It’s a given most folks will be hittin’ up the beach this beautiful weekend, but don’t just settle for sand and sun. There are plenty of events worthy of tearing you away from Folly, Sullivan’s, or whichever beach is “your’s.” Here are our top picks.

It’s a great weekend for movie lovers. The Charleston International Film Festival is in town through Sunday, with blocks of films costing only $9. (Picture above from Speed Relationshiping.) City Paper‘s free Movies in Marion Square series continues tonight with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. On Sunday, Cinebarre also hosts a movie under the stars, but it ain’t free. See The Sandlot (“You’re killin’ me, Smalls!”) and enjoy cook-out fare. The $15 tickets go toward Camp Happy Days.

The Blessing of the Fleet festival is this weekend in Mt. Pleasant, celebrating local shrimpers and fishermen with plenty of music, food, and activities for kids.

Saltimbanco Cirque du Soleil continues through Sunday. We checked out the opening performance on Wednesday and we were totally mesmerized. Just don’t try to bring your camera in or they’ll make you walk it all the way back to your car! Little City Musical Theatre Company has moved their April in Paris show to Bethel United Methodist Church — and now it’s free! (Though a $5 donation is suggested.)

Get your yard ready for outdoor living at Plantasia, the Charleston Horticultural Society huge annual plant sale outside of the Gaillard Saturday morning. If your thumb is more black than green, there will be plenty of docents around to help you make smart choices. Check out some already-beautiful gardens and homes at the Hampton Park Terrace Tour on Sunday for $20.

Sports fans, there’s a Battery soccer game Friday, RiverDogs baseball games Sat.-Mon., and the Marino Bocce Bash tournament at Blackbaud on Saturday.

Other randoms: there’s a car show on Kiawah, some very cool events hosted by Brown Derby Haberdashery, and a fund-raiser for Students for Free Tibet.

What are you getting into this weekend? Let us know if we missed anything!

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