Food and Festivals 

Reggae, Food Fests, Fourth of July and other festivals around town

Jammin' Til the Jam Is Through
Be a Rastafarian for a night at Reggae Nights

The best description we can offer about the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series comes straight from the source. "It's Irie." If you don't speak Rastafarian, Irie stands for I Respect I Eternally. Suburban geek translation: Irie is keepin' your cool, mon. Just remember that every little thing is gonna be all right when you're in the Irie mindset. And you're in good company.

Next in the music series lineup is Eclectic Roots Ensemble at James Island County Park on July 18. Hailing from Atlanta, ERE is "a classical, yet progressive reggae band with a unique touch for moods and lyric in their vibes."

And after that, there's much more to come — we're talking Da Gullah Rootz (Aug. 8), Mystic Vibrations (Aug. 22), Ever-G (Sept. 19), and Reggae Infinity (Oct. 17).

Gates open at 7:30 p.m. for each event, and the music begins at 8:30.

There are all sorts of goodies to buy including food, beverages (the adult kind, too), and souvenirs — no word yet on whether or not you can snag one of those totally righteous hats complete with fake dreads.

Because of all the food and beverage availability, they ask that you don't bring your own coolers or outside alcohol.

For all you Piggly Wiggly shoppers, this is an excellent opportunity to cash in those Greenbax. While tickets are $8 for ages 13 and up, you can gain admission with just five Greenbax.

The gigs change venues between James Island County Park and Wannamaker County Park up in North Charleston, allowing folks to get their reggae fix on different sides of town.

Bring a chair or a blanket for maximum comfort and get your groove on with "traditional old school roots reggae with a new school attitude in a beautiful outdoor setting." Sounds like a good time to us.

For the complete line-up, including the bands' personal websites, check out the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's website at

Reggae Night Summer Concert Series
James Island County Park, Wannamaker County Park
$8, free/ages 12 and under
(843) 795-4386 

Don't Go Quietly into the Night

Patriots Point Fourth of July Blast

If you're into pyrotechnics, chances are lighting off roman candles in your backyard this Fourth of July may not be enough. Instead of burning your house down, head over to the July 4th Celebration at Patriots Point. Not only do they boast one of the best fireworks displays in Charleston (where else can you watch fireworks launched from the flight deck of a WWII aircraft carrier?), but they are sure to deliver all the remaining ingredients for the most patriotic of July 4th entertainment.

We're talking beer gardens, food vendors, and even an 83-foot inflatable replica of an aircraft carrier. Now that's patriotic.

Throw in two live bands, a 40-foot ferris wheel, and some line-dancing to boot and you got yourself a good ol' no-nonsense Southern party. And with special admission to the USS Yorktown for only $5 after 5 p.m., attendees can listen to the heroic stories from veterans of WWII and the Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq wars.

Don't forget to give back to the community by participating in the Piggly Wiggly Can Food Drive, benefiting local charities like the Lowcountry Food Bank, East Cooper Community Outreach, and the Good Neighbor Center.

To cap the night off, watch the fireworks display over Charleston Harbor set to the songs of liberty. Heck, you might even shed a tear or two. Just don't take after Mel Gibson and start stabbing Redcoats with American flags. Let's keep it PG, folks.

Fourth of July Blast at Patriots Point
40 Patriots Point Road, Mt. Pleasant
4 p.m.-midnight
(866) 831-1720

Let Freedom Ring

View 4th of July Events in a larger map

Fourth of July at Kiawah
Night Heron Park
4923 Mariners Watch, Kiawah Island
Fri. July 3 -Sun. July 5
(843) 768-6001

Fourth of July at Harbor Grille
360 Concord St., Downtown
Sat. July 4
11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Reservations strongly suggested)
(843) 853-5752

Fourth of July at Middleton Place
Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Road, West Ashley
Sat. July 4-Sun. July 5
Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
(843) 556-6020

Red, White, and Blue on the Green
Summerville, Town Square
Sat. July 4
4-7 p.m.

North Charleston Fourth of July Festival
Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Drive, North Charleston
Sat. July 4
3-10 p.m.
(843) 740-2538

Summer-long Food + Art Madness

Art, cheese, and wine — all wrapped up in one delectable evening. Start your weekend off right with a comfortable amble down Broad Street and enjoy all the area has to offer.

First Fridays on Broad
Gallery Row
Broad St., Downtown
All summer

Don't Mess With These Fests

For some family fun that doesn't revolve around all things edible, check out these events around town. And don't worry, we're sure there will be food on hand most places.

View Festivals in a larger map

Charleston Harbor Fest
June 26-29
(843) 853-3625

54th Annual Beaufort Water Festival
July 10-19
(843) 524-0660

First Day Festival
Aug. 16
(843) 965-4190

Original Charleston Beach Music and Shag Festival
Aug. 27-30

Gullah/Geechee Nation
International Music and Movement Festival
Aug. 21-23
(843) 838-1171

Darty Hard

If you often find yourself partying during the day ("dartying," as those clever collegians like to call it), then be sure to take advantage of wide array of food fests across the Southeast this summer. Consider this a sampler. —Moira Phillips

View Food and Festivals in a larger map

2009 Pig Bowl
Columbus, Ga.
June 20-21
(706) 221-1900

Pageland Watermelon Festival
Pageland, S.C.
July 17-18
(843) 672-6400

S.C. State BBQ Championship
July 10-11
(864) 942-8448

Palette and Palate Stroll
July 17
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Dillard Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival
Dillard, Ga.
July 31-Aug. 1
(706) 746-2690

Fried Green Tomato Festival
Beech Island. S.C.
Aug. 1
(803) 867-2388

S.C. Peanut Party
Pelion, S.C.
Aug. 7-8

Pigs & Peaches BBQ Contest
Kennesaw, Ga.
Aug. 14-15
(770) 422-9714

The Beach Boogie & BBQ Festival
Myrtle Beach
Sept. 4-5
(843) 916-7221

Southern National BBQ Championship and Bluegrass Fest
Boone Hall Plantation, Mt. Pleasant
Sept. 6
(843) 884-4371


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