We Love February in the Lowcountry

Ah, February, the month of love. Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up on a Tuesday and right behind it on the weekend is the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Presidents Day follows on Monday allowing a full day of adventure on Sunday.  Remember reservations are critical to enjoying a smooth celebration.

The cost of Valentine’s Day in this country keeps going up, approximately one billion per year. In 2016, 54.8% of us celebrated to the tune of 20 billion dollars. The price tag for men averaged $133.61, while women spent only $62.14. We also spent an average of $26.24 on our pets. The gift in most demand? Flowers, of course. 250 million roses are produced for the holiday alone, helping make the day #1 for florists. Candy follows closely on the gift register.

Have you enjoyed the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition? It’s a three-day (17th-19th) showcase of fine art exhibits, conservation education, and if you love animals, some of the best sporting demonstrations you will find. Along with parties and galas and chefs’ demos, there’s plenty to do. The events are spread throughout the city with many centering around Marion Square and Brittlebank Park. Presidents Day designates the 20th both a State and Federal holiday.

Speaking of love, it always helps to live in a town worthy of the emotion. US News and World Review ran profiles of 100 cities in the US through its parameters of ultimate livability. Charleston came out #19. Out of a possible 10 score, we were judged on these traits: Desirability (8.9), Value (6.5), Job Market (6.2), Quality of Life (6.0), and Net Migration (9.0).

Have what it takes to be a star? America’s Got Talent will be checking out the Lowcountry for the first time with auditions scheduled on the 1st at the Charleston Convention Center.

Gourmet and Grapes couples local and regional culinary talent with award winning wineries. The 9th annual event held the 2nd-5th, will satisfy the casual diner as well as the connoisseur.

Spend a magical evening in the nocturnal world of owls at the Center for Birds of Prey on the evening of the 2nd.

Yes there’s an “R” in it! It’s a great month for oysters. Good Catch Oysterfest at the SC Aquarium celebrates responsibly-sourced St Jude’s oysters and sustainable seafood dishes from Good Catch partners on the 3rd.

You’ve heard of the Blue Devils and now the all-male a cappella group, the Duke Pitchforks, are coming to the Circular Congregational Church for a 7pm concert on the 4th to benefit HALOS.

If you’re an admirer of our camellias, you may want to head over to Middleton Place on the 4th at 1pm. The Master Gardener and VP for Horticulture will host a workshop on propagation of the  plant. Free, but reservations required. Don’t forget their Camellia Walks beginning on the 7th, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 11am through March 18th.

On the 4th at 7pm, it’s the Chase after a Cure Gala celebrating your inner child at the Gaillard Center.

Also that night at the Gaillard, Tony DeSare will pay tribute to Sinatra in a cozy romantic evening with the CSO.

Summerville gets into the swing of things on the 4th with the 17th Annual SPCA Downs Byrd Memorial Shuckin’and Shaggin’ Oyster Roast at the Summerville Country Club.

Judy Carmichael’s Jazz Inspired comes to Kiawah for the third year. The three-day event  features audience conversation and performances during her ever-popular public radio show on the 6th-8th at Kiawah’s East Beach Conference Center.

Celebrate the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s eclectic, demanding repertoire on the 8th at the Gaillard. The 14 racially diverse dance artists “successfully challenge preconceived notions.”

The Macintosh will be slow roasting a whole pig and cooking oysters on their back patio on the 8th and serving beer pairings from the Devil’s Backbone Brewery.

Oh My! Unlimited samplings of bacon dishes and bourbon tastings, laser skeet, bull riding and a cigar cabana all add up to a different kind of evening at Bacon and Bourbon on the 11th at the Gaillard.

The Lowcountry Irish Festival at the Omar Shrine at Patriots Point honors our unique Irish heritage. Join in the cultural and musical celebration 11-8 on the 11th and 12th.

The Brain Injury Association presents the 6th Annual Shuck-a-rama at the Barrel on Folly Road on the 11th, 5-8pm.

The 11th also brings us the 5th Annual Cork Shuckin’ event out at the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw from 10-5.

Lang Lang brings his emotive, open-hearted style of playing to the Gaillard on the 13th.

In support of their third PBS special, UNDER THE STREETLIGHT is a concert celebrating the American radio songbook from the 50s through the 70s at the Gaillard on the 14th.

Valentine’s Day is the 14th.

Join Chef Robert Carter for Chef Fest, an annual collaboration between the Lowcountry Food Bank and 30 local chefs to help raise funds to stop childhood hunger on the 19th at the Convention Center.

Walk on the wild side and take a few photographs while you are there at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day on the 20th.

Quentin Baxter brings Regina Carter, jazz violinist, to Kiawah in the second installment of his 3 concert series. The master of improvisational jazz violin will be at the Turtle Point Clubhouse on the 20th.

Explore the  sounds of India and the spirit of Bollywood with a fusion of film, dance and music. Taj Express will take you on a tour through modern Indian culture at the Gaillard on the 23rd.

     Joe Bonamassa began his guitar career at 12 playing with BB King. Hailed as one of the greatest guitar players of his generation, he brings his show to the Gaillard on the 24th.

The inaugural Head for the Cure Charleston 5K postponed from October will be at the Palmetto Islands Park on the 25th.

The weekend of the 25th is shaping up to be big! Coast Brewing and Edmond’s Oast present the 8th Annual Brewvival on the 25th 12-5 in the field across from  Coast Brewing in N Chas. Keep an eye out for the date and time of the 2nd Annual SC Brewers’ Festival coming up.

Stop by the Charleston Music Hall to revel in the intricate rhythms and harmonies of the all-male South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the 25th, or… you can swing by the Coliseum to see Miranda Lambert and her Highway Vagabond Tour, or…

Hungry? Stop by Volvo Stadium on Daniel Island for their premiere event, the Pork and Pearls Oyster and Pig Roast. It’s set for the 25th from 3-7, or…If it’s chocolate you are craving, have we got the event for you! A Chocolate Affair features a large hors d’oeuvres menu and chocolate creations from local specialty shops and finest restaurants. A perfect save if you missed Valentine’s Day, black tie optional at Memminger, 6:30-11pm.

And on the 26th….Seraph Brass, a charismatic quintet made up of America’s top female brass players will be at the Church of Our Savior on Johns Island, or…Something a little lighter? The Celebration of Strings will be at Cathedral of St Luke and St Paul, downtown, or…The break-out duo, 21 Pilots, will stop by the Coliseum during their Emotional Roadshow World Tour, or….With 10 multi-platinum and 16 Top 30 hits in their back pocket, Foreigner will play at the N Chas PAC. Whew!

 

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Congrats to Boxcar Betty’s. They were named the Best Fried Chicken in SC by Foursquare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to 2017 in the Lowcountry

We’ve made it to 2017! Now that we’ve blessed our new endeavors with the requisite Hoppin’ John and Greens, we are ready to forge our way into the new year at full speed.

An interesting report crossed my desk the other day. Everyone knows that a good school system and great parks will have a positive impact on real estate values. This new study found that access to healthy food, a focus on local, fresh products, community gardens and a thriving food culture will also amp up the value of surrounding homes. Featuring these amenities can foster a quicker sense of attachment to a new project being developed because they evoke a feeling of “home”. That said, we must all feel very at home here in the Lowcountry!

If steak takes the prime spot on your plate, you’ll be happy to hear Oak Steakhouse was voted as one of the Best Steakhouses in the U.S. T+L credits Jeremiah Bacon’s farm-to-table spin and the addition of seafood with bringing the venerable chop house’s menu even closer to home. Congratulations!

Now that we are recovering from the overwhelmingness of the holiday season, nothing beats a big shock to the system to get us recharged. If you’re a fan of local icon Bill Murray, you can head over to Folly Beach for the (Dress Like) Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Plunge on New Years Day. Costume judging at noon and the plunge is at 1pm. That should get the blood flowing!!

Charleston Restaurant Week, the locals’ chance to visit top drawer restaurants at a fraction of the cost, runs from the 4th through the 22nd with prix fixe lunch and dinner menus. Go out and see what all the fuss is about!

Let it Snow! If your child has a fascination with the white frozen stuff that personifies this season and feeling a little left out, the Charleston Museum has the cure on the 4th at 3:30. Kids will be given a tour of the new photo exhibit on the Great Blizzard of 1899 and will be able to create snow for a snowball fight!

Garrison Keillor brings his down-to-earth humor to the Gaillard on the 5th.

Fans of author Karen White will be happy to hear that her new book, the fifth in the Tradd Street Series, will debut in a Charleston Weekend Celebration on the 6,7 and 8th.

Have you always wanted to visit the naval ships at Patriots Point but found the admission price too steep? On the 7th and 8th, the museums will offer a Pay What You Can Weekend for admission and parking. It’s a great deal.

On the 8th, head down to King Street for a non-vehicular Second Sunday celebration.

