An aura of excellence pervaded Charleston on Saturday morning as more than 30,000 people raced across the finish line for the 29th Annual Cooper River Bridge Run. Wearing T-shirts proclaiming such affirmations as “Striving for Perfection,” motivated runners gathered in Marion Square after the race to indulge in free fruit, live music and, of course, dancing broccoli.

Saturday night proved to be a success for local musicians Richard Weld, Jonathan Nicholson, and George Baerreis as their band, A Decent Animal, threw a CD-release party at Cumberland’s. With the help of opening acts Pyramid and Clint4, A Decent Animal entertained a packed house with music from their new CD, The Rabbit Hole EP.

Sunday afternoon was a scorcher as many gathered at James Island County Park for Cajun cuisine and spicy, Louisiana zydeco music. The 15th Annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival kicked off at noon and delighted natives and tourists alike with rides, slides, music, and crawfish-eating contests. The first heat of the latter event was dominated by a contestant who devoured 27 freshwater crustaceans in 30 seconds!

1. After the race, busy workers hand out fruit from boxes lining Calhoun Street 2. The winner of the first heat of the crawfish-eating contest devours 27 in 30 seconds 3. Jenny Ploughman tap dances and introduces A Decent Animal at Cumberland’s on Saturday night 4. Thumbs up for beer! 5. Kids at James Island County Park ascend the climbing wall during the Lowcountry Cajun Festival 6. Frank Murray serves up red beans and rice and strawberry lemonade from Briele’s 7. Thousands of runners gather in Marion Square after the Bridge Run on Saturday afternoon 8. Kate Whipple (L) and Kristen Trexler are all smiles as they relax in Marion Square after the Bridge Run 9. Richard Weld plays bass as A Decent Animal perform music from their new CD, The Rabbit Hole EP

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