2012 Festivals in Charleston, S.C.

For Immediate Release, December 2011


CHARLESTON AREA PRESENTS 2012 EVENTS
-Many Marking Major Milestones-

CHARLESTON, S.C., December 1, 2011 – Traditions play an important role in the Charleston area’s lifestyle. From historic occurrences to family ties, this distinctive region of America is committed to preserving and protecting its rich culture. The same holds true for annual events. 2012 will be one to celebrate as a collection of the Charleston area’s memorable festivals mark major milestones.

3rd Annual Charleston Restaurant Week
January 11-22, 2012
Now in its third year, Charleston Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to enjoy the Charleston area’s epicurean delights without breaking the bank. This nine-day gastronomic celebration features three-course meals for $40 at fine-dining restaurants, $30 at some of the city’s celebrated eateries and $20 at casual establishments. For more information, please call (843) 577-4030 or visit charlestonrestaurantassociation.com.

29th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival
January 29, 2012
Considered the world’s largest oyster festival, this tribute to the mighty mollusk sees 80,000 pounds shucked on a single day. Taking place on the grounds of the historic Boone Hall Plantation, the event features live entertainment, traditional oyster shucking and eating contests, dedicated children’s area with pony rides and jump castles and representation by some of the area’s favorite restaurants. For more information, please call (843) 577-4030 or visit charlestonrestaurantassocation.com.

30th Annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE)
February 17-19, 2012
Recognized as the nation’s largest wildlife art and nature event, SEWE showcases 120 artists and welcomes over 35,000 attendees each year. First and foremost, SEWE is a juried fine art show; however, the exposition offers a myriad of other informative and recreational activities, including flight demos from the Center for Birds of Prey, conservation exhibits, appearances by celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna, DockDogs competitions and retriever demonstrations. For more information, please call (843) 723-1748 or visit sewe.com.

7th Annual BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival
March 1-4, 2012
For the 2012 installment, the festival will focus on Charleston’s charm, architecture, food styles, innovative chefs and venues with a collection of colorful and taste worthy events. They include a Soul Food Shuffle, highlighting the city’s Gullah heritage; Perfect Pairing Dinners, featuring 17 of Charleston’s renowned chefs (two of which are James Beard Foundation award winners); Ship, Shop and Savor on the city’s celebrated King Street; Taco Turf Wars competition; “Ode to Goat,” presented by Southern Foodways Alliance; The Culinary Village; BBQ, Blue + Brew Sunday afternoon event; and more. For more information, please call (843) 727-9998 or visit charlestonwineandfood.com.

Historic Charleston Foundation’s 65th Annual Spring Festival of Houses & Gardens
March 22-April 21, 2012
Set amid the historic ambience of the city’s distinctive neighborhoods and boroughs, this series of award-winning tours showcases Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens and culture. These tours provide a rare opportunity for guests to go inside the private houses and gardens of some of America’s most beautiful historic residences, dating to the 18th century. Taking place during the peak of the area’s blooming season, tours feature seven to 10 properties each day in one of 11 neighborhoods, dating from the American colonial period through the antebellum and Victoria eras, to early 20th century. For more information, please call (843) 722-3405 or visit historiccharleston.org.

6th Annual Charleston Fashion Week
March 20-24, 2012
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. Held under the tents in the city’s central Marion Square, the five-night celebration will feature more than 30 runway shows and the Emerging Designer Competition in three categories: East Coast designers, Rock the Runway model contest, and, for the first time, the Bridal Designer competition. Presented by Charleston magazine, the event features chic after-parties and interactive entertainment. For more information, please visit charlestonfashionweek.com.

35th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run
March 31, 2012
This world-class 10K race takes runners across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, North America’s longest cable-stayed bridge. Participants will enjoy striking views of the Charleston area landscape as they cross the 2.5-mile long bridge. The race starts at Mt. Pleasant and finishes in downtown Charleston. This event includes a 10K run/walk, Kid’s Run, which is open to toddlers through age 13, and other activities including a Taste of the Bridge, featuring a carb friendly meal the night prior. For more information or to register, please call (843) 856-1949 or visit bridgerun.com.

40th Anniversary of the Family Circle Cup Presented by Dove
March 31-April 8, 2012
This annual event, held on Daniel Island at The Family Circle Tennis Center, is the longest running national women’s tennis tournament in the country. Samantha Stosur, reining US Open champion and World No. 7, has already committed to play. Part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the nine-day event features more than 120 women competing for a prize purse of $721,000. For more information, please call (843) 856-7900 or visit familycirclecup.com.

30th Annual North Charleston Arts Festival
May 4-12, 2012
This spectacular celebration of the arts draws close to 30,000 visitors each year. The nine-day event spotlights various national, regional and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, theater, music, film media and visual & literary arts. The festival features an array of free and ticketed exhibits, street performers, craft booths, activities geared for family fun and culminates with an outdoor concerts and fireworks display over the Cooper River. For more information, please call (843) 740-5854 or visit northcharleston.org.

Spoleto Festival USA
May 25-June 10, 2012
Now approaching its 36th season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. For 17 days and nights each spring, the festival fills Charleston’s historic theaters and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, dance and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. Leading the 2012 Festival lineup are the American premieres of two contemporary operas – Philip Glass’s mesmerizing and powerful Kepler and Feng Yi Ting, Chinese composer Guo Wenjing’s tale of political intrigue in the Han Dynasty. For more information, please call (843) 579-3100 or visit spoletousa.org.

34th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Festival
May 25-June 10, 2012
A perfect complement to its sister Spoleto Festival USA, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival celebrates the artists, performers and writers of the Southeast. A family-friendly festival with multiple exhibitions and performances just for children, the event offers free admission to half of its events in an effort to be accessible to all. For more information, please call (843) 724-7305 or visit piccolospoleto.com.

29th Annual MOJA Arts Festival
September 27-October 7, 2012
An opportunity for guests to learn about and experience the Charleston area’s rich African-American and Caribbean heritage, the 10-day event features classical music, jazz, gospel, theatre, dance, storytelling, poetry, visual arts and more. For more information, please call (843) 724-7305 or visit mojafestival.com.

Taste of Charleston
October 5-7, 2012
Chefs from more than 50 of Charleston’s finest restaurants share their culinary treats with the public during this three-day celebration of Lowcountry fare. Hosted by the Charleston Restaurant Association, the event also offers food and wine pairings, a selection of specialty and imported beers, and a live band. For more information, please call (843) 577-4030 or visit charlestonrestaurantassociation.com.

Visitors traveling to the Charleston area in 2012 can take advantage of the special savings and value packages offered by many area hotels and resorts during the events. These packages, as well as a complete list of upcoming events and information beyond the following sampling, can be found at ExploreCharleston.com.


The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit explorecharleston.com.
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