Later that afternoon, visit Turtle Point Clubhouse on Kiawah where Quentin Baxter presents saxophonist and S.C. native, Houston Persons, best-known as the accompanist to Etta James. This is the first of Baxter’s three-concert series.

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Did you love the whole drama and plot twists and turns? If so you’ll want to spend An Evening with Julian Fellowes, the Oscar and Emmy-winning creator of the series and best-selling author. The Dock Street Theatre will host an intimate conversation with Lord Fellowes and former PBS president, Erwin Duggan, 6-8pm, the 11th. A Literary Luncheon will be held on the 12th,12:30 at the Library Society.

Meanwhile, on the 11th, you can visit the Gibbes for a special screening of Art and Craft, a film covering the 30-year career of Mark Landis, one of the most prolific art forgers in US history.

Chamber Music Charleston brings their largest concert of the season to the Dock Street on the 12th.

The Gibbes is offering a public curator-led tour on the 12th at 2:30pm. Storage facility tours are on first Wednesdays, and artist choice tours are on the third Wednesdays at 5:30pm.

Killer Fashion, clothing and accessories that proved deadly to its creators and wearers, is the subject of a textile-curator-led tour at the Museum, Friday the 13th at 10:30am.

Time to get rowdy with the Monster Jam coming to the Coliseum on the 13th and 14th. Billed as the “most adrenaline filled family event on the planet,” five trucks about 12’ tall and wide with 66 inch tires, capable of running 100 mph, can soar 125 feet in distance,35 feet off the ground. Amazing & LOUD!

Bees are critical for our survival. Interested in beekeeping? There’s a 2-day Beginners Beekeeping Course to be held on the 14th and 15th at MUSC Gazes Auditorium, 8:30-5pm.

What could be more southern than fried chicken? In the search for the best, the Southern Fried Chicken Challenge was born. The Grove at Patriots Point on the 14th, 1-6pm

Justin Willman, magician and comedian, will wow you at the Sottile on the 14th at 8pm.

Martin Luther King Day, state/federal holiday, is the 16th.

A Shen Yun performance reviving 5,000 years of culture through dance and music will be at the Gaillard, 17th and 18th.

We could all use a good laugh! Visit the Charleston Comedy Festival 2017 at various venues the 18th-21st.

Learn about the Evolution of Rays and Sharks at the Holland Lifelong Learning Program at the Aquarium on the 18th.

Enjoy some jazzy rhythm and blues when Wycliffe Gordon brings the Music of Louis Armstrong to Kiawah on the 19th.

The Charleston Jazz Festival takes the stage at the Gaillard on the 21st at 7:30pm. Don’t miss it!

The wildly popular PBS Kids show, the Wild Kratts, come alive on the stage of the NChas PAC on the 21st.

Journey through Elvis’ life and style in the Elvis Lives show at the Gaillard on the 22nd.

Attention! Charleston Wedding Week is 23rd-28th.

Can’t get enough of the Lowcountry’s beauty? West Fraser’s new exhibit opens at the Gibbes on the 28th.

Shadowland by Pilobolus will be at the Gaillard on the 23rd.

Bernadette Peters stops by the Gaillard for a concert on the 27th. Also on the same evening, it’s the TTC 14th annual event, A Night in the Valley Wine Dinner and Auction at the College Center on the TTC Main Campus at 6:30pm, supporting the critical needs of the college and students.

What better way to start the year off than a health and Wellness check. Even better, it’s FREE. The  Charleston Health and Wellness Expo, presented by MUSC, will be at the Gaillard Center on the 9th and 10th. By combining health screenings, oral health for all ages, mind and body, diet and cooking demos capped off with a massage….hmm..sounds pretty darn good. Put your best foot forward in 2017 armed with valid information and expert advice.

The Charleston Marathon weekend begins with a Youth Marathon on the 13th, then the Marathon, Half Marathon and the Shrimp and Grits 5K on the 14th. There’s a Bike Race on the 15th too. The Youth Marathon will be open to ages 7-17 and will be held at the Convention Center.

The Marathon and Half Marathon begin at The Joe and end at North Charleston High School near Park Circle. There’s a 6.5-hour time limit. The S&G 5K will be routed around the Park Circle area. The Bike Ride will offer a 20, 40 and 60 mile option, beginning and ending at Burke High School.

Also on the 14th, learn the basics of mountain biking from the pros at Wannamaker Park North Trail at 2pm.

The Atavus Training Camp for rugby player development will be at the Citadel on the 14th and 15th.

The Harbison State Park in Columbia Overnight Bike Trip will depart JI County Park on the 17th at 6:30am and return on the 22nd at 3:30pm.

The Great Amazing Race, a 1.5-mile adventure run/walk will be at the Mary Ader West Ashley Park on the 29th at 2pm.

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the perfect way to cap off the month on the 29th at Boone Hall. Hmmm, 80,000 pounds of oysters!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Time in the Lowcountry

It’s holiday time in the Lowcountry. The stores are bursting with decorations and they’re hoping you’ll stop in and part with some of that hard earned cash!

I don’t know about you, but the holiday season snuck up on me this year. Small Business Saturday on 11/26 is a good place to start your shopping. The event continues on the 3rd with a book/author/beer event at the Holy City Brewery from 2-6 sponsored by our local publishing house, Arcadia. Since it follows Small Business Saturday and takes place at a micro-brewery, it’s been dubbed Micro-business Saturday. I’ll be there hawking my book, Surfing in South Carolina. Stop by and visit!

     Our local Farmer’s Markets are a great place to shop for more locally-sourced items. The area markets will be going strong weekends til Christmas.  Markets are popping up all over the Lowcountry so finding one nearby should be easy.

Having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit? Swing by the Holiday Festival of Lights one evening at the James Island County Park. Three miles of over 700 light displays and at the end there’s a holiday sweet shop!

We all know how important programs like Meals on Wheels are to Lowcountry Seniors and now you can show your support. The Holiday Harvest Gala, a new event for the Lowcountry Senior Network, will be on the 1st from 6-9 at the Cooper Room, Mt P Memorial Park.

World AIDS Day Community Awareness: Connecting Communities is marked with a Candlelight Vigil at the Unitarian Church on the 1st.

CSO presents the Holy City Messiah 12/1,2 and 3 at various Lowcountry churches.

Hunters, both men and women, will enjoy a unique exhibition of high-end shotguns from Italy at the Sportsman’s Gallery from 12-6 on the 1st.

Head over to Charles Towne Landing for Garden and Gun Jubilee 2016, the 4th Annual Made in the South Weekend. It’s a full three day mix of sporting, food, music and art the 2nd-4th.

Costumed performers at the Edmondston-Alston House give us an idea of what Christmas was like in the turbulent Civil War era on the 2nd & 9th. Runs continuously from 6:30-8:30pm.

Work off those holiday indulgences at the 26th Annual Reindeer Run beginning at 9am on the 3rd at the Southend Brewery. There’s the after party too, don’t forget! If you catch a second wind, get into the Holiday Swing on the 3rd  The Chas. Jazz Orchestra has 2 shows on the 3rd at the Chas Music Hall.

The Sound of Charleston..from Gospel to Gershwin is at the Circular Congregational Church weekly through December.

The 33rd Annual Spirituals Concert at Drayton Hall at 4pm will begin with a catered reception at 3pm on the 3,4 and 10th.

Visit Christmas in other cultures at the Holiday Extravaganza at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry on the 3rd.

The Pint of Hope event will be paired with the Hoppy Holiday Market at Freehouse Brewery on the 3rd.

Have a roaring good time at the 1920s-themed 6th Annual SC Aquarium Sea Life by Star Life party on the 3rd.

Five Finger Deathpunch & Shinedown will be in concert at the Coliseum on the 6th.

A fan of beach music instead? Carolina Ale House offers Shag lessons each Tuesday.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle with a Holiday Tea & Tour of the Governor Thomas Bennett House 8,9,11,& 17th.

The Holiday Hoedown, a Special Needs Dance Party, will be on the 8th at Wannamaker County Park.

The 21st Annual Charleston Christmas Festival opens at the Chas. Music Hall on the 8th. The show runs thru the 21st.

The Charlotte Ballet presents the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker, at the Gaillard Center the 9th-11th.

Enjoy the best of British Theatre with an intimate screening of War Horse at 34 West Theater on the 11th and 12th.

Time to take a break? A Skylark Vocal Ensemble Christmas is a free concert starting at 7:30 on the 15th at Grace Cathedral. Selected excerpts from the Christmas story are woven through timeless carols.

Or you could let the CSO String Quartet put you in the holiday spirit with their international carols and sing-along favorites at the Historic Library Society at 7:30 on the 15th.

If that wasn’t a hard enough choice, The Tenors, fresh from their third PBS special, are at the Gaillard at 7:30, the 15th.

The CSO Holiday Pops brings the symphony and chorus together to usher in the season at the Gaillard on the 17th.

Chamber Music Charleston continues their Classical Kids Concert Series with “The Night Before Christmas.” The audience can sing along on the 17th at the Sottile, 1pm.

