Spring Festivals Roundup

The South is a glorious place in springtime, and captivating Charleston, drenched in history and culture is the shining star. The flowers are in brightly-colored bloom, fragrance of mouthwatering cuisine wafts through the air and the temperature hangs in the 80s beneath sunny skies. Here is a list of festivals to help you discover all that Charleston has to offer this spring.

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Charleston Wine + Food
Embark on a culinary journey during the 12th annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Surround yourself with a cornucopia of savory flavors as your experience events, demonstrations and parties, infusing world class cuisine with Southern charm and culture. Enjoy delectable moments with the country’s top chefs, winemakers, beverage experts, storytellers, artisans, and more. With a five-day menu of more than 100 events, Charleston transforms into a cultural buffet sure to please any palate. Feast your sense March 1-5.

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Charleston Fashion Week
Showcasing emerging designer and model talent across the East Coast, Charleston Fashion Week has fast become one of the premier fashion weeks in North America since its founding in 2007. From high-energy runway shows to a stunning see-and-be-seen crowd, you can enjoy five nights of chic apparel and attitude under the tents of Marion Square. Be the first to witness some of the most cutting edge and trendiest styles. CharlestonFashion Week runs March 14-18.

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Festival of Houses and Gardens
Set within the city’s historic district, this series of award-winning tours showcases Charleston’s distinctive architecture, art, gardens and culture. Festival attendees enjoy the rare opportunity to go inside approximately 130 private historic houses as well as distinctive gardens and notable properties. For 70 years, this festival has been educating those who wonder what treasures dwell behind Charleston’s magnificent carved doors and intricate wrought iron gates. Explore Charleston’s rich history and culture from March 16 to April 22.

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Cooper River Bridge Run
Lace up your running shoes for the 40th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run. One of the world’s largest 10,000 meter runs, people of all ages and fitness levels put their strengths to the test. The race course begins in Mt. Pleasant on Coleman Boulevard, crosses the beautiful Cooper River Bridge and finishes in downtown Charleston. Get filled with the feeling of pure adrenaline by participating in this healthy and fun event. The Cooper River Bridge Run will take place on April 1.

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Volvo Car Open
Attracting an average of 90,000 attendees and more than 70 of the world’s top tennis players, the Volvo Car Open is one of the hottest tickets in professional sports. The nine-day event is the largest women’s-only tennis competition in the world, but is more than just a tournament. During the week fans are entertained with a variety of festival-like activities such as a smoothie emporium and evening with happy hour and live music. Game, set, match is April 1-9.

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Spoleto Festival USA
Since 1977, this acclaimed arts festival has illuminated the city of Charleston with performances by talented artists from around the world. For 17 day, participants delve into a wonderland of art, delighting in more than 150 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music and jazz. Now approaching its 41st season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. Be thrilled Mar 26 to June 11.

Piccolo Spoleto
Produced by the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, this companion festival is the perfect complement to Spoleto Festival USA. Running simultaneously as Spoleto, visitors are introduced to artists primarily of the Southeast region. Visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film are all to be expected May 26 to June 11.

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Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival
Celebrating the rich Gullah Geechee heritage of the Lowcountry, the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival provides the most extensive showcase of sweetgrass baskets in the area. Event-goers can indulge in an array of fun-fill activities, while soaking up the culture of this unique population through skits, storytelling, gospel music, African drumming and dancing, demonstrations and lectures on the history of sweetgrass basket making – the oldest art form of African origin in the United States. Get up close and personal with traditions and culture on June 3.

Spring is the perfect time to visit Charleston, and with special event packages available, Belmond Charleston Place will place all the many culinary, fashion, and artistic wonders Charleston has to offer, right at your fingertips.

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An Evening at the Theatre

Now that the hustle and bustle of the new year is settling down, it’s the perfect time to dress up, hit the town and treat yourself to a night out. Charleston’s vibrant and robust theatre scene is a great way to celebrate the coming year. From grand auditoriums to comedic hot spots, this coastal town offers a big city level of limelight options.

Gaillard Center

Gaillard Center Charleston

If you’re looking for a grandiose experience that will stun your senses with some of the best artistic performances, look no further than the Gaillard Center. This immense, newly renovated 1,800-seat auditorium is the cultural center of Charleston and offers a wide range of shows from classical ballet and opera to modern dance. Perhaps the most iconic performance location in Charleston, Gaillard Center serves as the premiere venue for the world-renowned Spoleto Festival USA and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Theatre 99

Theatre 99 Charlesotn

If grand opera and folks in tights aren’t your thing, venture to Theatre 99 to enjoy some comedy gold. As Charleston’s best place for stand up comedy and improv, this comedic enclave will have your rolling on the floor laughing as you experience some of the South’s top talent. If you’re looking to take a step out of your comfort zone or even brush up on your comedy skills, visit during the daytime for one of Theatre 99’s improv training classes.

PURE Theatre

Pure Theatre Charleston

You’ve tried the grand concert halls. You’ve had your go at the comedy troupes. You want something edgier; more modern. PURE Theatre has what you’re looking for. This reputable King Street Theatre showcases a strong ensemble of 13 professional actors that emphasize provocative, contemporary performances. Their focus on risk-taking and passionate commitment on the stage sets them apart.

Dock Street Theatre

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For those who want more than just a wonderful performance, why not visit the oldest theatre in the country? Dock Street Theatre, which has graced Charleston’s historic French Quarter neighborhood since 1736, showcased the nation’s first opera performance, Flora, and continues to wow audiences today. With its beautiful wooden auditorium, wrought iron balcony and sandstone columns, it regularly features one of Charleston’s most reputable acting troupes, the Charleston Resident Acting Company. The theatre displays a wide range of events from musicals to plays. The newly renovated bar and outdoor patio also offer a great spot to socialize during intermission.

Since the 18th century, Charleston has been considered one of America’s premiere cultural centers, combining the magnificent splendor of its European influencers with the boldness and individualism of the American spirit. Today, that heritage remains and is personified in its diverse and blossoming theatrical culture. Make it a night out to truly remember and enjoy a luxurious meal with live jazz at the Charleston Grill after the performance.

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