Weekend Round-up: Here be Mermaids ... and Hula Girls 

The best events in Charleston Sept. 7-9

We like alliteration. That’s partly why we’re excited for the First Friday and Second Saturdays and Sundays of the month. Luckily, there are some cool events going on this weekend too. In fact, there are loads of celebrations taking place, from goodbye parties and art receptions to carless streets and dog ownership.

To start, see what’s new in the world of fine art on Gallery Row at First Fridays on Broad. Meander through the historic Broad Street area to ponder over fine art, crafts, sculpture and jewelry, while enjoying free refreshments. Be sure to make Robert Lange Studios a stop on the art trail, where Charles E. Williams II will be revealing a new exhibit. South Carolina waterways are the muse for his series, In Thought. Also opening today, The Beautiful Unknown presents the hand painted wood art of Austin Grace Smith. Though it’s on view by appointment only, if you register before you go, you can be entered to win an Austin Original.

See what mermaids looked like before Disney at the opening of Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fibert Arts Exhibition. Keep the mermaid thing going all weekend, and join the park rangers at the Fort Moultrie Visitor’s Center for a showing of Waterbody. Taking inspiration from a Bianca Spriggs’ poem, this short fantasy film details the turn of events when a mermaid and woman swap anatomies. Afterwards, walk across the street for the Yemaya Feast Day Ceremony and Celebration.  Yoruba High Priest and High Chieftain Nathanial Styles and Prince Emmanuel Adérelé will preside over the ceremony. A dinner for artists and supporters will follow at Gilligan’s of Mt. Pleasant. Offerings are kindly requested and a $15 donation is suggested.

Not quite that spiritual? Join Yoga House of Charleston for the community social held each first Friday. Detox in the one-hour class for all levels and retox at the subsequent happy hour with local craft brews and healthy appetizers.

If that’s just your pregame, head to The Tides to say farewell summertime at the Blu End of Summer Oceanfront Beach Party. Like any good luau, there will be a ceremonial pig roast and a Hula show straight from Hawaii. The only thing that could make hula cooler is if it’s on fire, and the party planners got that memo. With your all-inclusive ticket, you’ll gain access to the open bar and all you can eat buffet, while enjoying live music and the firework finale.

Wake up early Saturday and get some exercise at the SOAR 5K run on Folly. Presented by the SAIC Special Olympics, all proceeds from the event will benefit Special Olympics South Carolina. If running's not your thing, hop on your bike with the Charleston Preservation Society’s Preservation Pedal. You’ll exercise your body and mind as you cycle around downtown and learn about maritime history in this show of activist athleticism.

Unwind and kick back at The Olde North Charleston Picture House where Park Circle Films will present Kumaré. This film follows Sri Kumaré, an enlightened guru from the East, as he journeys to America to teach a group of devoted students. Find out how the twist unfolds when the students find out the spiritual teacher is no more than a spirit himself.

Spend Sunday downtown for the monthly puppy parade and people-watching spectacle known as Second Sundays on King Street. Listen to the array of troubadours while dining al fresco. All the while you can imagine what the world would be like sans automobiles.

After soaking in the sun, cool down with your pooch at the Dog Day Afternoon at Whirlin’ Waters Waterpark. Large canines can romp around in the 27,000 sq. ft pool while smaller pups can splash in the refreshing Otter Bay Kiddie pool. Sorry humans, water entry is granted to just dogs this day, but you can watch your hound frolic as you enjoy refreshments from the park concession stands.

If you’re more of a cat person, head to the Friends of the Library Cart Sale to purchase some fiction and nonfiction books for just 50 cents to $3. Then, curl up with your feline friend to read your new selections and rest up for the next week.


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