March Gladness – The Spring has Sprung in Charleston

“you shall above all things be glad and young
For if you’re young, whatever life you wear
it will become you; and if you are glad
whatever’s living will yourself become.”

e.e. cummings 

It’s officially March Gladness in Charleston.

The most bitter of winter is behind us, long days of soul-healing warmth are ahead of us and our hearts start to swell with the joy of getting out into the abundance that is our Lowcountry.  Even our toes are reveling a bit, as they stretch out like self-satisfied cats in anticipation of their flip-flop freedom….

With the warmer weather, Charleston comes alive and the festival season officially begins.  You could stay in Charleston an entire month and never want for something to do.  Trust me, you might need a vacation from your vacation.  Once you’ve picnicked on the grass in the sunshine, taken a walk around the Battery, enjoyed sunset cocktails at the The Rooftop, kayaked the Intracoastal Waterway, looked for shells on the beach, dined at an outdoor cafe, sailed the Charleston Harbor, smelled the roses and listened to the birds all a-twitter, you may just have time to discover one of the events that delight both visitors and locals alike.  I’ve done ’em all and most certainly will do them again.

Charleston Food and Wine FestivalMarch 5-8.  Now in its fourth year of culinary hedonism, the Charleston Food and Wine Festival has shaken out all the kinks and delivers quite an experience.  With dozens of events over 4 days, there’s something for every taste bud and every wallet.  I’ve been to Bubbles n’ Sweets, the Culinary Tasting Village, and a couple of the Throwdowns, but begrudgingly admit a bout of event-envy for some of the more swanky soirees.  Like the $750 intimate dinner in a private penthouse, with epicurean masterpieces tossed together by the top four female chefs in the country.  I could swoon!  Alas, this year I will have to content myself with a ticket to the Bobby Flay Charity Luncheon and the King Street Sip n’ Stroll, both courtesy of the fine establishment for which I work – The Real Estate Studio.  So come by on Friday from 3-6 – we can clink our glasses together and toast the Spring.

French Quarter Art WalkBeginning March 6, the first Fridays of almost every month through December.  In this most exuberant of sophisticated social occasions, the entire town comes out to teem in the cobbled streets of the French Quarter, wine glass in hand and most stylish springwear on display.  We actually do admire the art in the dozens of galleries and hobnob with the new artists.  But mostly, we shout across the streets to our neighbors young and old, filled with glee, because we’ve all just come out of our winter burrows, and there ain’t nothin’ like livin’ in Charleston.

Charleston Fashion WeekMarch 23-28.  As always, we here in Charleston know in our hearts, that anything New York City can do, we can do more Southern.  What started as a dream for one of our fantastic local women, is now in its third year and still getting bigger and better.  Now, I am not a huge fashionista – I mostly love me some TJ Maxx – but I am always a fan of promoting local businesses, artists and designers, and of helping out the organization Dress for Success.  Plus, my nephew, Austin R. Walker, is one of the show’s great contributors and I can’t help but be infected by his enthusiasm.

Festival of Houses and GardensMarch 19-April 18.  You may not all be an ogler like me, but there is something so deliciously gratifying about exploring other people’s homes and gardens.  Every Spring and Fall, Charlestonians throw open their iron gates, raise the sash and invite all ya’ll to take a peek.  You’ll see tiny courtyards nestled under giant magnolias, lush green gardens with daffodils nodding their merry yellow heads, gracious piazzas bearing that rocking chair that creaks just so, and architectural beauties so crammed full of history your head will spin.

And the list goes on…and on…and on… The Charleston International Antiques Show, the Designer Showcase House, the Annual Oyster Roast and Lowcountry Boil at Bowen’s Island, benefits and art openings, sporting events and charity 5k runs…. I could never list them all here.

But our beloved Charleston Magazine can.

So whether you are a local or just coming for a visit – fill your schedule up like a glass of sweet and tangy lemonade.  Enjoy March Gladness to the hilt.  I’ll see you out there.

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