MOJA munchies, bubbly brews, and derby dames 

Fall Firsts

Celebrating the Lowcountry's African-American and Caribbean arts is always an exciting way to bring in the fall season. On Thursday, we stopped by the MOJA opening reception at the Dock Street Theater where the courtyard was decked out in bright Caribbean-style decor, accentuated by festively dressed guests. We wondered why everyone was seated when we walked in, but we quickly figured it out — it takes two hands to properly eat jerk chicken. Buckshot's Restaurant and Joe's Catering from McClellanville were feeding the crowd with a courtyard-long buffet of island food, from rice to plantains. Artist James Denmark was on site to sign this year's MOJA poster, and the crowds seemed just as excited to grab his autograph as they were for the food.

Another event drawing crowds with consumption, the Bubbly and Brew fundraiser took place Friday at Harborside East in Mt. Pleasant. The event benefited My Sister's House, an organization that assists domestic abuse victims in Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties. The weather was perfect for an evening on the venue's patio, looking toward the Ravenel Bridge and the twinkling lights of downtown. After checking out the silent auction items and taking a whirl in the PhotoLily photo booth, we went in search of some brews and snacks.

Rue de Jean, Poe's Tavern, High Thyme, Glass Onion, and Home Team BBQ set up stations outside to serve the hungry patrons in between bids. We got a rundown on which hot sauce to use on the chicken andouille from the team at Glass Onion and grabbed a plate of pimento cheese and pork rinds from the Home Team table. The band Love Butter started up inside as we perused the items up for bid in the live auction. We might have bid on the Isla Mujere trip if we had a few extra SkyMiles saved up.

With another promise of free food and beer, we checked out our first roller derby on Saturday at the Citadel's McAlister Field House. The Lowcountry Highrollers' Bruisin' Betties were battling the Soul City Sirens from Augusta, Ga. We wouldn't know a roller derby bout from a hockey match, but we had a few young fans from the junior derby team, the Holy City Chaos, teach us what was going on. Though it took us awhile to understand the job of the jammer, we were impressed with the Betties' "Gangnam Style" introduction. After watching the girls on eight wheels go around the track a few times, we worked up an appetite. Luckily Park Circle's Barbeque Joint was serving up pulled pork and some tasty mac 'n' cheese in the VIP area.

We loved the community feeling from the match. Not only were the skaters being supported, but a portion of proceeds that night went toward Fields to Families, an organization that connects local farms to families in need. The home team in pink won that evening 151-117 and went on to celebrate at the Rec Room.

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