Recommended Events this Week 

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GREEN | Play Captain Planet for the day
S.C. Beach Sweep/ River Sweep 2007
Sat. Sept. 15
9 a.m.-12 p.m.
(843) 953- 2078 (coastal)
(843) 953-9335 (inland)

Ever heard of the North Pacific Gyre? Frighteningly enough, the world's biggest garbage dump lies out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where currents create a massive, slow-moving whirlpool twice the size of Texas. That huge swath of water is full of waste — harboring trillions upon trillions of pieces of trash that managed to stay afloat and avoid washing up along shorelines. Consider that every piece of plastic ever made, save the few that have been incinerated, still exists somewhere on Earth. The most common culprit is the ubiquitous, aerodynamic, plastic bag, of which less than two percent are recycled worldwide. Taking to the air and seas, many end up clogging the bellies of sea turtles (and killing them) who mistake them for yummy jellyfish. If you're hating humanity's awfulness and wasteful ways right now, there is a chance to redeem your do-gooder soul this Saturday, when thousands of volunteers will converge on South Carolina's waterways for the 19th Annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep. Organized by the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, SCDNR, and the Ocean Conservancy, the three-hour cleanup is done by noon (officially), leaving you a full day to bask in the glory of your good deed. Individuals or school/church/civic groups are invited to participate, and all necessary supplies are provided. The event has plenty of volunteers for Charleston area beaches, so organizers are asking for inland and in-water volunteers. Check out for a list of cleanup locations and site captain contacts, or call Sue Schweikart at 953-2078 (coastal) and Dave Lansbury at 953-9335 (inland). —Stratton Lawrence SATURDAY

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BLOCK PARTY | Raise a pint of Guinness in Park Circle
Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day Block Party
w/ The Defilers
Sat. Sept. 15
2 p.m.
Madra Rua Pub
1034 E. Montague Ave.
(843) 554-2522

Guinness is good for you. Gives you strength. Some find the stuff to be imposing and murky with its extra-dark, almost black hue and dense, tan-colored foam, but for the true beer enthusiasts, it's the granddaddy of Irish-style stouts. Twenty years ago, it would have been difficult to find a pint of Guinness in the Lowcountry. Nowadays, according to local beer distributors, the sales of Guinness are high — especially in North Charleston at the warm, welcoming Madra Rua Pub in Park Circle. The staffers at this authentic Irish tavern demonstrate their love for stout and serious fun this Saturday with what they're calling the Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day Block Party. East Montague Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic from Virginia Avenue to Chateau Avenue. The event features a jump castle for the wee kiddies, a DJ, trivia games, plenty of corned beef 'n' cabbage, drink specials, prizes, and live rock 'n' roll by Charleston's favorite greaser-punk trio, The Defilers (lead singer/guitarist Arleigh Hertzler has been slinging a few pints of stout and other bevvies from behind the Madra Rua bar this year). The event starts at 2 p.m., and the band kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free to the public. Slainte! —T. Ballard Lesemann SATURDAY

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FESTIVAL | Scotch lovers unite
Scottish Games and Highland Gathering
Sat. Sept. 15
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Advance: $13/adults, $4/children
Gate: $15/adults, $5/children
Boone Hall Plantation
1235 Long Point Road
Mt. Pleasant
(843) 884-4371

Gather up the clan, because once again it's time for the Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering at Boone Hall Plantation. For the 36th year, Scots and their descendants from all over the East Coast (along with non-Scottish fun-seekers) gather to learn more about the vibrant people who helped settle Charleston. The event features traditional music, crafts, food, and games — and we're not talking Scrabble. Burly Scottish men will be hurling cabers (kinda like telephone poles) and other heavy objects, while wearing kilts, no less. Other competitions include piping and drumming and Highland dancing, and you'll also see Border Collie demonstrations, where the super-smart dogs herd sheep led by a whistle alone. Over 40 clans will be represented in tents bordering the athletic events, which is where the social part of the event takes place. Find your clan (or your favorite tent), grab a beer and some Scottish food (or barbecue if you're not feeling adventurous), and party it up, Braveheart style. —Erica Jackson SATURDAY

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POETRY | Fun with pentameter
Poetry Society Gathering
Fri. Sept. 14
7 p.m.
Second Presbyterian Church
342 Meeting St.
(843) 509-4945

