Last night we joined several hundred other party-goers at Gibbes on the Street, the annual street party that raises money for the Gibbes Museum of Art. Reopening on Sat. May 28 after almost two years of renovations, the Gibbes team was feeling especially festive last night. The party’s theme, The Year of the Gibbes, promised guests a trip inside “the heart of China’s Forbidden City, a place rich in culture and history.” 

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the street party were the outfits donned by the who’s who of Charleston. Women of all ages wore bright colors, fancy dresses, and an awful lot of kimonos. Hint: those are Japanese, ladies. But tomato tomah-to, right? If themed parties were perfect, we wouldn’t have had so much fun in college.

Twenty-seven restaurants dished up small plates, ranging from octopus kimchi to crab-fried rice to green tea macaroons. The food was tasty, but our favorite part of the whole shindig was seeing all the chefs dishing out their creations. Where else can you shake hands with Sean Brock, casually say hi to Michelle Weaver, and thank Jacques Larson for his food? All in one night, folks, all in one night.

While drummers beat on, well, drums, and two men ran around the crowd in a dragon costume, Gibbes patrons and sponsors sucked down endless booze. How else would one celebrate a reopening?

Head to the Gibbes on Sat. May 28 at 10 a.m. for the grand reopening and ribbon cutting. We can’t promise bottomless vodka sodas, but from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can meet and greet with visiting artist Sonya Clark. Stick around and check out the Gibbes’ two temporary exhibitions, opening in conjunction with Spoleto. The Things We Carry: Contemporary Art in the South and Beyond Catfish Row: The Art of Porgy and Bess are free to museum members, $12/adults, $10/seniors & military, $6/kids. 

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