The Third Annual Nexton CocoaCup 5K participants will find their way through the Nexton community starting at 9:30 am on the 17th. All will be given a mug to fill at the Carolina Ale House after party.

Broadway film and stage star Clarence Felder and Chamber Music Charleston bring us the delightful Christmas memoir, Dylan Thomas’ Christmas in Wales, on the 20th and 21st at 7:30 at the Circular Congregational Church.

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Brass joins with the world famous Canadian Brass for a Special Holiday Extravaganza on the 21st at the Gaillard.

The Blue Dogs come home again. On the 27th, there’s a preview at the Music Farm and on the 28th the official 4th Annual Homecoming Show and Benefit for MUSC Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Cancer (Plus their 28th Anniversary) at the Chas. Music Hall. Doors open at 7, concert at 8pm.

 

 Holiday Schedule for the Lowcountry

11/29-12/1 Winter Wonderland, preschoolers at Armory Park, N.Chas.

3rd North Charleston’s Christmas Parade and Festival 3-8pm

Montague from Mixon to Park Circle & Mixon to Lackawanna and W. Enterprise will be closed to cars for the parade and festival events.

IOP’s Holiday Street Festival will be 2-7pm at Front Beach

4th   City of Chas. Christmas Parade begins at 2pm at Broad & Barre to King St ending at Marion Square

City of Chas. Tree Lighting at Marion Square at 4:30

10th  Folly Beach Christmas Parade starts at 1pm, on/off road closed

Holiday Parade of Boats, Chas. Harbor, 5pm

11th 21st Annual Christmas Light Parade and Tree Lighting in Mt P.

          The festivities begin at 5:30 at Moultrie Middle. The parade is up Coleman. The route has been declared a No Drone Zone.

Summerville Christmas Parade will start at 2pm

25th Christmas Day, a state and federal holiday will be observed on Monday 12/26. Day after Christmas, a state holiday, will be observed on the 27th this year.

26th Kwanza Kinara Lighting in Marion Square 5pm

29th Chanukah in the Square  9’ Menorah is lit Festival at 4pm.

New Years Celebrations include:

Happy New Year Charleston, the City of Chas.-sponsored free family event centered in Marion Square from 4-10:30.

The 4th Annual Charleston Rose Ball at Johnson Hagood Sta. The 5th Annual Yorktown Countdown from 9pm-1am.

The Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop on the 31st at 10pm & the Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Bear Plunge at 1pm on the 1st.

 

 

I hope you enjoy your holiday season in the Lowcountry. Don’t forget your Hoppin’ John (for luck) and Collard Greens (for folding green) on New Year’s Day. Make a resolution to do something kind whenever you can and appreciate the people around you. I surely appreciate you.

 

Lilla

 

TRICK or TREAT TIME in the Lowcountry

Fall is here; at least that’s what conventional wisdom says. If your shopping options are anything to go by, the aisles of Halloween costumes, candy, apples and pumpkins seem to bear this out. But with the tropical storms, rain and warm weather, it may take more than the calendar to convince us.

Speaking of calendars, October 1st is the big night for the presentation of the 2017 Firefighter calendar. The unveiling will take place in the evening at Memminger Auditorium. There will be behind-the-scenes videos of these smoking’ guys during the photo shoot, a runway walk and back by popular demand…the live date night auction. It’s all for a good cause. The calendar sales benefit the Animal Society’s medical fund.

Elsewhere around town Moja Arts Festival is in full swing. Music, art, dance and theatre are all represented. The festival highlights the contribution of the Caribbean Islands to our life in the Lowcountry.

Also on the 1st, Sarah Jahroz and Parker Millsap will entertain at the Charleston Music Hall.

Which chef will claim title to making the Best Shrimp in Charleston? Come find out at the Shrimp Throwdown at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina on the 1st.

Lowcountry Muscle Cars hosts the 4th Annual Summerville Dream Machines Open Auto Show at Nexton on the 1st. Spectators are free, slots for over 300 cars, music and vendors.

Fields to Families is celebrating 10 years of fighting hunger by providing fresh produce to Charleston and Berkeley Counties. Their anniversary party and benefit is at Daniel Island’s Pierce Park, on the 2nd, 4-7pm.

We are exploring many different cultures over the first few weeks of the month. We open in the middle of MOJA with their Caribbean roots.

The food, music and culture of Latin America is celebrated on the 2nd, 12-6 at the Wannamaker Park. Don’t miss the live salsa and merengue music!

If you find your family fun around the dining table with lots of pasta, come celebrate Italian Heritage at Hutchinson Square in Summerville. Lots of Italian dishes to taste and wine to savor. It starts at 11am and goes till the last grape is stomped at 6pm.  Summerville is really rolling out the red carpet on the 2nd.

Another of Summerville’s treats that day is the Scrumptious Summerville Kitchen Tour. This year homes in Guilford Gates on Central Avenue will be open from 1-6. Local chefs will supply the goodies, local florists will fill the homes with flowers and musicians will perform in the homes or gardens.

Charlton Singleton and Friends will celebrate the Life of Prince at the Charleston Music Hall on the 2nd at 8pm.

On the 6th, the Preservation Society of Charleston begins its 40th Home and Garden Tour. Until the 20th, you can explore the Holy City’s celebrated homes with a different section of the city highlighted each day.

Visit the Edisto and Beyond Tour, opening the doors of plantation homes, churches and ruins on the 8th, 10-5pm.

This is Oktoberfest month, and St Matthews Church on Marion Square says HOLY PROST!!! Saints and Sinners Willkommen on the 8th and 9th from 3-8pm for German polka dancing, food, beer, wine and a brat eating contest. Children welcome, there will be games for them too.

We wouldn’t want to leave your best friend out of the festivities! Pet Fest Goes Bavarian on the 16th with pet contests, games, German food and drink, live music and demonstrations. Costumes encouraged at the Wannamaker County Park on the 16th, 11-4.

The 3rd Annual Carolina Surf Film Festival will be at the Brick House on Folly Road on the 14th and 15th. Short and full-length films will be screened. Surf-related art, clothing and good times available to all.

It’s time for the FREE Annual Children’s Day Festival held by the Town of Mt Pleasant at the Park West Recreation Complex on the 16th from 11-5pm. Free parking at Cario and Charles Pinckney/Laurel Hills schools. A shuttle will run all day.

There’s an “R” in October so come enjoy the oysters at the 5th Annual HALOS Oyster Roast on the 16th from 4-7pm at Harborside East in Mt P.

Have we gotten ay accolades lately?

Forbes recently published a list of 25 Places to Follow your Bliss in Retirement. Of course, this being Forbes they didn’t take into account the cost of living. But they did say that “if your passions include the Arts, Dining, Volunteering, Outdoor Water Activities and Golf, then Charleston is your place in the sun.“ They described our town as “a gracious coastal town brimming with lures. The median home price is $243,000. Pros: Good economy and tax climate for retirees. Low serious crime rate. High rank on Milken Institute aging list. CON: Cost of living 9% above the national average. NOTED: Average number of doctors per capita. NOTED: Warm climate. TRIVIA: First game of golf in the US took place here.” Cool, huh?

How about business news?

The Charleston Business Journal compared the number of full-time government employees to the Census Bureau’s number of SC residents. It turns out there’s one for every 39.7 residents.

Speaking of workers, the jobless rate has fallen for the 4th straight month in SC. Recently Stoba, a German-based manufacturer of machined auto components, announced they will open their first US plant here creating 61 jobs.

Health & Fitness?

Don’t miss the OBLIQUE Health and Fitness Expo held on the 8th at Charleston Southern Campus…you couldn’t possibly miss the crowds. Be a part of the Pedals for Peanuts Bike giveaway. It’s always good to see a child’s eyes light up with happiness. Last year 225 bikes were distributed at the event. Starts at 9am.

On the 1st, you can pick and choose your run/walk. First there’s the Dream Center Clinic’s Hope for Healing Run/Walk. The 1.5 mile course around Park Circle begins and ends at N Chas High bright and early at 8am. Or, if you want something with an ocean view, try the IOP Connector Run for the Child. Plan your travel accordingly.

On the 8th it’s the Crowfield Plantation 5K Run/Walk on a USATF certified track beginning at Middleton Park in Goose Creek at 8:30am.

On the other side of town, you can join in at the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center’s Trail Half Marathon and 5K at 8:30 on Johns Island also on the 8th.

The SC State Table Tennis Championships will be held at Hanahan Gym on the 15th and 16th. 16 separate events for players of different skill levels and ages. SC residents, full-time students at a SC school and military stationed in SC only.

The Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure will be at the Volvo Car Tennis Center at Daniel Island on the 15th. Gates open at 7am.

On the 22nd, it’s the James Island Connector Run. Choose from a 10K Run and Fun Bike Ride or a 5K Run/Walk. It all starts at 8:30am at Canon Park. The event will aid the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation which gives scholarships to students with physical disabilities.  Plan your travels.