Since 1920, the Poetry Society of South Carolina has worked to support the reading, writing, study, and enjoyment of poetry by hosting free readings and lectures open to the public. They've featured nationally-known poets over the years, like Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, and Billy Collins, and on Friday they kick off a new season with two of the Palmetto State's most prolific poets, Linda Annas Ferguson and Rick Mulkey. Ferguson, a North Carolina native now living in Charleston, is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Bird Missing from One Shoulder and Stepping on Cracks in the Sidewalk. She was the 2003-'04 Poet-in-Residence at the Gibbes, the 2005 Poetry Fellow for the S.C. Arts Commission, and she received the Poetry Fellowship of the S.C. Academy of Authors. Rick Mulkey currently directs the creative writing program at Converse College in Spartanburg. He's the author of four volumes of poetry including Toward Any Darkness and Bluefield Breakdown. His work has appeared in journals like Shenandoah, Denver Quarterly, and American Poetry: The Next Generation. As with all the monthly meetings, Friday night will include readings by both poets followed by a reception and book signing. —Erica Jackson FRIDAY

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CINEMA | What about the iguanas?
South Windermere Wrap Party
Wed. Sept. 12
6-9 p.m.
South Windermere Cinemas
94 Folly Road Blvd.
West Ashley
(843) 556-1073

Film buffs all over Charleston will shed a tear as one of the last movie houses closes its doors. South Windermere Cinemas has been a theatre for over 50 years, and seven years ago Sandie and Michael Purro bought it and quickly made it unlike any other. They offered an eclectic mix of reduced-price movies on their two gigantic screens, as well as a unique selection of concessions including beer, wine, and Japanese food from Osaka, besides the standard candy and popcorn. The Purros and their children ran the theatre on their own, along with an arsenal of exotic pets ranging from a tarantula to tropical birds to iguanas — and then there were the ghosts, a young girl and a woman in high heels who've been wandering the theatre for years. Over the years the Purros have welcomed their "theatre family" into South Windermere, until two years ago when they lost their most important member, Michael, to a heart attack. Since then Sandie and her children have struggled to run the theatre on their own, but they've finally decided to move on and begin a new phase in their lives. Michael, Jr., now 13, is ready to give up his job as projectionist to devote more time to sports; Alexander, 19, works at Chez Fish; and Sandie is looking into buying an ice cream truck, "with bubbles, because they make people happy," she says. To say goodbye to the theatre before it's transformed into some generic strip mall joint, friends of South Windermere are throwing a Wrap Party for everyone who's enjoyed the theatre over the years as well as those who'd like one more chance to see the unique place. The relaxed event is potluck style, so bring a dish or drinks, and enjoy the tunes of local musician Shrimp City Slim, as well as Dr. Pickup all the way from Paris. And if you're lucky, you might just get a glimpse of one of the ghosts. —Erica Jackson WEDNESDAY

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FESTIVAL | Get revved up for Chazzfest
Blues, 'Cue, and Brew
Mon. Sept. 17
7-10 p.m.
Lowcountry Harley Davidson
Dorchester Road
N. Charleston
(843) 513-3877

The Charleston Music and Heritage Festival is coming up on Sat. Sept. 22, and to get people pumped, Lowcountry Harley Davidson is hosting an event on Monday night. The Blues, 'Cue, and Brew fest is pretty self-explanatory. It'll feature music from Johnny Mac and Booty Ranch, a local band that plays plenty of covers, Sticky Fingers barbecue, and of course, beer. While the event is free you'll have to pay for the food and libations, but what better place to enjoy brews and 'cue than with a bunch of other people who can't wait for Chazzfest? And no, you don't have to ride a Harley to get in — but it doesn't hurt. It never does, does it? —Erica Jackson MONDAY

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FESTIVAL | Shagalicious, baby
Shrimpin' and Shaggin'
Sun. Sept. 16
11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
$10, Free/kids under 12
Charleston Maritime Center
(843) 849-1020

After years of decline, the Lowcountry shrimp industry is making a comeback thanks to a crackdown on contaminated foreign seafood imports. Not only is local wild shrimp sure to be free of unapproved drugs, but it's also fresher, bigger, and tastier than farm-raised imports. Help boost the local industry and put the trendy eco-friendly maxim "eat local" into practice by heading to the harbor this Sunday afternoon to sample the season's best catches at the Shrimpin' n Shaggin' festival. Coastal beats and the alluring aroma of fresh shrimp set the tone for this merging of two quintessential Charleston pastimes. Top Lowcountry caterers prepare their favorite crustacean dishes, and The Men of Distinction and the East Coast Party Band perform beach favorites as local dancers shag the afternoon away. Expert chefs go head to head in the shrimp dish contest at 1 p.m., and shag aficionados show off their smooth footwork in the dance contest at 2 p.m. Wash down all of the mouth-watering shrimp with beer, wine, a Bloody Mary, or a cold soft drink. Professional face painting and an appearance by the S.C. Aquarium turtles add to the event's kid-friendly factor. Be sure to support our coastal heritage by taking home a pound or two of freshly caught shrimp from Captain Willy's boat. Event proceeds go to the S.C. Shrimper's Association, the National Association for Catering Executives scholarship programs, and Charleston Therapeutic Riding. —Rachel Ward SUNDAY


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