Always something to do

Isle of Palms Festivals & Events


The lowcountry of South Carolina is home to numerous annual events and festivals that take place each year and invite hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area.



There's Always Something to Explore.

Many of the annual events take place in Charleston and surrounding areas of Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms. Several are nationally renowned and benefit charitable or local causes. Among the big draws are the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Southeastern Wildlife Expo, Cooper River Bridge Run, Lowcountry Cajun Festival, Annual Blessing of the Fleet, Spoleto Festival USA, Moja Arts Festival, Isle of Palms Connector Run/Walk, Charleston Komen Race for the Cure, and the Parade of Boats in Charleston Harbor. Be sure to check with each event organization for exact dates and times.



Isle of Palms Annual Events & Festivals

Hunley Tours

Saturdays 10am - 5pm. Sundays 12pm - 5pm.
In 1864, the H.L. Hunley became the first submarine to sink an enemy warship. Unfortunately, before she could return to celebrate her victory, the sub disappeared with her nine-man crew off Sullivan's Island, S.C. Her fate was a mystery until she was discovered in 1995 by a diving expedition led by author Clive Cussler. Five years later, the sub was lifted from her resting place and brought to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, S.C. Now, the public can catch a glimpse of this piece of history. For more information about the H.L. Hunley, please call 843.744.2186. To order tickets by phone call 1.877.448.6539. Visit www.hunley.org.

Plantation Days at Middleton Place

9am - 5pm Daily
Craftworkers demonstrate the skills needed to sustain an 18th and 19th century plantation and bring to life the sights and sounds of harvest time. For more information please call 843.556.6020 or www.middletonplace.org.
January

Lowcountry Oyster Festival

Imagine.....65,000 pounds of oysters. Two tractor-trailers full of oysters will roll onto the grounds at Boone Hall Plantation to kick off the 25th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival. This event has been named in the "top 20 events in the southeast" by the Southeastern Tourism Society. Held by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, the "Oyster Fest" gates open at 10:30 am with free parking available. Besides having plenty oysters available, other food will be available. The "Food Court" features food from some of the area's popular restaurants, enough to satisfy every taste. For more information, call 843.577.4030 for more information.
February

Southern Comfort Lowcountry Blues Bash

Charleston's 19th annual celebration of authentic blues features more than 50 acts performing at nearly 10 different venus in a 10 day period. From delta blues to urban boogie you will find it all at the 2009 Lowcountry Blues Bash. Prices are pay as you go at each venue; cover charges range from free to $15. For more information please call 843.762.9125 or www.bluesbash.com.

Southeastern Wildlife Expo

Now in its 27th year, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) is the largest wildlife art and nature event in the nation, one that you have to experience first hand to understand and truly appreciate. Held each year in the weekend preceding President's Day, SEWE attracts 35,000+ attendees to beautiful Charleston, SC, to enjoy world-class original art, diverse exhibits, interesting presentations and lectures, not to mention Southern hospitality and lots of fun! For more information call 843.723.1748 or visit www.sewe.com.
March

Annual Festival of Houses & Gardens

March - April
Explore the interiors and gardens of some of the finest private residences in America during the 62st Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens. Daily tours feature the interiors and gardens of nearly 150 historic private houses. Enjoy the ambience of the centuries-old city, visiting the private interiors and gardens of eight to ten historic properties each day. Information and tickets can be obtained by calling 843.722.3405 or visit www.historiccharleston.org.
April

Cooper River Bridge Run

Hosted by the Medical University of South Carolina, this 10K (6.2 mile) run and 4.4 mile walk begins in Mt. Pleasant, crosses the Cooper River Bridge, and ends in historic downtown Charleston. Attendance increases each year with more than 30,000 participants last year. Race begins at 8 am and the walk at 8:30 am. Please call 843.856.1949 for more information and registration, or visit www.bridgerun.com.

Lowcountry Cajun Festival

Celebrate Louisiana living & Charleston charm during the 17th annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival. The 18th annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival heats up James Island County Park, bringing a full-day of Zydeco music, Cajun and Creole foods, children's activities and all around ragin' Cajun entertainment! For more information please call 843.795.4386.

Family Circle Cup

In 2001, the Family Circle Cup made a bold move that will secure its success for the future. After 28 years in Hilton Head, the tournament moved to a new home in Charleston, South Carolina. This partnership between the City of Charleston and Family Circle magazine is the first if its kind in women's tennis. Family Circle magazine is the first title sponsor to partner with city and county municipalities to build a tennis facility of this stature. This state-of-the-art facility not only serves as the new home for one of the Premier events on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, but also provides residents of greater Charleston access to one of the finest tennis facilities in the southeast.