Head for the Cure 5K Run and Walk will be held at Palmetto Islands County Park on the 29th at 8am. The event will benefit increased awareness and research for brain cancer.

Ever heard of a Marsh Tacky? They are the SC Heritage Breed small horses that roamed the marshes of the Sea Islands. The Kiawah Cares Foundation is hosting the inaugural running of the Kiawah Cup Island Beach Race in conjunction with the Carolina Marsh Tacky Assn. on the 29th. These rare horses will race on the beach starting at 1:30. Gather at the Sandcastle Community Center and Beach.

The 7th Annual Run for Rina, your not-so-average run, will be at the Wando Shelter at James Island County Park on the 29th also.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re hot, you’re hot…July in Charleston

July is an odd month in the Lowcountry. It’s usually hot and everyone heads to the beach or out on a boat or they just set out in pursuit of a good breeze. It’s our month to recharge, do some visiting and take a deep breath before school starts again next month.

We have good news for the small business person. Thumbtack has surveyed thousands of entrepreneurs since 2012 about how state and local policies affect starting, operating and growing their businesses. Charleston received an A– rating in their Small Business Friendliness ranking, meaning we came in 12th in the country. Overall, SC was #10.

Good news for millennials. The National Association of Realtors analyzed the top 100 metropolitan markets in the country for employment gains, population trends, income levels and housing trends, then whittled the list down. The top ten were chosen for their above average number of millennial residents and recent movers (16% of total population here and 25% of recent movers), favorable employment opportunities and relatively low income needed to qualify for home ownership. Charleston made the top ten list for the best place for millennials to purchase a home.

Those with children in our area can feel a little more confident in their choice of a hometown. MUSC Children’s Hospital recently picked up six national rankings from the US News And World Report Best Children’s Hospitals Report. They ranked nationally in 6 specialties: #20 in cardiology and heart surgery; #22 in nephrology; #29 for urology, #37 for cancer, #39 in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; #47 in diabetes and endocrinology.

It’s the season in the Lowcountry…fresh produce is arriving right out of the fields. Don’t forget to visit you neighborhood Farmer’s Markets. Downtown in Marion Square on Saturday, Monday 4-8 at Freshfields, Tuesday at Moultrie Middle in Mt P, Thursday at Park Circle, Saturday at Johns Island and Sundays on James Island. No excuse not to eat your (local) vegetables.

The Megadock Billfish Tournament will be at the City Marina on the 1st and 2nd.

Bring your chairs and enjoy a free movie under the stars at Charles Towne Landing. The movie on the 1st is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Gates open at 6pm.

If you’re looking for some music under the stars, head to Freshfields Village starting on the 1st for their free Friday Music on the Green concert series, through Labor Day.

Feel like dancing? The Uncle Sam Jam will be held on the pier at MT P Pier on the 4th. You can watch the fireworks from there!

Beginning on the 6th you can catch a free movie on Wednesday nights at the Starlight Theatre at Freshfields Village at 8:30.

Yappy Hour is back on the 7th, 4-8pm at James Island Co Park

July 8th is the Reggae Nights Concert at James Island Co Park featuring Selah Dub.

Second Sunday opens King St to pedestrians on the afternoon of the 10th, while Culture Club hits the PAC that evening.

Looking for something indoors to escape the heat? How about these? The Children’s Museum is sponsoring the Big Build, an hands-on, play-based exhibit where children can build endless structures using LEGO, KAPLA and Imagination Playground Blocks.

The newly remodeled Gibbes Museum of Art has an offering, “Beyond Catfish Row: The Art of Porgy and Bess. The Charleston Museum echoes the theme with “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ : George Gershwin’s Charleston.” You can see the Porgy house where the opera was written at Folly Beach.

The Gibbes is also showing “The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South. Midmonth bring us the 11th Annual Palette and Palate. This event pairs 11 local galleries with local chefs from some of the best downtown restaurants, on the 15th from 5:30-7:30 in the French Quarter.

Friday Night Boogie, Mt P Pier’s popular dance series is on the 15th.

On the third Saturday of each month, enjoy the classic, unique, antique and just all-around cool cars at Cars & Coffee, the event is at Java Java at Freshfields from 9-11am.

Join the staff for Keeper’s Choice, a program in the Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing on the 16th and the 30th.

Folks with Special Needs and their families will have Whirlin’ Waters all to themselves on the 16th, 6:30-8:30pm.

The Isle of Palms Beach Run is on the 16th. There’s a 5K, 10K beach run or walk and a youth fun run  starting at the Windjammer at 8am. The youth fun run starts at 9am.

Love your Library? The Friends of the Library are having their Big Book Sale at the John’s Island Branch on the 22nd.

Shaggin’ on the Cooper is back on the 16th at the MtP Pier. The Moonlight Mixer series lets you shag away the night on the Folly Pier on the 22nd.

The Folly Pier hosts the Cast Off Series Fishing Tournament the next morning on the 23rd.

The Folly Beach Wahine Classic and Carolina Surf Brand present The Surfer’s Healing Longboard Invitational on the 23rd and 24th at the Washout. The Surfer’s Healing Team will be there to answer any questions about the Surfer’s Healing Camp on August 25th.

Help The Dave Matthews Band celebrate their 25th anniversary at the N Chas Coliseum with 2 shows on the 26th. The band will take a break after this tour so grab your ticket.

The Big League Baseball World Series will bring teams together from Latin America, Canada, Asia-Pacific, Europe-Africa, and the US in Easley starting the on the 26th and winding up with the championship game on August 2nd at 7:30pm. This game will be televised by ESPN.

Some festivals from around the state: The Lexington County Peach Festival in Gilbert on the 4th; The SC Peach Festival is in Gaffney on two weekends, the 8th and 15th; The 10-day Beaufort Water Festival begins on the 15th; The Pageland Watermelon Festival is the 15th and 16th; and The Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival is in Columbia on the 16th. Some tasty treats on tap for those who love fresh farm to table produce.

 

Enjoy all that the Lowcountry has to offer, but stay cool!!!

 

 

 

 

Surfing in South Carolina

1513SURFcvr REDO.inddOkay, let me toot my own horn. I am thrilled to let you know that my husband and I wrote this book for Arcadia Publishing and it will be released on March 14th. It traces the sport’s rise in popularity from the 1960s through today with lots of photos along the way.

It will be available through surf shops, local bookstores, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Lilla

PS  Don’t you just love that outfit with the coordinating sunglasses? It’s on of my favorite photos.

 

