The Hat Divas Society Inc.

Belinda Roberts

Pity the couples who booked their weddings on Folly Beach on Saturday.

Between the rescheduled 21st annual Sea and Sand Festival and a stellar, sun-soaked day, the traffic headed to Folly was like the Fourth of July -- bumper-to-bumper for 2 1/2 miles and taking about an hour and half to get onto the island.

But once on the island, the festival and sea breezes took all the stress away.

Similar to Charleston County's Earth Day Festival, organizers of the Sea and Sand Festival -- which raises money for playground equipment for the island -- postponed the first day of its festival on April 16 because of dire forecasts for storms.

Those storms spawned deadly tornadoes across the Southeast.

"We made that call (to postpone) for one reason and one reason only. And it was safety," said Ben Bounds, festival co-director and event coordinator for Follywood Productions. "You can fight anyone but Mother Nature because she always wins ... Today, Mother Nature was great. We couldn't have had a better day."

Over the course of the day, thousands swarmed a mostly closed Center Street -- the main street onto the island -- to enjoy music, peruse art and eat from food vendors and restaurants along the road. Bounds thought the crowd probably ranged around 10,000.

"It started out slow, but once we made that 12:30 turn, it's been packed," Bounds said.

Day two of the Sea and Sand Festival was held on its original day, April 17, and included 50 contestants in a sand- castle-building contest and about 80 contestants in a surfing competition.