to traffic. No coolers or pets, please.


Of course, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but please allow me to mention a pet peeve that annually gets me shaking my shillelagh:

The symbol of St. Patrick’s Day is the shamrock. The shamrock has three petals or leaves, not four. The four-leaf clover is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but that’s malarkey.

The four-leaf clover may represent good luck, but despite the “Luck O’ The Irish” tradition, that four-leafed thing has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day or Ireland. Here’s an explanation:

So if you see a four-leafed clover growing wild, feel as lucky as you wish. Just don’t think it has anything to do with St. Patrick’s Day.


 Our hugely popular Farmers’ Market will launch its third season on Thursday, April 12, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.  The location will be the same: 1921 I’on Ave., outside Battery Gadsden (Poe Library and Battery Gadsden Cultural Center, in front of the school).

The season for the Market runs through June 28. For updates, please go to . Since it began, the Market has quickly become a highly valued tradition for community gathering. It is the only activity sponsored by the Town for which the only complaint I have heard has been: “Why don’t we have more of it?”

There are a number of reasons why we have limited the season to 2.5 months, including the facts that the attendance drops off once the school’s summer vacation ends the after-school pickup rush, the heat gets worse as the summer progresses, and a longer season would strain our paid and volunteer Town resources. In that regard, I would like to give a shout-out to Lisa Darrow, who already wears a number of hats in our Administration Department and who, when we started the Market, was “awarded” the additional responsibility of Market Manager, which takes more time than you might think. Also, the members of Town Council’s Recreation Committee are typically on site, every day the market is open. Having said all this, please feel free to let me know your thoughts about the length of this great community event’s season and any suggestions you may have. See you around the Island!

Pat O’Neil,




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