February in the Lowcountry

    Just when you thought you’d seen it all, the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show hits Las Vegas and you realize how wrong you were. The most bizarre item that I have come across is the alarm clock emits the scent of bacon, coffee, croissants or money, your choice! Maybe it’s your dream come true. Here, I thought the snooze button was the best innovation to an alarm clock! Another interesting product to make an appearance is a self-installing baby car seat. That’s perfect for non-parents who spend a lot of time trying to figure those contraptions out.
     The weather has been up to its own radical changes. Massive snowfalls in the mid-Atlantic and, well, calling our weather changeable is putting it mildly.
     One thing we can count on though is February bringing us a long weekend just in time for Valentine’s Day and Southeastern Wildlife Expo. February is also Black History Month in the US and Canada.
     Two events focusing on Black History Month are on tap. Middleton Plantation will have one hour interpretive tours  detailing the contributions of the slaves and freedmen working on the plantation.
     On the 26th, the African American Heritage Festival will be at Wannamaker Park. The event will celebrate the traditions and histories of Africa and the Diaspora.
     Speaking of history, the last in the Living in History Lunch Series by the Preservation Society of Charleston will be held at 82 Queen on the 2nd. “Futuristic Perspectives on Historical Places” will focus on the high definition 3D models made of two of the “Seven to Save” sites. Using aerial photography to create these models gives us a whole new vantage point.
     Puttin’ on the Ritz Dinner Theatre brings sisters Gracie and Lacy into the glamour days of the swing era. Held at the Convention Center Ballroom on the 5th, it starts at 6:30pm.
     Ever thought that eating oysters helps the brain? The Brain Injury Association of SC is hosting the 5th Annual Shuck-a-Rama Oyster Roast at the Brick House on James Island on the 6th.
     The CSO presents CSO Masterworks Baroque Masters for two evening performances, 5th and 6th, at the Gaillard, 7:30pm.
     Chase after a Cure will host its 8th Annual gala benefitting childhood cancer research at MUSC on the 6th at the Gaillard.
     Southeastern Wildlife hits the Lowcountry celebrating all the things we love about nature and wildlife all at various locations from the 12th-14th.
     There’s a lot more happening on Valentine’s weekend. Be a part of the return of one of the top solo artists, Garth Brooks. He will be here the whole weekend with Trisha Yearwood at the Coliseum. Shows begin on the 12th at 7pm, two shows on the 13th at  7 and 10:30pm and a 7:30 pm show on the 14th.
     Start out on the 13th with the Cupid’s Undie Run on Folly Beach. The race (half beach half road) begins at 2pm at Loggerheads.
     Chamber Music of Charleston offers a more traditional celebration. It’s the final Ovation concert of the season, From Paris, With Love. This romantic evening of piano and strings will be on the 13th at Memmiger.
     You can spend a fun Valentine’s afternoon at 2nd Sunday on King Street. Then head up to the N Chas Performing Arts Center for a Valentine’s Day Southern Soul Concert with Willie Clayton and friends.
     It’s a good thing that Monday, the 15th, is a state and federal holiday. President’s Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February. Later that evening, you can enjoy Yanni performing with his world-renowned orchestra at the N Chas PAC.
     On the 16th and 17th, enjoy the razzle-dazzle of the 1920s as Roxie tries to sway the public and the media to avoid criminal punishment when the national tour of Chicago, the musical, returns to the North Chas Performing Arts Center.
     Enjoy the magic of the World of Disney Live! Join Mickey, Minnie and 25 of your favorite characters  when Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic comes to the N Chas PAC on the 18th. 2 performances 3:30 and 6:30pm
     Gourmet and Grapes, a weekend of fine chef and fine wine pairings comes to Kiawah on the weekend of the 19th-21st. Geared to all levels from casual to connoisseur.
     To Charleston with Love, sister-act Gracie and Lacy present their valentine to Charleston in 2 shows 2pm and 7pm at Gage Hall, 4 Archdale St. on the 19th.
     It’s more than unlimited bacon dishes and bourbon from 25 distillers at Bacon and Bourbon 2016. There’s live music, bull riding and laser skeet on the 20th at Memminger Hall.
     Save the date! The 21st is the 17th Annual Chef’s Feast, a collaboration of the Lowcountry Food Bank and 30 local chefs to fight childhood hunger.
     The Charleston Symphony Orchestra presents CSO Masterworks: Mozart and Brahms on the 26th and 27th, 7:30pm both nights at the Gaillard.
     Noon to 6pm, meet the brewers & brewery owners and taste their special creations at BREWVIVAL sponsored by COAST Brewing Co. and the Charleston Beer Exchange on the 27th at COAST.
     OHHHH! The Chocolate Affair is back! Great food, open bar, even chocolate martinis! Vote for the restaurants and bakeries competing for the 6th “Most Artistic” or “Most Delicious” dessert. It’s for a good cause too…no guilt! Memminger Hall on the 27th.
     Celebrate the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix! Hailed as the Guitar event of the Year, the multi-artist celebration know as the Experience Hendrix Tour hits the Gaillard on the 27th.
     Another chance to taste those briny bi-valves! The 4th Annual ‘South Atlantic Bank’ Oyster Roast & Chili Cookoff will be on the 28th from 2-5pm at the Hobcaw Yacht Club. Family friendly with hot dogs and fixin’s
     St Paul’s Tea Room and Gift Shop will open 11:30-2pm
 on the 29th-3/5 and 3/7-11 in Summerville. A yearly favorite, especially the she crab soup and the tomato pie!
      Runner’s World has ranked the Asheville Half Marathon as one of the best. They tout the different band every mile with a mix of musical styles, the challenging course that gains 782 feet of elevation (though the runners get a 3mile flat stretch at mile 5) and the post-race party.
      It’s the Women’s Golf Getaway, a bootcamp to improve your game quickly! For beginner and intermediate level players, the getaway is at Kiawah Island Golf Resort the 25th-28th.
     The 11th Annual Lifepoint Race for Life will be held at James Island County Park on the 27th. The fun starts at 8:15 with a 10K, 5K, fun run and kid’s run.
     The Washington Post sent a reporter on the road for 60 days to hunt for the Best Food Towns in America. He includes Charleston in his winners list. His defining moment was the fried chicken, succulent shrimp and hospitality of Martha Lou’s Kitchen. His best twist on tradition? The shrimp and masa grits with chili sofrito at Minero. He did include recipes for the Obstinate Daughter’s Frogmore Chowder and The Ordinary’s Scallop Hush Puppies.
****************************************************
Be sure to work up an appetite for the 11th Annual BB+T Wine and Food Festival held downtown March 2-6.
It’s Leap Year and that means an extra day this month. Enjoy the bonus time you’ll get on the 29th.

Giving Thanks this Month

As we dry out, our November calendar is filling with lots to do. There are so many events that were rescheduled that you’ll be worn out by the Thanksgiving break.

     Please, take a moment on the 11th to thank the folks who have given us the wonderful freedoms we wake up to each day. Veteran’s Day is simply a formal moment for showing our appreciation, we should be giving them a nod all year long.

This mid-week state and federal holiday may take some by surprise.    

     This month we coast into the holiday season. There will be plenty of visitors coming into town. After the late unpleasantness, I know I’m having to reassure guests that yes, we are open for business.  The national media made it sound like we would never recover, but we are a resilient bunch, aren’t we?

     Another blow for us to weather is that we will never again be the world’s favorite city. What can I say, they changed the rules. We are now the top small city. T+L has opened up many more categories so we will be sharing the top spotlight with places like Florence, Italy, and New York City. I’m sure we will weather this storm just fine. We know we are something special.

     With guests in town for the upcoming holidays, Forbes published a quick list of places to eat in 4 distinct categories. The Funky Newcomer was the Barony Tavern; the Beach Option was a nod to Coda del Pesce on IOP; The Classic, of course, was Hall’s Chophouse and Caviar and Bananas was a perfect lunch spot. Hey, it’s their list, not mine! We all have our own special spots here. Treat your guests to yours!

     The Coastal Carolina Fair continues through the 8th.

11/1  Are you curious about the plantations in St Paul’s Parish? You can visit a selection in Hollywood and Edisto from 11-4pm.

     Poogan’s Porch will host the 5th Annual Pig Roast and Bourbon Sip at Palmetto Brewing on Huger from 3:30 til 6pm.

     Enjoy Native American myth, song, and storytelling at the Charleston Museum from 3:30 to 4:30.,

     The National Circus and Acrobats of the Peoples Republic of China will perform Peking Dreams at the new Gaillard.

 11/3    The first of the Museum’s Fall Lecture Programs will  examine  taming the Lowcountry in the Plantation Landscape. 6pm

11/4     Veggie Tales, a child-oriented musical review, at the Gaillard.

     The Charleston International Film Festival will be focused on various venues basing from the Charleston Music Hall until the 8th.

11/5      The 10th Annual Taste of the World event to aid the Charleston

Port and Seafarer’s Society will be held at the Omar Convention Center at Patriots Point  from 6-8:30pm

     Spend an evening with the owls under a full moon at the Center for Birds of Prey in MtP.

 11/7     It’s time for Fall Fest in the Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing. See how the animals celebrate from  1-4pm.

       Exercise? Want to balance that with some local craftsmanship? The Craft Brew Race is a 5K event at Riverfront Park in NoChas followed by a craft brew event with 2 dozen breweries.

      The Charleston Walk for PKD will be held at Park Circle at 10:30.

      The 14th Annual Harvest Festival at Mullet Hall County Park will celebrate the season with an all-day event from 11-5pm There’s even an old-fashioned turkey shoot competition from 12-2.

     Or you can fish guilt-free! The 2015 Hooked on Charity Inshore Fishing Tournament sets out from Bohicket Marina.

       The Visitors Center Bus Shed will be the site for the Lowcountry Hoedown. Yes, the all-inclusive Shindig is back celebrating all things southern from bourbon to beer to food and music. 7pm –11pm.

11/7 & 8  The bigger and better 2nd Annual Jazz on the Edge at various venues Folly Beach. While you’re there on the 8th, stop by the Battle of the Bags, it’s a Cornhole Tournament from 12-5pm.

11/8    It’s the Art on the Beach-Chefs in the Kitchen event on Sullivan’s Island from 1-5pm. 25+ artists represented.

     The 2nd Annual Coffee Cup Event honoring the burgeoning coffee culture in the SE will be 10-3 at the Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory.

     Live horseracing at its best, it’s the Charleston Cup at Stono Ferry.

Steeplechase instead? The Colonial Cup at Camden is on the 21st.

     It’s Photography Day at the Center for Birds of Prey, 8:30-11:30am

     The Symphony’s Kiawah Island Tour of Homes will be held from 1-5pm, followed by a free concert at 6pm.

     Grace Potter entertains in concert at the NoChas PAC at 7:30pm

11/9  The Gaillard presents Campania Flamenca at 7:30pm

     Sufjan Stevens brings his US Tour to the NoChas PAC tonight.

11/10    Boz Scaggs presents his A Fool To Care Tour at the Gaillard

11/10 & 11    We are Emmanuel, 90+ visual artists have created pieces for this exhibition at the Cigar Factory 9-4pm.

11/11-15  The Castra Romano XIIII Hail Caesar! dedicates this festival to Julius Caesar.  Public displays on the 14th and 15th. History comes alive at the Festival of Ancient Rome, Givhans State Park.

