The sesquicentennial celebration doesn’t officially kick off with a bang (and we mean “bang” literally, since there’s going to be about an hour of early-morning cannon fire), but the Civil War is going to dominate this weekend. And that’s saying a lot because there is a ton of stuff going on.

So if you’ve got American history on the brain, we suggest seeing the Encampment of Confederate Re-enactors at Fort Moultrie, the Living History Programs with Confederate and Civilian Re-enactors at Fort Sumter (unless the federal government shuts the park down, of course), the From Unity to Divided Nation: Fort Sumter Light Display, Sesquicentennial Events at Patriots Point, the Palmetto Guards Living History Event at Morris Island, Battery Pringle Tours, the Southern Belles and Yankee Shells walk, or maybe just a nice, relaxing Sesquicentennial Harbor Cruise.

But that’s not all folks. There’s two art openings at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park: Post Civil War Charleston 1865: A Photographic Retrospective and Civil/Uncivil: The Art of Leo Twiggs. Virginia’s Barter Theatre brings their musical Civil War Voices to the Memminger and Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina presents Mary Chesnut’s Road to Fort Sumter. There’s screenings of The Civil War: The Cause and Glory.

And then there’s the lectures. Like Before The Storm: South Carolina and Charleston on the Eve of War, The Road to War: Gender, Honor and Emotions, The Road to War: Slavery, Economics and State Rights, “To Purge This Land With Blood?”: The Question of John Brown’s Raid, and Dr. Leo Twiggs will speak about his City Gallery Exhibit, while Rick Rhodes and Robert Rosen will talk on Post Civil War Charleston 1865.

And again, the sesquicentennial doesn’t even really happen until Tuesday.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to all the other good stuff.


Like the Charleston Farmers Market. It opens on Saturday. And how we’ve missed it.

It’s an exciting weekend for sports. Not only will the Family Circle Cup finish up (and they’ll have their exhibition Game, Set, Rock! Tennis. Amplified), but the Charleston Battery open their season.

Break out that nautical striped shirt for Kulture Klash. It’s got a water theme.

Buy some crafts at the Spring Arts and Crafts Show or at Holy City Artist and Fleas, or make your own at the Charleston Craft Bee.

The 3 on 3 Long Form Improv Tournament starts at Theatre 99. City Paper was in the competition last year and, well … it didn’t go very well. You can also see The Have Nots! and Blast Off?


I envy the guy or girl in the Charleston Bed Race that gets to sit on the bed. Easiest competition ever for them. Though I suppose it’s not the smoothest ride in the world.

Mary Whyte is the guest of honor at Friday’s Blue Bicycle Books Author’s Luncheon Series, and Jessica James will sign copies of her historical-fiction works at Boone Hall Plantation.

Let’s hope no one at the Charleston International Festival of Choirs loses their voice. Plus Chamber Music Charleston hosts its finale.

You can spend another weekend at the Festival of Houses and Gardens, or maybe mix it up at the Kiawah Art and House Tour.

Get your earplugs ready for the JB Charleston Air Expo.

Saturday is the honest-to-goodness Dora Day (we misspoke last week). It’s every child’s dream, before they start getting into Justin Bieber. So milk it while you can. Or you can take them to Pinocchio.

Man, I want to go to Pet Fest. There’s nothing more fun than hanging out with other people’s dogs, especially in an environment where it wouldn’t be super creepy. (Or cats, I suppose, if you’re into that.)

There’s another Bulls Island Auto Tour, plus a Boat Tour to Cape Romain’s Historic Lighthouse Island.

It’s the third Tri-County Lawn Mower Exchange on Saturday. And yes, there are people who think that’s pretty cool.

If you’re feeling charitable this weekend, why not stop by BBQ4Baseball, The Coastal Cupboard’s Shop and Give Back Event, the Child Abuse Prevention Month Weekly Workouts, the Flip Flop Ball and Silent Auction, Jaiden’s Place Pajama Rama, Throw Cancer a Curve, or Run for Adela.

Live a Ricky Bobby fantasy out at the NASCAR Neighborhood Rally.

Enjoy some Blues by the Sea, or take in a showing of Fool’s Lear or Proof.

And if you know anything about calendars, then you know that this Sunday is the second of the month, and therefore a Second Sunday on King Street. I’ve heard that American Apparel isn’t doing so hot nationally. Maybe you should stop there and stock up on basic tees.