Annual Blessing of the Fleet

The event includes over 11 local seafood restaurants offering a variety of local seafood dishes as well as music by local favorite "The East Coast Party Band." Spectators are encouraged to bring their chairs and blankets, relax and listen to the band, and enjoy the shrimp eating and shagging contests. This is a unique festival that gives visitors to the area an insight into the local shrimping industry. On the area by the water, the main stage hosts the East Coast Party Band throughout the afternoon. The smaller stage hosts the actual blessing of the fleet at 1pm. This traditional blessing includes two local clergymen who bless each individual boat as it passes the harbor. For more information, contact Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department Special Events Coordinator at 843.849.2061 or visit www.townofmountpleasant.com.
May-June

ASpoleto Festival USA

Historic Charleston hosts the Spoleto Festival USA with an array of artistic performances for everyone! Opera, jazz, theater, orchestral, chamber, contemporary music, literary and visual arts fill the theaters and halls of the area during this very special two weeks. Prices vary for performances. For ticket information please call 843-722-2764 or www.spoletousa.org. Box office: 843.579.3100.

Piccolo Spoleto

Focusing primarily on artists of the Southeast region, Piccolo Spoleto is the perfect complement to the international scope of 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. For Tickets contact Ticketmaster Charleston at (843) 554-6060 or go to www.piccolospoleto.org.
July

July 4th Fireworks

On Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island and Patriots Point.
September-October

Annual Fall Candlelight Tours of Homes & Gardens

Take a stroll under the lights of Charleston's doorways during the Preservation Society of Charleston's 33nd Annual Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens. The Preservation Society was founded in 1920 by a small group of Charlestonians concerned with the increasing threat to one of America's outstanding collections of 18th, 19th and 20th century architecture. We are proud that the mandate to educate, plan and encourage the preservation of Charleston's architecture, history and culture continues today in our beloved city. Join the Society today and receive a 10% discount on the Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens. For more information please call 843.722.4630 or visit www.prerservationsociety.org.

Moja Arts Festival

Charleston's annual MOJA Arts Festival: A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts. Selected as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 events for many different years, the 2008 MOJA Arts Festival promises an exciting line-up of events with a rich variety of traditional favorites. Nearly half of MOJA's events are admission-free and the remainder are offered at very modest ticket prices, ranging from $5 - $35. For more information log on to www.mojafestival.com or call 843.724.7305. For tickets contact your local Ticketmaster agent.
October

Isle of Palms Connector Run/Walk

The 17th Annual IOP Connector Run and Walk for the Children is a 10K Run and Walk event. Proceeds benefit the Local Prevention of Child Abuse and other child-related charities. www.iopconnectorrun.com

Charleston Komen Race for the Cure

More than 4,000 mothers, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and friends of all ages will participate in the seventh annual Charleston Komen Race for the Cure. The race will raise funds and awareness for the prevention and eradication of breast cancer. There will be a 5K Co- Ed run & walk as well as a 1 Mile family fun.
November

Annual Holiday Festival of Lights

Over the years the Holiday Festival of Lights has become one of the must-see events for everyone's holiday season in Charleston. This event started in 1990 with only 18 light displays. Nineteen years later, with over two million lights and 600 light displays, the Holiday Festival of Lights has become a Lowcountry tradition for many families. We hope that you take the time to experience all this event has to offer. From the train ride to the sand sculpture, the carousel to the enchanted forest, there is something for everyone. For more information visit www.ccprc.com or call 843.762.8089.
December

Middleton Place - Family Yuletide

Families can enjoy storytelling around a warm fire, Christmas caroling, ornament and wreath making, candle dipping, a live nativity scene featuring many of the plantation's animals, and craftspeople working in their shops by candlelight. Hot cider and seasonal refreshments are also included. Advance ticket purchase required. $10 per adult, $5 per child ages 7-15 and children 6 & under are free. Call 843.556.6020.

Parade of Boats - Charleston Harbor

The parade begins at approximately 5:30PM near the Mt. Pleasant side and ends in the Ashley River, (after processing down the Charleston side of the Cooper River), at approximately 7:30PM. We say approximately, because of various factors, including wind, current, and the ability of the boats to maintain headway. You may participate in the parade by simply registering with the city (call 843.724.7305), decorating your boat from stem to stern with lights, and joining us on the water. Thousands of spectators view the parade along the route from Mt. Pleasant to Charleston each year. The mid-point of the parade features a spectacular fireworks display shot from the harbor.

Charleston New Year's Eve - December 31

This community celebration offers a non-alcoholic and family-oriented alternative program to celebrate the New Year in Charleston. This city wide, admission-free program has something wonderful for everyone: comedy, African dancing, many forms of music including classical, gospel and jazz, children's activities and so much more. At Marion Square and surrounding areas in Downtown Charleston. Call 843.724.7305 for more information.

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