Freeloaders: Pride, invertebrates, and a car-free King Street 

This week's best free events: May 10-16

MONDAY. Get a sneak preview of what Spoleto USA and Piccolo Spoleto has to offer with College of Charleston and the School of the Arts faculty. Music professors Edward Hart and Robert Taylor, theater professor Todd McNerney, artist-in-residence in dance Robert Ivey, and director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art Mark Sloan host this presentation. Preview begins at 6 p.m. in the Simons Center for the Arts.

WEDNESDAY. A whopping 230 years has passed since Charleston’s surrender of to the British during the Revolutionary War. There will be a marker dedication to the 1780 Siege of Charleston at noon in Marion Square, complete with reenactors. At the Charleston County Public Library, PBS’s Nature Scene host Rudy Mancke discusses the natural history of dragonflies in South Carolina, as well as other interesting little invertebrates. The discussion begins at 6 p.m. 

THURSDAY. Join Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) for a discussion on repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. The meeting starts at 5:45 p.m. in the Charleston Marriott. The Preservation Society of Charleston hosts “An Architecture for Our time: The Genius of Albert Simons,” their monthly membership meeting featuring speakers Christopher Liberatos and Jenny Bevan. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Charleston Museum. 

FRIDAY. Fletcher Crossman presents his latest exhibit State of Shock. He brings his larger-than-life paintings to tell a fictional story of the aftershock following President Barack Obama’s assassination. The opening reception begins at 6 p.m. in Eye Level Art’s 103 Gallery.

SATURDAY. Charleston Pride hosts Charleston’s first gay march for equal rights from Park Circle to Riverfront Park. Immediately following the march, there will be a Charleston Pride Rally from noon to 5 p.m. featuring Jamison Alley, Elke Kennedy, Mr. and Miss South Carolina, the Danielle Howle Band, the Lowcountry Highrollers, 2 Girls & a Guy, and more. The line for the march starts in Park Circle at 10 a.m. After the rally, you can still make it to James Island for Smoky Oak Taproom’s Beer-B-Cue Bash, featuring over 50 varieties from over 20 breweries. Live bands Rawberry Jam, Flatt City, and Dangermuffin will be there to entertain. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. If beer and rock music aren’t quite your scene, the Savannah Children’s Preparatory Choir performs in the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church at 4 p.m. And the Exchange Park Fairgrounds hosts the S.C. Green Living Festival, a two-day event promoting healthy living and a healthy planet. Festivities are from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

SUNDAY. Mt. Pleasant honors the shrimping industry with the Blessing of the Fleet (re-scheduled from April 25 due to some stormy weather) from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Downtowners will ditch their motors for some peddle-power as King Street closes half a mile of its street to host Do the Charleston. From noon-5 p.m., cyclists and walkers alike are welcome to traverse all along King St. (from Calhoun to Queen) without having to worry about that car that’s about to run you over.

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