      Why spend Friday evening in traffic? The Chas. Academy of Music’s faculty offer you a series of free Mini-Concerts Friday afternoons from 5:30-6:15  at 189 Rutledge. Arrive home relaxed!

11/13   The 26th Annual Camp Happy Days Gala (the Cabooty Party) will beheld at Memminger at 6:30pm

     Touted as one of the 10 Best Holiday Light Displays in the country by USA Today, the James Island County Parks Festival of Lights opens tonight with over 700 lighted displays. Open through Jan. 3rd

     Trident United Way has declared the 13th as their community-wide Day of Caring.

11/13 & 14  The Kansas City BBQ Society brings its 4th Annual Smoke on the Harbor BBQ Throwdown to the Charleston Harbor Resort

     YAll Fest celebrates all YA readers this weekend with 60 authors, 29 NYT best sellers, 22 panels, 15 visits to local schools, all on one weekend on Upper King Street around Blue Bicycle Books.

 11/14  The Munich Symphony performs at the Gaillard Center.

       The Lung Force Run/Walk will be at 9am at the Folly Pier.  

11/14    Daniel Island’s Park Day Festival will be from 11-4pm.

     The 3rd Annual Rockabillaque will be at Park Circle from noon ‘til.

     The Party for the Parks moves to Canon Park this year 6-10pm

    Oblique Magazine presents the Oblique Health and Fitness Expo with a full day of fun at the Riverfront Park from 8:30-3:00pm. You say you’re going to get healthy,,,start here.

      The a cappella group, Straight no Chasers, is at the NoChas PAC

11/19    Brian Regan brings his comedy to the NoChas PAC

11/20    The Alley celebrates their 3rd anniversary with a Studio 54 disco theme

11/21    They say nothing says Lowcountry like Oysters and Chilli. Well, it’s time to indulge and help fill the coffers of the Charleston Animal Society’s Toby Fund, a medical fund for injured and abused animals. At Citadel/Hagood Stadium.

     Buy Local First kicks off the 9th Annual Buy Local Month with a Block Party at 1630 Meeting from 11am-5pm.

     People’s Choice: Fun Favorites from Your Charleston Jazz Orchestra at the Charleston Music Hall. Two shows 5 and 8pm.

     Sneaker Preview!! It’s the 3rd Annual Tinsel Trot fun run previewing the Old Santee Canal Park Holiday Driving Tour in Monks Corner from 5:30-8pm    

11/21    The inaugural Ultra Chili 50K Ultramarathon will debut at Laurel Hill County Park

11/26    Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the largest 5K in the state…the 38th Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble  leaving Marion Square at 9am.  

A perfect opportunity to atone in advance for Thanksgiving dinner or a great place to send guests so you can cook in peace!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day, don’t eat too much and be sure to appreciate all the good things in your life… Remember to shop locally for the holidays.

 

 

A Wet Fall Comes to the Lowcountry Happy October!

Yep, October is bringing rain, rain, rain to the Lowcountry. I am up at our cottage in Nova Scotia. This is a great time of the year up here.for two reasons. First I like feeling the cooler Fall temperatures and second, it’s the peak time for harvest up here. Luscious peaches, wild blueberries and perfect strawberries are everywhere. Ok, Foster says the waves are good now also.
 
We’ll be back mid-October.
 
Our book is in production. “Surfing in South Carolina” is due on the stands in March, let me know what you think! 
 
That’s it from my part of the world, back to the Lowcountry soon. See you then, I’ll have lots of stories to tell, I hope you do too. Here’s what happening around town:

     Now that summer is officially over on the calendar, we can legitimately look forward to Fall. Halloween decorations are cheek-by-jowl with Christmas ornaments in the stores, football games (sorry for bringing that up, Carolina fans), and don’t forget that Daylight Savings time ends on November 1st.

     I checked out the directions for the end of DST: Just as the clock is about to reach 2AM on the 1st, move the small hand back to 1AM. This will cause sunrise and sunset to be 1 hour earlier than on Halloween. There will be more light in the morning. This is also called winter time. Ha, now you know!

     We celebrate Columbus Day on the 12th. The federal holiday has generated much controversy recently.

     October is a busy month in the Lowcountry, so let’s get to it. MOJA Festival is building up to its big, free finale at Hampton Park beginning at 4pm on the 4th.

     Ever been curious about what Charleston looked like in the past? Transported: Charleston Street Scenes, 1860s-1960s  a photographic exhibit is on at the Charleston Museum.

     Take the “A Train” back to the 1930s and the heyday of the Cotton Club with the Charleston PAC’s (James Island) next show, DUKE: King of Jazz, an original dance musical, at 8pm all month.

     Celebrate the season with a twist: a 2.5 hour walking tour of the city. “The Original” Haunted Pub Tour visits 3-5 spots here libations can be purchased while the scary-certified guide takes you through the city’s haunted past.

     The smash hit, CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, is at the NChas PAC for one performance only on the 1st at 8pm. The “provocative and wickedly funny” plot centers around  spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view.

      Hate cancer, but love BBQ, music and friends? Join in as Hogs for the Cause  returns to The Grove at Patriots Point on the 3rd.

      The high energy 24th Annual Latin American Festival hits Wannamaker County Park on the 4th with music, performances, and food. There’s even a salsa dance contest!

     The Brewsday Tradition continues at Old Towne Creek County Park from 5-7pm. On the 6th enjoy Rene Russell and the Kickin’ Chicken truck. On the 20th, Foolish Expectations and Smoke food truck…craft beer always. They are also adding a Wine Down Wednesday on the 13th and the 28th.

     It’s cocktails and Birds of Prey encounters at the annual Migration to Memminger event. The event plus birds of prey in flight begins at 6:30 at Memminger Hall.

     Looking for a good book? Try the Big Book Sale at the Omar Shrine at Patriots Point 9th-11th. The best advice is to bring a rolling suitcase. Need a great local Christmas gift? Look out for veteran photographer Jack Alterman’s spectacular new book, My Charleston. It should be on everyone’s coffee table.

     The Hispanic Heritage Monthly Dinner will be held on the 9th at 7pm at Oakley Farms in Moncks Corner.

     The Alley will host its celebrity roast/comedy and the 3rd Annual ‘So You Thought You Could Spell ‘Spelling Bee at 7pm on the 9th.

     Menopause: The Musical…a Survivors Tour/Komen event will take to the stage at the Coliseum on the 10th.

     It’s Lowcountry Nosh: Charleston Jewish Food and Heritage Festival celebrating the 175th Anniversary of KKBE’s historic sanctuary. Don’t miss the hourly Hava Nagila on Hasell (Street) from noon til 4pm, 11th.

     Foodies and philanthropy unite at the Cedar Room in the Cigar Factory for the 2015 No Kid Hungry event on the 11th.

     Also on the 11th is the Lowcountry Blues Bash at Bowen’s Island from 3-6pm.

     Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Alvin and the Chipmunks are bringing the excitement of a live rock show to the N Chas PAC on the 14th.

     Chamber Music Charleston opens its Seabrook (13th)and Daniel Island (14th) House Concert Series with Mozart and Brubeck.

      It’s interesting to note that in T+L’s list of the country’s most unfriendly cities, there wasn’t a mention of any cities in VA, SC, NC or GA.

     The College of Charleston is once again ranked in the top 20 Regional Universities by US News and World Report. It ranked #4 in public regional colleges and #11 among the 90+public and private universities that made the list.

     Food for thought and the tummy…The Powder Magazine and USC Press have partnered for the annual fall lunch and lecture series. Walter Edgar talks about “Goose Creek Men: Heroes or Villans” on the 15th; “Lowcountry Rice Kingdom” with Richard Porcher on the 22nd and “Charleston’s Bishop Lynch” by Carl Borick on the 29th.

      Looks like the last chance this year to take the pup to James Island County Park’s Yappy Hour is on the 15th from 4pm til sunset.  

     Surf’s Up! Check out the 2nd Annual Surf Film Festival at the James Island Brickhouse the 16th and 17th.

     Ted’s Butcherblock is celebrating 10 years in business with a block party on the 17th from 11-6pm.

     The 27th Annual Town of Mt P Children’s Day Festival will be at the Park West Rec Center noon-5pm on the 18th.

     Bark in the Park! Oktoberfest is a pet fair with a Bavarian flair. Celebrate with your pet at this costume-friendly Wannamaker Park event on the 18th from 11am-4pm. Don’t miss the parade!

     Then move on to Harborside East in MtP for the 4th Annual HALOS Oyster Roast from 4-7pm.

     The Classical Kids Concert Series opens with a Halloween Program on the 23rd at Daniel Island School and on the 24th Charleston Museum.

     The Fall Native Plant Sale will be held at CharlesTowne Landing on the 24th from 9am-noon.

     North Charleston’s Creative Arts Workshops continue with the Oct 24th installment, Fusiformfelt Necklaces.

     The 2nd Annual Gatsby Gala to benefit Lowcountry Orphan Relief will be at the Francis Marion on the 24th.

