KEEPING the party going


You will be hard-pressed to find a group of people more into the holidays than the folks at the Salty Dog Café. Some might say it’s an extended party celebration that the fishing fleet has survived and endured another hurricane season.

And while that is certainly worth feting, Salty Dog marketing manager Brittany Jackett said the festive mood around South Beach and the entire Salty Dog family is all about the child in their adult leaders coming out to play.

The only question is who is the bigger kid among the Salty Dog Crew.

“We’ve always made a big deal of the holidays. In 2020 we thought folks might appreciate a little bit more holiday spirit. We are continuing with the same line of thinking for 2021.” Jackett said.

saltydog2Live music junkies get a little sad this time of year, as the daily music at Salty Dog comes to a close at the end of October. But not to fret: Jackett said there will still be live music on weekends (weather permitting) through the winter, with pop-up events likely creating even more melodies on the beach.

But make no mistake: the North Pole comes south even before the turkey leftovers have been cleaned out of the fridge.

The night before Thanksgiving is the Salty Dog’s annual homecoming event.

There will be a Lowcountry boil from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music and a feast for $10 a plate. And 100 percent of the proceeds from the meal go to the Deep Well Project, a charity founded in 1973 to dig wells and provide clean, safe water for the Hilton Head Island community. The mission has expanded since to address food, livable housing, rent and utilities, furniture and children’s programs for the underserved of the island.

This time of year, the Project turns its attention to Christmas with the Santa Shop, which gives parents the choice of how they want to surprise over 900 Lowcountry kids.

“It’s just an amazing charity that we are so honored to spotlight with our homecoming and our can drive,” Jackett said. For every cup or bowl of soup ordered at the Cafe in November, the company will donate a can of food to Deep Well.

Black Friday brings Santa to the island, and a bit of pandemic ingenuity has led to a new tradition. Last year, to honor COVID distancing protocols, Santa arrived in a floating sleigh via a small fishing boat. The entrance was so popular among kids and families that Santa is once again coming ashore by boat to kick off the Giant Waterfront Tree Lighting event.

“For years we had a more traditional Santa experience at the South Beach Inn, but this was a chance to get creative and spark the holiday spirit with a more South Beach-style Santa,” Jackett said.

The official tree lighting follows Santa’s entrance with the switch being flipped for the lights on the gorgeous Murray Cypress from Okatie’s A&A Christmas Tree Farm at the end of the pier. It is the centerpiece for the hundreds of thousands of lights being illuminated along South Beach.

The first holiday weekend (Nov. 27-28) will feature the Soup Shoot Out Challenge at all Salty Dog locations, where guests will be served a trio of soups from chefs across the company and vote for the best in all of the Salty Dog universe.

That first post-Thanksgiving Saturday will also mark the weekly appearance by Santa from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Each Saturday until Christmas, Salty Dog will have a build-yourown- s’mores bar with portable firepits along the waterfront decks from 3 to 6 p.m.


There will also be a hot cocoa bar, complete with an array of toppings, from sprinkles to syrup to caramel and other sugary delights.

That’s not the end of the celebrating though. There will be a holiday happy hour each day from 4 to 6 p.m., where Jackett said bartenders will get creative in concocting spiked cocoas and other libations for guests to enjoy around the firepits.

Happy hour cruise boats will cruise the harbor to give a water view of the Christmas lights. And on land, at the Tanger 2 Outlets Salty Dog Store, guests will get to add a special Christmas tree into their holiday tie-dye shirts. For more information on all the festive activities, go online to