BB&T’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival starts this week in case you’ve missed the memo. It’s four days of fabulous food deals and crafty pairings you can’t pass up. But tickets, while well worth it, can get a little steep. Here’s some free stuff to do to prep your wallet before and during the big event.

MONDAY CofC’s guest speaker Dr. David Cope demonstrates his Virtual Music: Computer Synthesis of Musical Style, a combination of music, art, and technology. Montessori Day School hosts its Odyssey Educational Cooperative Open House with an opening violin performance before a meet and greet and tour. To tickle your funny bone, head to Mad River’s Rolling at the River with Myles Hutto. After the pros head off stage, it’s open mic for anyone hoping to test their comedic chops.

TUESDAY The Cooper School and the College of Charleston are cosponsoring Race to Nowhere, a documentary about the silent student struggles within our school system. Sarah Cole and the Hawkes will play two sets of their blues, swing, and rock style music at the Pour House.

WEDNESDAY Try some new wine and graze on the complimentary cheese and fruit trays at Gaslight Art and Wine Gallery’s Wine Tasting. Pets are welcome, just be sure to keep the wine to yourself. Summer Wars, an animated story of one family’s attempt to stop a cyber apocalypse, is sure to entertain anime experts and newbies alike.

THURSDAY Tonight’s the opening reception of art exhibit Writing Women Back Into History, featuring local women artists. Friends of McLeod will feature Doug Bostick, historian and author of The History of James Island and The History of the Morris Island Lighthouse.

FRIDAY Today’s the perfect day for browsing some local art. Head to Broad Street for an art walk featuring seven new exhibitions including Kenton James’ Cinnamonworld, The Wells Gallery artists’ Wanderlust, Fred Jamar’s Night by Day, and more. As part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, Paul Harrill and Ashley Maynor host their Southern Stories, which focuses on their Tennessee roots and regional filmmaking.

SATURDAY Saturday has an interesting variety of free activities to check out. There’s the Car Show with an array of professionally built racecars, motorcycles, and more to ogle. The Brick House Kitchen on Folly Road hosts its first Artisan and Crafts Market with local vendors, live music, and lunch specials. Got an old kayak you don’t know what to do with? Bring it to Sea Kayak Carolina’s Kayak and Gear Swap Meet.

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