Charleston SC Events May-June 2017

05 May 2017

Charleston Night Market

May - Dec 

At the Night Market, the lights are bright, the art shines and new friends are made every evening. Open Friday and Saturday nights from now through December. The Night Market provides the opportunity to discover unique, local and handcrafted items, and is one of the largest and most diverse Artisan markets stretching 3 blocks! Each weekend is filled with live music, exciting artists and a whole lot of Charleston. 6:30-10:30pm.

North Charleston Arts Festival

May 3 - 7

The annual multi-day celebration of arts and culture highlights national, regional, and local artists and performers in the areas of Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Media Arts, and Literature. For 35 years, the festival has attracted more than 30,000 residents and visitors from the Southeast and beyond to experience an array of free and modestly priced concerts, theatre presentations, children’s programs, workshops and demonstrations, exhibitions, public art installations, and much more. The Arts Fest Expo, considered the festival’s flagship event, is held the first weekend in May at the Charleston Area Convention Center and offers free admission and parking to more than 40 performances on four stages. Enjoy one of the top things to do in charleston this week. Other Expo activities include judged art and photography shows, the SC Palmetto Hands Juried Fine Craft Exhibit, a gem & mineral show, children’s activities, art/craft/antique vendors, and a food courtyard. 843-740-5854,

Gibbes Annual Street Party

May 4

The Gibbes’ Street Party is the best party of the year. After a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation, the Gibbes Museum of Art will host its Annual Street Party in celebration of its newly restored 1120year old stately Beaux Arts home. “Food is Art” is this year’s theme and seamlessly intertwines Charleston’s vibrant culinary scene with its rich artistic heritage. Menus will be based on the inspiration each chef gleans from his or her chosen work of art. “We are thrilled to have our  newly renovated museum as the backdrop for the evening, and thankful that the museum can provide a place where the culinary and artistic worlds of Charleston collide into one for an evening of celebration,” said Jena Clem, Special Events Manager at the Gibbes. All proceeds benefit the Gibbes Museum of Art. Tickets are only available for advanced purchase. 7:30-10pm. 843-722-2706 x221, 

Blues & BBQ Harbor Cruise

May 4, 11, 18 & 25 – June 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29

A Charleston tradition, the blues & BBQ harbor cruise is a phenomenal way to experience Charleston. Well-known blues pianist Shrimp City Slim and his band entertain. Their latest CD "Tidal Pool" has received great review worldwide. Enjoy a full all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet, 2-hour harbor cruise, cash bar. A definite highlight of your visit to the Holy City! Learn more at and 

Charleston County Waterparks Open

May 6 – Sept. 4

Cool fun awaits kids (and adults) of all ages at the Charleston County's three area waterparks - Splash Zone, Splash Island and Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark! Open on weekends in May and then all summer long through Labor Day! 

Cinco de Mayo Royale

May 5

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo while supporting Charleston's parks. Kevin Wadley, Kdog Production and the Royal American are hosting a Cinco de Mayo Royale happy hour party. Band Brianna Y Sus Guardianes Del Norte will perform. Food truck Rebel Taqueria will be serving up its "baller tacos with a Rebel attitude,” and there will be Chihuahuas, tequila, sombreros, margaritas, cerveza, pinatas. Admission is $5 and proceeds from the event benefit the Charleston Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. 3-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 5. The Royal American. 

10th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

May 6

This event has it all…a fierce competition, a huge party and a celebration of cancer survivors, all benefiting the cancer survivor programs of Dragon Boat Charleston. This is the Lowcountry’s most unique and fabulous event. It’s hard to describe the creative costumes, colorful tents, strenuous paddling, delicious food and fun all set against the backdrop of the gorgeous Ashley River. Come on out for a crazy day of fun with friends, family and co-workers. Brittlebank Park, 843-324-9505.

