Your Guide to Crescendo: Celebrating Arts, Culture, & History

As fall ushers in an array of changing colors, crisp & comfortable morning breezes, and shorter days, it welcomes one of the most exciting times of year on Hilton Head Island—the Crescendo Celebration! Crescendo celebrates arts, culture, & history and is an annual favorite here in the Lowcountry.

The 2019 Crescendo Celebration features more than 75 unique arts and cultural programs, concerts, theatrical productions, museum and gallery exhibits, lectures, poetry readings, dance performances, historical tours, hands-on arts experiences, and educational offerings which are estimated to attract more than 65,000 people from all over the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe.

Kicking off October 10 with the Opening Celebration, the program will amaze and excite you until the curtains close on November 15. Several marquee events are planned including performances, parties and the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival. Read on to learn more about the exciting marquee and other events taking place this Autumn, and be sure to share your photos of the festivities with us on social media using the hashtag #LowcountryLife.

Marquee Events

Crescendo Opening
October 10 5:00pm-7:00pm

Crescendo artworkJoin the Arts & Cultural Council of Hilton Head for the Crescendo Opening Celebration at the Shelter Cove Community Park. As the sun sets over Broad Creek, enjoy live entertainment provided by the Junior Jazz Foundation, Hilton Head Dance Theatre, Gullah Storyteller Louise Cohen, and the Performing Arts Consortium. Cora Miller will guide you through the evening with an action painting by Amiri Farris, ticket giveaways, refreshments and a myriad of arts & cultural displays.

Murder on the Orient Express
October 1 - 27    

Escape reality for a cozy and thrilling evening at the theatre by taking in an exciting fall production of Murder on the Orient Express at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, October 1- 27. Save $5 off admission during the special Crescendo weekend from October 19 - 22 by calling and mentioning Crescendo at 843-842-2787. Or, buy your tickets online at and enter Crescendo19 as the special code, valid for the Crescendo weekend only.

Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra Season Opening
October 20 & 21

HHSO opens its sensational 38th season with Richard Strauss' epic tone poem and Prokofiev's evocative musical characterization of the most famous feud ever penned! With John Morris Russell as Conductor, enjoy pieces such as Strauss's Don Juan, Beethoven's Romance, Nos. 1 & 2 and Prokofiev, Selections from Romeo and Juliet.

Jazz For All Ages
October 30 - 31    

Enjoy a centennial celebration of Nat King Cole with live jazz music oceanside at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island. Featuring multi-Grammy nominated vocalists Jane Monheit & Clint Holmes with special guest trumpet phenomenon Dominick Farinacci, all under the musical direction of world-renowned vibraphonist, composer and educator, Christian Tamburr. The audience will also enjoy the premiere of the brand new Deas Guyz Orchestra featuring Reggie Deas.

Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
November 1 - 3 

Car with hood ornament

The achievements and wonder between man and machine have no better showcase than at the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival where over 500 cars, boats, motorcycles, and aircraft are exhibited during the first weekend of November. This richly textured experience showcases the best of Southern hospitality, dining, luxury lifestyle, and triumphs of aviation and automobiles. 

November 2, 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

A celebration of life, music, critters and love for Charli Bobinchuck. Funds raised go to the Charli's Critter Fund at the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

Lantern Parade
November 9    

photo of lantern parade
Photo by Steve Eberhardt

Bask in the warm glow of lanterns as parade participants bathe our community in light to celebrate and represent our history, our ecology, our recreation, and ourselves.

The Nutcracker
November 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 PM; 17 and 24 at 2:30 PM

Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with the Hilton Head Dance Theatre's production of The Nutcracker for a classic and magical performance the whole family will enjoy!

More to Explore

With more than 75 events and exhibitions taking place, there’s even more to enjoy beyond the m     arquee events. Check out the 4th Annual Gullah Food Festival, the Halloween Open Mic Night, a Hilton Head Haunted History Tour, a Jewelry Making Workshop and SO much more. Be sure to visit our Crescendo event page to see the full line-up of exhibits, performances, events, workshops, and more.

The Crescendo curtain closes on November 15, 2019. Until then, mark your calendars and enjoy the show!

Crescendo poster art

Find Your Island Time

Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
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