The Green Fair might be more than a week away, but local greenies got a head start on celebrating with a kick-off party on Thursday night. Founders Hall at Charles Towne Landing felt like the perfect venue for the event thanks to its woodsy setting and eco-conscious amenities like water-saving toilet flushers. Attendees channeled St. Patty’s Day by wearing green garb and drinking beer from green cups, along with American Harvest vodka cocktails and Bota Box wine.

As for the food, chefs mercifully veered from the theme and served up dishes of many hues, including deviled eggs from 17 North, made-to-order crepes from An Epicurean Feast, and a tasty scallop dish from Duvall Catering. The dessert table was set up out on the screened porch so we could stuff our faces with whoopie pies from Sweet Sophia under the cover of darkness.

The main event was an awards ceremony for this year’s Charleston Green Business Challenge, where green-minded businesses were recognized for things like outstanding energy savings (MUSC), sustainability in school spirit (Daniel Island Academy), and most improved (Stubbs Muldrow Herin architects). Overall excellence awards went to Blackbaud, Charleston Battery, Hawthorn Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Mt. Pleasant, the Sustainability Institute, Perrin Woodworking, and Auto Sound Specialists/Alternative Energy Systems.

Mayor Joe Riley offered an introduction and presented the awards, but hightailed it out of there before posing for the Green Fair photobooth, where most everyone else made a beeline after the presentations. Posers pulled from a wardrobe of green wigs, glasses, gloves, and hats to ham it up for the photographer. AccuPhotoLab was on the ball, printing out magnetic copies of the pictures in time for guests to grab on their way out the door.