     Looking for comfort food? What could be better than the 6th Annual Charleston Mac Off.  25 local restaurants give homage to this cheesy dish along with tastings, a eating competition, a cooking competition, a vendor village and don’t miss the Bourbon Trail.  

     Mark Knopfler hits the NChas PAC on the 25th with his new album, Tracker.

     The Coastal Carolina Fair comes to Ladson from the 29th through Nov 8th.

     Top acts from 10 years of America’s Got Talent will be at the PAC the 30th.

     Remembering Judy Garland is at the Footlight Players for 2 shows on the 31st.

 

Outside: 

     As part of the MOJA Festival,  enjoy the live action at the Charleston Boxing Club’s Annual MOJA Cup. Al “Hollywood” Meggett and Osei Chandler coordinate the 7-10 pm event held at the Arthur Christopher Gymnasium (Hagood and Fishburne Streets) . This US Boxing sanctioned event is on the 3rd

     Last chance for the Cast Off Fishing Tournament at the Mt P Pier is on the 3rd.

     The Isle of Palms Connector Run and Walk for the Child will begin at 8am on the 3rd . The Connector will close at 7am til 11:30am for the race.

     Whatever you do, don’t miss the Oblique Magazine Fit-a-thon held at the N Chas Riverfront Park on the 10th…an amazing collection of events and fitness celebrities will be there. Make fitness fun!

    The Race for Freedom 5K Walk and Run held at Wannamaker Park on the 3rd at 9am will benefit survivors of sex trafficking.

     The Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K will be held at Mullet Hall on the 10th at 8:30 am and the Crowfield Plantation 5K run/Walk, 8:30, Middleton Park.

     Beach Polo comes to Kiawah Island on the 11th at the Sandcastle Community Center and Beach. The Inaugural Kiawah Cup Invitational opens at 1:15 with the action from 1:30-4pm.

     The Run 4 Rina is on the 24th at the James Island County Park at 10am.

     Here’s a different way to spend Halloween Day. Charleston SUP invites you out to the 5th Annual SUPer Scary SUP Race from 10am to noon. The race starts at the Folly Landing on the Folly River at Center Street catering to all ability levels with a variety of categories. The after party is at the Surf Bar.

     Get out and enjoy yourself! STAY DRY!!!!! As my mom always says, this too shall pass!

 

Lilla

 

     

    

    

 

 

 

 

     Now that summer is officially over on the calendar, we can legitimately look forward to Fall. Halloween decorations are cheek-by-jowl with Christmas ornaments in the stores, football games (sorry for bringing that up, Carolina fans), and don’t forget that Daylight Savings time ends on November 1st.

     I checked out the directions for the end of DST: Just as the clock is about to reach 2AM on the 1st, move the small hand back to 1AM. This will cause sunrise and sunset to be 1 hour earlier than on Halloween. There will be more light in the morning. This is also called winter time. Ha, now you know!

     We celebrate Columbus Day on the 12th. The federal holiday has generated much controversy recently.

     October is a busy month in the Lowcountry, so let’s get to it. MOJA Festival is building up to its big, free finale at Hampton Park beginning at 4pm on the 4th.

     Ever been curious about what Charleston looked like in the past? Transported: Charleston Street Scenes, 1860s-1960s  a photographic exhibit is on at the Charleston Museum.

     Take the “A Train” back to the 1930s and the heyday of the Cotton Club with the Charleston PAC’s (James Island) next show, DUKE: King of Jazz, an original dance musical, at 8pm all month.

     Celebrate the season with a twist: a 2.5 hour walking tour of the city. “The Original” Haunted Pub Tour visits 3-5 spots here libations can be purchased while the scary-certified guide takes you through the city’s haunted past.

     The smash hit, CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, is at the NChas PAC for one performance only on the 1st at 8pm. The “provocative and wickedly funny” plot centers around  spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view.

       Hate cancer, but love BBQ, music and friends? Join in as Hogs for the Cause  returns to The Grove at Patriots Point on the 3rd.

      The high energy 24th Annual Latin American Festival hits Wannamaker County Park on the 4th with music, performances, and food. There’s even a salsa dance contest!

     The Brewsday Tradition continues at Old Towne Creek County Park from 5-7pm. On the 6th enjoy Rene Russell and the Kickin’ Chicken truck. On the 20th, Foolish Expectations and Smoke food truck…craft beer always. They are also adding a Wine Down Wednesday on the 13th and the 28th.

     It’s cocktails and Birds of Prey encounters at the annual Migration to Memminger event. The event plus birds of prey in flight begins at 6:30 at Memminger Hall.

     Looking for a good book? Try the Big Book Sale at the Omar Shrine at Patriots Point 9th-11th. The best advice is to bring a rolling suitcase. Need a great local Christmas gift? Look out for veteran photographer Jack Alterman’s spectacular new book, My Charleston. It should be on everyone’s coffee table.

     The Hispanic Heritage Monthly Dinner will be held on the 9th at 7pm at Oakley Farms in Moncks Corner.

     The Alley will host its celebrity roast/comedy and the 3rd Annual ‘So You Thought You Could Spell ‘Spelling Bee at 7pm on the 9th.

     Menopause: The Musical…a Survivors Tour/Komen event will take to the stage at the Coliseum on the 10th.

     It’s Lowcountry Nosh: Charleston Jewish Food and Heritage Festival celebrating the 175th Anniversary of KKBE’s historic sanctuary. Don’t miss the hourly Hava Nagila on Hasell (Street) from noon til 4pm, 11th.

     Foodies and philanthropy unite at the Cedar Room in the Cigar Factory for the 2015 No Kid Hungry event on the 11th.

     Also on the 11th is the Lowcountry Blues Bash at Bowen’s Island from 3-6pm.

     Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Alvin and the Chipmunks are bringing the excitement of a live rock show to the N Chas PAC on the 14th.

     Chamber Music Charleston opens its Seabrook (13th)and Daniel Island (14th) House Concert Series with Mozart and Brubeck.

      It’s interesting to note that in T+L’s list of the country’s most unfriendly cities, there wasn’t a mention of any cities in VA, SC, NC or GA.

     The College of Charleston is once again ranked in the top 20 Regional Universities by US News and World Report. It ranked #4 in public regional colleges and #11 among the 90+public and private universities that made the list.

     Food for thought and the tummy…The Powder Magazine and USC Press have partnered for the annual fall lunch and lecture series. Walter Edgar talks about “Goose Creek Men: Heroes or Villans” on the 15th; “Lowcountry Rice Kingdom” with Richard Porcher on the 22nd and “Charleston’s Bishop Lynch” by Carl Borick on the 29th.

      Looks like the last chance this year to take the pup to James Island County Park’s Yappy Hour is on the 15th from 4pm til sunset.  

     Surf’s Up! Check out the 2nd Annual Surf Film Festival at the James Island Brickhouse the 16th and 17th.

     Ted’s Butcherblock is celebrating 10 years in business with a block party on the 17th from 11-6pm.

     The 27th Annual Town of Mt P Children’s Day Festival will be at the Park West Rec Center noon-5pm on the 18th.

     Bark in the Park! Oktoberfest is a pet fair with a Bavarian flair. Celebrate with your pet at this costume-friendly Wannamaker Park event on the 18th from 11am-4pm. Don’t miss the parade!

     Then move on to Harborside East in MtP for the 4th Annual HALOS Oyster Roast from 4-7pm.

     The Classical Kids Concert Series opens with a Halloween Program on the 23rd at Daniel Island School and on the 24th Charleston Museum.

     The Fall Native Plant Sale will be held at CharlesTowne Landing on the 24th from 9am-noon.

     North Charleston’s Creative Arts Workshops continue with the Oct 24th installment, Fusiformfelt Necklaces.

     The 2nd Annual Gatsby Gala to benefit Lowcountry Orphan Relief will be at the Francis Marion on the 24th.

     Looking for comfort food? What could be better than the 6th Annual Charleston Mac Off.  25 local restaurants give homage to this cheesy dish along with tastings, a eating competition, a cooking competition, a vendor village and don’t miss the Bourbon Trail.  

     Mark Knopfler hits the NChas PAC on the 25th with his new album, Tracker.

     The Coastal Carolina Fair comes to Ladson from the 29th through Nov 8th.

     Top acts from 10 years of America’s Got Talent will be at the PAC the 30th.

     Remembering Judy Garland is at the Footlight Players for 2 shows on the 31st.

 

Outside: 

     As part of the MOJA Festival,  enjoy the live action at the Charleston Boxing Club’s Annual MOJA Cup. Al “Hollywood” Meggett and Osei Chandler coordinate the 7-10 pm event held at the Arthur Christopher Gymnasium (Hagood and Fishburne Streets) . This US Boxing sanctioned event is on the 3rd

     Last chance for the Cast Off Fishing Tournament at the Mt P Pier is on the 3rd.

     The Isle of Palms Connector Run and Walk for the Child will begin at 8am on the 3rd . The Connector will close at 7am til 11:30am for the race.

