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Guide to Charleston's Most Popular Festivals

Guide to Charleston's Most Popular Festivals

Published: November 7, 2023

While Charleston, SC is widely known for its historical attractions and renowned culinary scene, the city is also home to an array of local festivals. Whenever you plan to visit Charleston, chances are you will overlap one of the many festivals in town. From foodie events and historic homes to musical delights and unique art, there is a festival for everyone in Charleston. If you’re looking for a guide to the best local festivals in Charleston, you’ve come to the right place! Read along to learn more about the most popular local festivals in Charleston and get ready to plan your visit to the Lowcountry.

SEWE (Southeastern Wildlife Exposition) February 16 - 18, 2024

Known locally as the event that kickstarts the spring event season in Charleston, SEWE is beloved by both locals and visitors alike. The annual event brings together wildlife artists, conservationists, and outdoor enthusiasts in a celebration of the great outdoors. Oyster roasts and art walks, sheep and duck herding demonstrations, and the immensely popular DockDogs® competition round out the type of events you can expect at this festival.

Charleston Wine + Food March 6 - 10, 2024

Another annual festival that is regarded as a must-do by locals and visitors, Charleston Wine + Food is an incredibly popular spring event. This event puts a spotlight on the much lauded Charleston culinary scene and helped firmly establish Charleston as a culinary powerhouse. Events are held throughout the Lowcountry and range from classes, tastings, excursions, brunches and lunches, and signature dining experiences

Festival of Houses & Gardens March 14 – April 14, 2024

If you have ever strolled along Charleston’s cobblestone streets and wished you could see the inside of some of the city’s finest private historic buildings, this is the festival for you. This annual spring festival has been known as the Festival of Houses & Gardens for over seventy years and for 2024, the festival will be rebranded as The Charleston Festival. Put on by the Historic Charleston Foundation, this festival is a wonderful opportunity to tour private residences and gardens in Charleston’s Historic District. With expanded offerings planned for the 2024 festival, this event is a must-do if you are visiting Charleston in the spring.

Charleston Jazz Festival April 18 - 21, 2024

With jazz musicians traveling to Charleston from around the world to perform at the annual Charleston Jazz Festival, this is certainly a festival not to be missed. This festival honors Charleston’s rich jazz history over this four day event. If you are a music aficionado, this event should be on your radar.

Spoleto Festival USA May 24 - June 9, 2024

The Grand Dame of Charleston’s festivals, Spoleto was founded in 1977 as an American sister event to the annual Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. Spoleto is an epic celebration of the arts and performance. With over 100 performances over the course of the seventeen day festival, it is impossible to see it all. Events are held all across the Greater Charleston area, making use of historic theaters, churches, and beautiful outdoor spaces. While Spoleto is one of the area’s longest running festivals, innovation and emerging artists are at the heart of the event.

MOJA Arts Festival September 26 - October 6, 2024

The annual MOJA Arts Festival celebrates African American and Caribbean art and culture. The festival was founded in the late 1970s in order to communicate the important cultural contributions African American and Caribbean artists have made both in Charleston and in the region. The City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs produces the annual event in collaboration with the MOJA Planning Committee. With events including visual arts, gospel, jazz, storytelling, theater and more the annual MOJA Arts Festival is a landmark event on the Charleston fall calendar.

Charleston Literary Festival November TBD 2024

Calling all bookworms! If your idea of an amazing festival includes hobnobbing with world-renowned authors and thinkers, this is the festival for you. Founded in 2017, The Charleston Literary Festival hosts events over a ten day period every November, and routinely counts Pulitzer, Booker and Nobel prize-winners amongst its speakers.

These annual festivals are great reasons to plan a trip to Charleston and immerse yourself in the cultural fabric of the city, whatever your interests may be. While each festival has its own time honored traditions, programming is always evolving which means you could attend the same event each year and see something different each time. With local vacation rental management partners in Charleston and nearby Isle of Palms, The 100 Collection can steer you in the right direction as you plan your festival visit to Charleston.

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