The Southern Agenda: June/July 2012
Goings-on in the South and Beyond
Surf Like a Girl
Folly Beach, South Carolina, June 9–10
Winds out of the northeast. Swells waist to chest high. Clear skies and board shorts. That’s the ideal forecast at the annual Wahine Classic. The two-day all-female surf contest held along the stretch of Folly Beach known as the Washout—a remnant from Hurricane Hugo where winds blowing unobstructed clear to the Folly River make for some of the best waves on the South Carolina coast—draws the Atlantic’s top talent. Around a hundred surfers, including locals Jenny Brown, Sarah Mitchell, and all-star Grace Muckenfuss, compete in sixteen events, including longboard, shortboard, tandem, and, for only the second time, stand-up paddleboard. There’s even a category for newbies getting their feet wet on the competition circuit. Pack the chairs and the cooler, and if all that time in the sun makes you hungry, grab a Baja fish taco from Taco Boy or a slaw-topped Galactic Dog from Jack’s Cosmic Dogs.
Farm-to-table dinners may be cropping up all over these days, but how often do you actually get to break bread with the guy who grew the corn for your grits? At Clif and Maureen Holt’s hugely popular Community Farm Table Dinners, guests get plenty of access to fresh-from-the-field flavors and farmers. Each week from mid-May through August, the owners of Birmingham’s Little Savannah restaurant host family-style feasts where participants dine side by side with the menu’s featured purveyors for a chance to learn how their food is grown and to sample regional ingredients—stone-ground grits from Mc-Ewen & Sons, grass-fed beef and heirloom fruits and vegetables from Averiett Branch Farm, and fresh goat cheese from Stone Hollow Farmstead. Dinners are limited to twenty guests, so grab a seat while you can. littlesavannah.com
On a typical weekend, there’s a lot more beer swilling than wine swirling going on in Fayetteville, but the college town takes to the vines during the Walton Arts Center’s Art of Wine Festival (June 7–9), when some of the region’s best sommeliers and wine experts lead three days of events. Hone your palate at Wine Tasting 101; then savor a taste of Napa’s choicest vintages, from a biodynamically cultivated (translation: super-organic) Grgich Chardonnay to a 2001 Silver Oak cab, at the Premiere Tasting. Stop by the Uncorked tent to sample from more than four hundred international varieties. For a taste of grapes grown closer to home, don’t miss Chateau Aux Arc’s rich reds made from Arkansas’s native Cynthiana vines. waltonartscenter.org