41st Annual Lowcountry Shrimp Festival

May 6

The town of McClellanville rolls out the welcome mat for visitors to enjoy the Lowcountry Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet. Plan on making the short drive off Highway 17 to the end of Pinckney Street to enjoy the Festival. There will be plenty of local shrimp, as well as options for the non-shrimp eaters to enjoy. Beer and other beverages will be available for sale, no coolers please. Craft vendor area with local artisans, live music, and a huge children’s play area. Bring the whole family and plan to make a day of it. 11am-5pm. 843-887-3323,

Greek Festival

May 12 - 14

Come enjoy the cultural food and sounds at the annual Charleston Greek Festival. The weekend is a celebration of life, music, good food, and friendship! This year’s festival includes pastry, wine and beer, live Greek music, guided tours of the church, dancing and crafts, and of course Greek food! Sample everyone’s delicious Greek favorites: Gyros, Chicken Mousakka, Lamb, Finikia, Spanakopita, Baklava and more. Ample parking area with continuous shuttle service to festival grounds. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 843-577-2063.

13th Annual Mom's Run & Family Fun Day

May 13

On Mother’s Day weekend, honor moms everywhere by supporting a cause that helps women and their families suffering from postpartum mood disorders. Runners and walkers can join the 5K run/walk. A Family Fun Day and awards ceremony will follow the race. Participants can enjoy music, free food and plenty of children’s activities. Family Fun Day is included in race registration. 7:00am. MUSC Health Stadium on Daniel Island, 843-732-1772.

Shaggin' on the Cooper

May 13 & June 10

This popular live beach music and shag dance event series returns. Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather with some dancing. Local bands perform live at the end of the Mount Pleasant Pier throughout the season, and the dance floor is open for all ages. Gates open at 7pm for all events, and tickets are $10 per person ($8 in advance for Charleston County residents). 843-795-4386,

King Charles Inn Monthly Spring Pop-up Series

May 19 & June 16

King Charles Inn, a boutique hotel in Charleston's historic district is pleased to announce a series of pop-up events featuring six local purveyors. Occurring monthly between March and August, each shop will be open to guests and the general public at the King Charles Inn. May 19: Hermosa Jewelry, a handcrafted jeweler influenced by the Southern lifestyle and coastal landscapes of the Lowcountry with a vintage touch. June 16: Homegrown Cotton, a men's clothing line made of only locally grown cotton and all- natural, eco-friendly dyes. 4-6pm. 843-723-7451

6th Annual Charleston Beer Garden

May 20

Charleston Beer Garden is back for the 6th annual celebration of the suds benefiting Lowcountry AIDS Services! Known as Charleston's largest pop-up beer garden, The Grove at Patriots Point will be transformed overnight into an oasis for craft beer lovers. The festival features an epic line-up of craft brews, beer games, homebrewers, live music and more! Drink Beer, Do Good! General admission is $25. The Grove at Patriots Pont, 12-7pm.

5h Annual East Cooper Community Outreach Golf Tournament

May 22

Join East Cooper Community Outreach for the 5th Annual Golf Ball at this year's Golf Tournament and swing for a cause! All players will receive lunch, complimentary beverages (beer, water, soda), takeaways, and the chance to win several awesome prizes like the lease to a brand new Lexus or the Ultimate BMW Driving Experience Registration starts at 10:30AM. Proceeds from the day go directly to benefit East Cooper Community Outreach and their mission to serve our low-income neighbors and their families in need.

Bulls Bay Nature Festival 

May 20

The Bulls Bay Nature Festival is an outdoor celebration of nature and community, and encourages people of all ages to get outside and enjoy nature-based activities during this festive one-day event. Festival activities will happen in the Francis Marion National Forest, at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center The festival is a day full of fun for everyone! Activities Include a photography workshop at the Sewee Center; edible and native plant walks; bird and wildflower walks; historic tours at Hampton Plantation; Bulls Island auto tour; live red wolf, reptile, raptor and beekeeping programs; sweet grass basketry workshop; family bike rip in the Francis Marion NF and fishing in Sewee Pond. There’s also live music, food, and fishing, salt marsh and fresh water pond explorations for children, as well as red wolf masks, turtle hats, fish art, animal tracks and face painting. Native plant vendors and artisans will have landscaping plants, art and crafts on display and for purchase. Event is free. 843-928-3368,

