It’s that time of year again. The North Charleston Arts Fest returns for its 34th installment April 29-May 7.

Housed in the Charleston Area Convention Center Complex, the event’s premiere weekend will feature a showcase of live bands, including The Joe Clarke Big Band and Brazilian jazz ensemble Porto Seguro, as well as a wide array of dancers and performers highlighting their cultural heritage, such as the Charleston Scottish Country Dancers and the India Association of Greater Charleston. In addition to food and craft vendors, the festival will also feature an antiques and collectibles show and roving mimes and magicians to keep kids entertained. Storytellers will also be on hand to share Gullah traditions and Japanese folktales.

Art competitions and exhibits will be on display throughout the festival. Main events include the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition at North Charleston Riverfront Park, which will feature works by at least a dozen artists all vying for more than $16,000 in prizes. Other highlight include the S.C. Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition, the African-American Fiber Arts Exhibition, and a competition for young and aspiring artists across the tri-county area.

“The variety of festival offerings and the inclusiveness of the event have become a point of pride for the City of North Charleston,” North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said in a statement. “It is a time of year when we are joined by thousands from throughout the Southeast to become exposed, engaged, and inspired by the arts.”

Applications for artists and volunteers are still being accepted for several events. Those hoping to apply can learn more by visiting Other events for the nine-day festival include evening plays, screenings by student filmmakers, and learning workshops. With almost 100 individual programs scheduled, there’s sure to be something for everyone during this festival presented by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department.

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