Piccolo Spoleto 2021 isn’t be anything like you’re used to experiencing. Blame the pandemic. But the annual festival will still offers a wide variety of art experiences, says Scott Watson, director of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, which produces the annual event that draws thousands to the city.
“Everything is free this year so come out and enjoy it,” he says. “It’s not going to look like past years and it’s going to be different, but it’s still going to be a whole lot of fun.”
While this year’s show includes many “pop-up” events announced at the last moment for neighborhoods around the Holy City, here are five things you can count on to make memories that will last for years to come:
An Enchanting Evening in the Garden
The historic William Enston Home will host “An Enchanting Evening in the Garden” as part of Piccolo Spoleto 2021. Charleston’s renowned acappella group The Plantation Singers will be performing, as will musician Gavin Smith and Sasha and the Dream Team Band. There will also be storytelling and perhaps a few surprises. The event is free to all.
June 2. 5 p.m. William Enston Homes, Charleston Housing Authority. 900 King St. Downtown
Charlton Singleton with Contemporary Flow
Charlton Singleton and Contemporary Flow will be performing at Brittlebank Park on June 4. Singleton is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning and Billboard chart-topping quintet Ranky Tanky. His musical mastery covers a wide range of instruments and he is heralded the world over as one of the best living jazz musicians. Audiences will not want to miss this free performance from a contemporary virtuoso.
June 4. 7 p.m. Brittlebank Park. 185 Lockwood Dr. Downtown.
Piccolo in your Neighborhood
Pop up events are happening all over the city on June 2. These little events are localized to specific parts of town, and depending on where you live, you should be close to an awesome free event in your neighborhood. West Ashley will be hearing from an acoustic duo over at Lenevar Park. If you’re downtown, there’s an event on Morris Street that will feature impressive improv comedy. You can make these events mini picnics if you’d like, or just come and hang out and enjoy the show.
June 2. Various locations.
The sounds of bluegrass will flow through Hampton Park during the second weekend of Piccolo. The low-key and family friendly music venue Awendaw Green is partnering with Piccolo Spoleto to present some of the finest homegrown pickers and fiddlers Charleston has to offer. Boonie Bevins Band, Cane Creek String Band, and Big Stoner Creek will all be on hand to play exceptional bluegrass music.
June 11. 6 p.m. Hampton Park. 30 Mary Murray Dr. Downtown.
As the sun starts to set on Piccolo Spoleto 2021, Hampton Park will host another fun, free event to celebrate the city and the festival. The CSO Brass band will be performing. They are joined by exciting jazz group Gino Castillo and the Cuban Cowboys. Led by Afro-Cuban percussionist and singer Castillo, the Cuban Cowboys’ high energy jazz performances bring dancers and non-dancers alike to their feet.
June 12. 6 p.m. Hampton Park. 30 Mary Murray Dr. Downtown.
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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.