Bands, Burgers and Brews Burger Throwdown

May 21

May is national Hamburger month and what better way to celebrate than with the 3rd Annual Burgers and Brews Competition. Watch your favorite Lowcountry chefs battle it out in a live cooking competition at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. George Motz, host of Travel Channel's Burger Land who tries the nation’s top burgers throughout the country, along with a panel of chefs and culinary gurus will decide which restaurant represents the low country as a WFC Preferred Qualifier in the World Food Championships,  this November in  AL.  The teams will be ranked on appearance, taste and execution by a team of judges for their chance to compete in the World Food Championship 2017 in Alabama,
1-5pm on the Beach at The Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. 843-284-7022,

Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series

May 21 & June 18

The area’s premier swim, bike and run competition, the Charleston Sprint Triathlon is a five-race series that spans May through August. Athletes may sign up for one race, or compete in multiple or all of the five-race series. Winners will be awarded from each individual race as well as the entire series. Races begins at 7:15am with a 600-yard freshwater swim in the park’s lake, continue with a 12-mile bike ride through the park and out and back on Riverland Drive, and finish with a flat 5K run. Participants must be comfortable swimming the distance in open water and riding a bicycle on roads open to traffic. James Island County Park, 843-795-4386.

Piccolo Spoleto

May 26 - June 11

Focusing primarily on artists of the Southeast region, Piccolo Spoleto is the perfect complement to the international scope of Spoleto Festival USA, its parent festival, and its 700 events in 17 days transforms Charleston into an exhilarating celebration of performing, literary and visual arts. Piccolo Spoleto’s traditional program offerings include visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Various locations, 843-724-7305.

Spoleto Festival

May 26 - June 11

One of America's major performing arts festivals is full of 17-days worth of events showcasing both established and emerging artists in more than 150 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music, and jazz. When Italian organizers planned an American festival, they searched for a city that would offer the charm of Spoleto, Italy, and also its wealth of theaters, churches, and other performance spaces and so Charleston it was. Various locations, 843-722-2764.

Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival 

June 3

The highly anticipated Sweetgrass Festival will celebrate the rich Gullah Geechee cultural heritage and provides the most extensive showcase of sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry area. This annual event is designed to promote and preserve the Gullah Geechee peoples' history, heritage, culture and traditions. Visitors will find the work of 20+ sweetgrass basket makers and other artwork and crafts available for purchase, basketmaking demonstrations, and children's activities. Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park. 843-856-9732,

Wild Blue Ropes Warrior Camp 

June 12 - July 28

Back by popular demand, Wild Blue’s exciting week-long day camp brings the thrill of challenge course competition to Charleston. Warrior Camp teams will tackle multiple obstacles and culminate in a final contest of strategy and skill! Think you can handle what our in-house ninjas do every day? Challenge yourself and attempt to GO BEYOND! Enrollment is now open. The program is purposefully designed to help promote physical activity and character strengthening. Besides having a ton of fun, campers will improve on skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, motor planning, agility, stamina, self awareness & confidence. $249/week. 843-255-1555,

12th Annual Charleston Carifest Caribbean Carnival

June 22 - 25

Charleston Carifest is a Caribbean Carnival celebration in honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month. It is four days of food, fun, music, and costumes submerged in education and culture.  This is the creative and artistic expression of Caribbean people and a celebration in honor of Caribbean American Heritage Month. 843-557-6258,

Handel in Italy

June 24 

The works composed by G. F. Handel during his time in Italy are indeed some of his most beautiful. With a program including the wonderful Dixit Dominus -Handel’s earliest surviving autograph work! - his stunning setting of Psalm 113, Laudate pueri Dominum, the beautiful Nisi Dominus, scored for choir, tenor and bass soloists, and even more, The King's Counterpoint is thrilled to bring Handel’s early Italian compositions to Charleston! Performed with Baroque Orchestra, “Handel in Italy” promises to be a truly fabulous musical event 

that Charleston audiences simply won’t want to miss! 7:30pm. The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul.

4th of July Blast at Patriots Point

July 4

Enjoy a professional fireworks display and shore side party with a beach music band. This year, two different Flight Deck ticket options are available. For $100, visitors can purchase a VIP ticket, that includes complimentary drinks from a full service bar, a barbecue meal, and access to a special area at the ship’s bow where chairs and tables will be provided. The second ticket package is $35. It will include access to the Flight Deck starting at 6:00pm, where food and beverages will be available for purchase and two live bands will provide entertainment. Visitors will also have the option to enjoy the firework display landside, and admission to this area is free.

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