     Whatever you do, don’t miss the Oblique Magazine Fit-a-thon held at the N Chas Riverfront Park on the 10th…an amazing collection of events and fitness celebrities will be there. Make fitness fun!

    The Race for Freedom 5K Walk and Run held at Wannamaker Park on the 3rd at 9am will benefit survivors of sex trafficking.

     The Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K will be held at Mullet Hall on the 10th at 8:30 am and the Crowfield Plantation 5K run/Walk, 8:30, Middleton Park.

     Beach Polo comes to Kiawah Island on the 11th at the Sandcastle Community Center and Beach. The Inaugural Kiawah Cup Invitational opens at 1:15 with the action from 1:30-4pm.

     The Run 4 Rina is on the 24th at the James Island County Park at 10am.

     Here’s a different way to spend Halloween Day. Charleston SUP invites you out to the 5th Annual SUPer Scary SUP Race from 10am to noon. The race starts at the Folly Landing on the Folly River at Center Street catering to all ability levels with a variety of categories. The after party is at the Surf Bar.

     Get out and enjoy yourself! STAY DRY!!!!! As my mom always says, this too shall pass!

 

Lilla

 

     

    

    

 

 

 

September Doings in the Lowcountry

         There’s a lot happening this month once we get past the idea that summer is over! I know it’s difficult to believe with the weather, but Fall is just around the corner.

     But first there is the Labor Day ritual. We each have our traditional way of ending the summer over the long Labor Day weekend. We’re either at a cook out, beach or out boating. Here are a few suggestions to consider if you’re in the mood to break out of the mold.    

     On the 3rd, head on over to the North Charleston Riverfront Park. Their Rockin’ the River free summer concert series will entertain you from 5:30-9:30 with the music of Plane Jane. Free parking and admission, food trucks on hand to fuel you up.

     The 7th Annual Greater Charleston Lowcountry Jazz Festival cranks up on the 3rd, running through the 6th. They had so many award-winning, genre-crossing, jazz-soul-R&B-pop artists, the organizers added and extra day at the NChas Coliseum.

     The 2nd Annual Slave Dwelling Conference Exhibit, a special installation at NChas City Hall, will be held beginning on the 3rd in conjunction with the conference. The conference is convened to work towards preservation of extant African American slave dwellings.

     The Blues and BBQ Cruise will have a special sailing on the 4th. Shrimp City Slim will entertain you on a 2 hour cruise aboard the Carolina Queen.

     Heads up! On Labor Day weekend, Folly Beach will have a fireworks show on Saturday, Sept 5th. Rain forced the cancellation of their show on the 4th of July, so this is the reschedule. If it rains again, look for the show on the 6th. The show will be at 9pm.

    No matter how you spend your Labor Day, say thanks to those working to keep your weekend running smoothly.       

     The fall installment of Charleston Restaurant Week begins on the 9th. Running through the 18th, it’s your chance to grab some award-winning cuisine at a great price.

     The Avian Conservation Center and the Center for Birds of Prey host the nation’s premier natural history writer, Barry Lopez. The program will run from 7-10pm at the Charleston Museum on the 10th.

     It’s football season and the Cocktail Club is offering a class on Tailgating with Bourbon in the mix on the 12th at 1:30pm.

     Right behind that is Charleston Beer Week. Celebrating the city’s  beer community, from brewer to bartender, keg to glass. Events will highlight our nine production breweries and many beer-focused clubs from the 13th-19th at various venues throughout the city.

     If you’d like to show your canine pals a good time, bring them to Whirlin’ Waters at Wannamaker County Park from noon to 5 on the 13th for the 7th Annual Dog Day Afternoon. Dogs only in the pools!

     Ever wonder what the sporting gent could expect in the 1700s? How were the ladies were entertained? Find out at Genteel Pursuits and Grand Entertains: Sport and Leisure at Middleton Place on the 11th and 12th.

     Cypress Gardens will hold their 2nd Annual Blackwater Ukulele and Dulcimer Festival on the 13th. A jam session starts you out at 9:30 and the day progresses with classes, workshops and concerts.

     The 7th Annual Undy 500 is set for the 13th also. This motorcycle charity drive entry is  $20 plus a package of basics (underwear, socks or t-shirts) for the homeless at the Stand Down event. Starts at the Lowcountry Harley Shop at 9:30.

     The 6th Annual Lt. Dan Weekend, an event that honors our nation’s severely wounded, will begin on the 18th with a concert by Gary Sinease and his Lt. Dan Band at the NChas Coliseum. At 7:30 am the next day, there will be an Independence Bike Ride with adaptive mobility cycles beginning and ending at the Coliseum.

     The Crabpot Players will hold a “Last Will and Testament” dinner theatre evening at the NChas PAC Ballroom on the 18th also.

     The meeting of the clans, or the Scottish Games as we know it, will commence at Boone Hall on the 19th and run through the weekend. Exceptional athletics, dances and fun for all ages on Saturday beginning at 9am. At 6pm there’s an after party and on Sunday, the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan at the First Scotts Presbyterian Church, Meeting St.    

      The 19th is the Feast of San Gennaro and what better day to introduce the Charleston Italian Festival. Held from noon to 7 pm, the festival will showcase Italian food, beers, wines, artisans, and even an Italian Car Show, all on Daniel Island.

     Can’t get enough Shrimp and Grits? Then this is a must for you. The Charleston Shrimp and Grits Festival presents 20 top local chef’s with 20 variations on the theme. You taste and vote the winner. Help them support the Chas. Animal Society at the Joe, 6-9pm.

     Then stop off at Edmond’s Oast as they present “Origins and Oddities,” a night of rare and limited beers as part of Beer Week.

     If you did all of that, you need to do your penance at Tri Kiawah on the 20th, for the 3rd Annual Kiawah Triathlon and work it all off.

     Come celebrate being green at the Carolina Green Fair held at the James Island County Park on the afternoon of the 20th.

     HolyCity Shakespeare brings the Royal Shakespeare Company’s current production of “Othello” to the big screen at Cinnebarre on the 24th at 6:30pm.

     Play golf with no guilt! It’s the 4th Annual Drive Away Childhood Cancer Golf Tournament at Patriots Pont on the 25th.    

    Chas. Co. Parks and Recreation’s 2nd Annual Adaptive Recreation Weekend will begin on the 26th with an adaptive surfing clinic on Folly Beach called Wheels to Surf from 9-4 at the Folly Beach County Park. On the 27th, the action moves to the James Island County Park for an expo to include yoga, archery, paddling, fishing, climbing, basketball, dance and hand cycling, noon-5pm.

     The Hanahan Table Tennis Training Center presents the $3000 State of SC Table Tennis Championships at the Hanahan Gym on the 26th and 27th. The 18 events are open to SC residents, SC school students or military stationed here.

     There’s a new location for the Oktoberfest 5K Run and Walk this year. It will take place at Laurel Hill Plantation at 9am on the 26th.

     Don’t like golf? How about stopping by Awendaw Green for the East Cooper Meals on Wheels Ball Drop. The golf ball landing closest to the target at the big ball drop is the winner. Spend some time, have a ball, on the 27th, 3-6pm.

     Wine, Women and Shoes will be happening on the 27th at the Daniel Island Club. Brave is Beautiful, 1-5pm benefitting the Florence Crittenton Home.

     The 25th-27th is food time in Charleston. The James Beard Foundation’s Third Annual Taste America “Local Flavor from Coast to Coast” visits us. Charleston is among ten cities chosen for this year’s program. It kicks off at the Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory. After a walk around tasting reception, the sit down dinner will be a creation of local Beard winner Chef Mike Lata and All Star chef Art Smith (Table 52 Chicago) and local Chef Lauren Mitterer.

     On the 26th, a free cooking demo by Chef Art Smith will be held at Le Creuset’s headquarters at Ripley Light.   

     There’s also the 35th Annual Southern Living Taste of Charleston Weekend. 3 big days with lots to do.

     On the 25th, it’s Iron Chef Charleston, a showcase of local chefs in a heated head-to-head battle held in the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s state-of-the-art amphitheatre kitchen. After the secret ingredient is announced, the chefs will have 45 minutes to create and cook at least 4 dishes to be judged by the panel of experts. Watch on screen or in the amphitheatre.

 On the 26th, it’s Sweet and Southern on the Harbor. Enjoy a special showcase of singers and songwriters while you cruise the Harbor enjoying special southern fare.

     On the 27th, it’s the big day at Boone Hall. A full family event, there’s food from 50 of the Lowcountry’s casual to fine dining establishments. Highlights include the legendary waiter’s race, an imported and specialty beer tasting tent, live music and the Kid’s Kitchen Side Show.

     The streets will sway with the captivating rhythm of African music, the scents of Caribbean cooking will fill the air and parades and costumes will delight during the 31st Annual MOJA Arts Festival, a 10 day celebration of Gullah culture named for the Swahili word for “one”  beginning on the 24th. Enjoy it all!