[image-1]SPORTS | Hoop, there it is

Five seconds left on the clock, you inbound and dish it to your point guard, he drains the buzzer beater, and the crowd goes bananas. The first ESPN Charleston Classic kicks off the College of Charleston’s Men’s Basketball season on Nov. 14. The tournament recruited seven Division 1 squads, who will all compete for the title. The teams include Clemson, TCU, Temple, Hofstra, Western Michigan, ETSU, and SIU-Edwardsville. The good news is, we still have Bobby Cremins at the helm to lead the Cougars to victory. Scheduled to air nationally on ESPN, the tournament also marks the grand opening of the Carolina First Arena, a multi-purpose center which holds 5,000 spectators, and will be the new home to all College of Charleston’s winter sports teams. The tournament wraps up on Nov. 16, when the championship game takes to the court at 4 p.m. —Mark Glenn Fri., Nov. 14, 12:30, 3, 7 & 9:30 p.m., Sat., Nov. 15, 11:30 a.m., 2, 5:30 & 8 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 16, 10:30 a.m., 1, 4 & 6:30 p.m. $30, $10/student. www.cofcsports.com. Carolina First Arena, 40 Calhoun St, (Downtown).

[image-2] EVENT | Sign up and party down

The Halsey Institute’s annual fund-raising party, the Silver Moon Bash, is a membership event, but don’t let that stop you from going — become a member right at the event for as little as $15. A small price to pay to support one of the city’s premier contemporary art galleries and to enjoy a fun party to boot. Once you’ve signed your name on that dotted line and become a patron of the arts, you’ll get to check out the Halsey’s latest exhibit, Mend: Love, Life, and Loss. The V-Tones will provide music, Ted’s Butcherblock will bring the heavy hors d’oeuvres, and the Wine Shop will keep everyone hydrated. Guests are encouraged to dress “festively” — but no full moons, please — and be ready for “a roving anti-fashion show by local designers in response to the Mend exhibition.” After the party, head across the street to the Alumni Hall for a presentation by artist/pharmacologist Vance Gellert entitled Smoke and Mirrors: A Journey to Healing Knowledge. Gellert had traveled around South America for the past four years documenting traditional healing rituals and medicines, and his work will be on view at City Gallery at Waterfront Park Nov. 15-Jan. 4. —Erica Jackson Fri., Nov. 14, 5 p.m. (843) 953-5680, www.cofc.edu/halseygallery.

HOLIDAYS | Run to the light

Whether you’re a firm believer in no holiday decorations before Thanksgiving, or you’re already humming Christmas carols, you can’t help but get a little excited about the Holiday Festival of Lights opening. If you just rolled your eyes, you’re a scrooge. The super-popular attraction features millions of twinkling lights and nearly 600 displays over a three-mile stretch of James Island County Park. It’s a dazzling sight for kids and grown-ups alike. Other features include marshmallow roasts, Festival train rides, an “Enchanted Forest” walking trail, carousel rides, a climbing wall, a gift shop, and a lot more. On Fri. Nov. 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the Opening Night Celebration includes a tree lighting ceremony, performances by the Lowcountry Power Brass and Charleston Dance Center, and more. And if you’re a scrooge, just keep waiting ‘til after Thanksgiving. You can see the lights through Jan. 4, 2009. —Erica Jackson Nov. 14-Jan. 4. (843) 795-4FUN, www.holidayfestivaloflights.com. James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Dr., (James Island), (843) 795-4FUN (4386).

[image-3]EVENT | Don’t hit the snooze button

Start early and go local with your Christmas shopping this year, or just get some sweet stuff for yourself, at a jam-packed event at 52.5 Records this Saturday. Local art collective Hearts and Plugs is hosting the event that features music, munchies, and unique art from local folks. Nick Jenkins, an illustrator and drummer (with bands like Run Dan Run, Morimoto, and Lindsay Holler) will be releasing his second annual calendar called “Wake Up, It’s Today!” In addition, stamp artist M.E.G.S. (Megan’s Extra Good Stamps) will release a handstamp postcard series that features 10 different postcards of RVs from 1950-1980. Photographer Emily Osborne will have work on display, and indie rock band Run Dan Run will have some recycled/reworked clothing on view. The Opposite of a Train (Nathan Koci, Ron Wiltrout, and Bill Carson) will provide musical entertainment. Have a look, have a bite, and bring some money to buy some cool, affordable local goods. —Erica Jackson Sat., Nov. 15, 2-5 p.m. www.wakeupitstoday.com. 52.5 Records, 561 King St., (Downtown), (843) 722-3525

ART | Alright, who arted?

It’s more than colors on a canvas. Hell, some of this art doesn’t even have a canvas. It’s the expression of ideas, emotions, and messages. It’s contemporary art, and you can catch it at the Eye Level Art Warehouse Gallery on Saturday. The gallery will be displaying the work of Ishmael and you should go check it out. Graffiti artists Ishmael uses the world as his canvas, and through organized art events, is working to legitimize the artform. There will be refreshments, raffles, and artist-inspired merchandise available at the show. (Note: Tyler Blanton is no longer involved in the show.) —Myles Hutto Sat., Nov. 15, 6-10 p.m. www.eyelevelart.com. Eye Level Art Warehouse Gallery, 2143 Heriot St. Suite F, (Downtown), (843) 425-3576.

Next week: Made in Italy Fashion Show, Circle of Light Gala, Miss S.C. USA, Improv-a-thon, Holiday Swing, Thanksgiving Honky Tonk