I am so excited for fall that I almost can’t stand it.
And yes, I know fall doesn’t officially start until Sept. 22. But as far as I’m concerned, after Labor Day it’s nothing but jeans and sweaters — though I’m still not clear on the whole “no white after Labor Day” thing. I saw a woman wearing a delightful pair of white pants on Tuesday, and “winter white” has been all the rage for the past few years. Are we OK with white year-round now? This is important stuff, people.
But seriously: Fall is my favorite. I love Halloween, and pumpkins, and the changing colors of the leaves (not that we see much of that around here, sadly), and the countdown until my birthday. I even love football season — not because I know the first thing about the sport (nor do I want to), but because it’s an excuse to eat all kinds of amazing tailgate foods like chili and corn dogs and chips and dip.
And don’t even get me started on apple cider. Mmmmmm. Nothing tastes like fall like apple cider.
The more I think about it, the more I’m worried I’m really only into fall for the food. Whatever, I’m OK with that. Consider me a bear, bulking up for the cold, long winter.
And yes, I’ll miss sitting in the sand at the beach, but here’s what I won’t miss: The insane Saturday traffic on U.S. 278. The heat. The no-see-ums. The heat. Mowing the yard. And have I mentioned the heat?
Instead, here’s what we have to look forward to this fall in the Lowcountry:
• Fall festivals. I’m looking forward to celebrating the season at a variety of Oktoberfest events. You’ll also have the chance to stuff yourself full of shrimp at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival on Oct. 5 and 6, and the weeklong Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, to be held Oct. 14 through 21 in Old Town, which is the closest thing we’ve got to a street fair.
• Pumpkin pickin’. Nothing is more satisfying than carving up a jack-o-lantern you’ve plucked from a field yourself on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon. There are plenty of farms in the area that host pick-your-own pumpkin patches; the ones at Lowcountry Produce in Lobeco and Holiday Farms in Greys Hill also offer petting zoos — who doesn’t love that?
• Ghosts and goblins. Sure, we’ve all heard Savannah has a spirited past. But that haunted pub crawl will be a lot more spooky when the weather is chilly.
• Game day. Again, I’m not one for football — or, if I’m being honest, any sport that isn’t shopping, which totally counts. (Have you been to the outlet mall during the holiday shopping season? People are vicious when it comes to bargains.) But I have to admit, even I dusted off my pom-poms last year to cheer on the Bluffton Bobcats all the way to the state championship. Pick a team, head out to the stadium and cheer yourself hoarse. Nothing makes you feel young again like a night at the high school football game. And, really, has a hot dog ever tasted better than when eaten in the stands at an athletic event? I think not (see, I told you it was all about the food).
This is just the tip of fall’s iceberg. Grab your sweater and crank up your Crock-Pot; summer might be over, but there’s more to the Lowcountry than summers at the beach — and I don’t want to miss a single, delicious second.