Both locals and visitors love Charleston’s rich history, vibrant diversity, and culture. The city hosts a distinct calendar of annual events, including the world-renowned Spoleto Festival. Ranked by WalletHub as a Top 20 “Best Foodie City,” many of Charleston’s annual events embrace the strong culinary scene.
Here are 12 Charleston events to keep in mind when planning your wedding. Your guests might want to stay a few extra days and enjoy the city’s hospitality.
Charleston Cultural Events
There is something for everyone to enjoy in lively Charleston. And the city is home to one of the largest cultural festivals in the state.
The International Spoleto Festival
It’s been said that Spoleto Festival USA put Charleston on the map in an international way. The 17-day festival was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti in 1977 as a counterpart to his Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.
Charleston’s cosmopolitan yet intimate charm, along with its wealth of performance spaces, provided the perfect location. From right before Memorial Day into the 2nd week of June, performances are held in outdoor spaces, churches, and historic theaters, showcasing both acclaimed musicians and rising stars.
Charleston also offers a healthy slice of local culture with Piccolo Spoleto with many free events throughout the city. It also enjoys some unique traditions, like the sand sculpting competition on the Isle of Palms and a Pajama March.
MOJA Arts Festival
“Moja” means “one” in Swahili and this fall festival is an annual celebration of African-American and Caribbean arts and culture. The festival encompasses music, dance, literature, heritage, visual arts, and even health and recreation.
Charleston Literary Festival
Taking place in November, Charleston’s internationally acknowledged literary festival has gained a reputation for Pulitzer, Booker, and Nobel prize-winners taking the stage and then following up with meet-and-greet book signings.
Charleston Greek Festival
For over 50 years, residents and visitors to the “Holy City” have enjoyed an annual May celebration of Greek food, wine, live music, and dancing. This is the oldest festival in Charleston and one of the biggest in the state with over 35,000 annual attendees.
Charleston Music Events
Festivals are synonymous with music and here are three for your listening pleasure.
Charleston Jazz Festival
New Orleans and Chicago aren’t the only homes to great jazz. The Charleston Jazz Festival, held in April, draws a worldwide crowd and features international headliners.
Charleston Bluegrass Festival
Another musical genre steeped in the American tradition is bluegrass. This weekend springtime bluegrass festival takes place at the beautiful Woodlands Nature Reserve just outside the city.
Lowcountry musicians and Charleston favorites Shovels & Rope have put together a music festival that brings together musicians from all over the world to the stages of Riverfront Park in North Charleston. In between sets, enjoy the Charleston culinary scene, festival-style.
Charleston Culinary Scene
Whether it’s fine dining or down-home Lowcountry, Charleston has you covered. This city is one of the country’s most popular destinations when it comes to culinary tourism. Charleston is such a popular city for “foodies,” it holds Restaurant Week in January as well as September.
Charleston Wine + Food Festival
Founded in 2005, this March weekend culinary event brings together top chefs, winemakers, farmers, and food artisans, mixing locally sourced tastes and international flavors. Sign up early as signature dining events sell out quickly.
Lowcountry Oyster Festival
With 45,000 pounds of bivalves, this is the world’s largest oyster festival. Held in January, you’ll find raw oyster eating and shucking contests, live music, a selection of wine and beer, and a food court of local favorite restaurants.
These annual events, along with other year-round Charleston attractions, will give your out-of-town wedding guests plenty to do.
Planning a wedding or party in the Charleston area? Contact our Charleston DJ team at (843) 278-0343.