It’s a wild life, baby. Not only did thousands descend upon the city last week for the 24th annual Southeastern Wildlife Festival, but the natives, too, were restless, and bars were teeming with people. On Thursday, SEWE’s Preview Night Gala took over Charleston Place’s ballroom, and dog agility demonstrations, exhibitors, and funnel cakes captivated the throngs who flocked to Marion Square, despite the cool temperatures and slight drizzle. Undeterred by the weather, scenesters sported costumes and hedonistic amounts of clothing (barely there) for a Love and Lust party at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Friday night. Meanwhile, downtown watering holes were packed to the rafters throughout the weekend — A.C.’s, Charleston Grill, Cypress, the Kickin’ Chicken, Rue de Jean, and Torch all hosted a slew of imbibing revelers. From highbrow martinis to good old Budweiser, it was one giant happy hour across the city. Have a tip for the Scene? E-mail us at chas_nightlife@yahoo.com.

1. The Birds of Prey tent offered the opportunity to see mighty birds like this one up close 2. Muscle mania 3. Andy Rankin mugs for the camera alongside Jack Hanna 4. A possum and a skunk in the lobby of Charleston Place? Oh my! 5. Retriever demonstrations attracted all ages in Marion Square 6. His mother must be proud 7. Thomas Hutto, Liz Sykes, and Elbridge Gale (my personal pick for best dressed of the night) enjoy the SEWE Preview Night Gala 8. Kim and Mike Tall, with Cecelia Liljergren, get cozy on the sofa/beds in the back room at Torch 9. Kristin Batchelor and Brad Kneece knock back pints of stout at the Kickin’ Chicken on Saturday night 10. Rear View of the Week: Happy endings for a bride wannabe at the Love and Lust Valentine’s Day party

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