Blooming azaleas, sizzling serves and a running horde signal the season of renewal in the Lowcountry.
This time, though, it will feel a bit sweeter. After a long, at times frozen winter, Spring appears to have finally, at long last, sprung.
The timing of the shift toward warmer, longer days couldn't be better for outdoor happenings expected to attract upwards of 250,000 people this weekend.
The Flowertown Festival in Summerville boasts of drawing around 200,000 during its three-day blossom bash that begins Friday.
Family Circle Cup has bragging rights as the largest women's tennis tournament in the world. Thousands are expected to attend the internationally televised finals Sunday on Daniel Island.
The Cooper River Bridge Run, one of the largest and most storied 10K races in America, has nearly 40,000 participants registered to run or walk the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge on Saturday.
And there's the Lowcountry Cajun Festival on Sunday at James Island County Park with its thousands of lovers of Zydeco music and crawfish eating.
The weather forecast, while not perfect, is pretty good. Warm sunshine is predicted for much of the weekend.
Friday will be rain-free as the mercury climbs to the mid-80s. Things cool a bit on Saturday with high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s. A cold front brings with it a 20-to-30 percent chance of rain with partly cloudy skies. The high Sunday will be in the mid-to-upper 60s with a mix of clouds, sun and the same likelihood of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.
The only potential downer is the high pollen count. Overall, though, outside conditions will seem like a picnic compared to this year's historic ice storms.
So pop an allergy pill, put on sunscreen and find those flip-flops. This much excitement won't be back for another year.
What: Flowertown Festival
When and Where: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Azalea Park in Summerville.
What: Cooper River Bridge Run
When and Where: 8 a.m. Saturday from Coleman Boulevard near Simmons Street in Mount Pleasant to Meeting Street in Charleston between George and Calhoun streets.
Cost: The event sold out Tuesday at 38,400 runners or walkers at regular registration rates of $35 to $45. However, registration for $150 per person for a "charity bib" is still available.
What: Family Circle Cup
When and Where: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday quarterfinals, 1 p.m. Saturday semifinals, 11 a.m. Sunday finals at Family Circle Stadium on Daniel Island.
Cost: On Friday, $35 to $75 for adults, $10 to $15 for ages 12 and under; on Saturday and Sunday, $35 to $80 for adults, $10 to $15 for ages 12 and under.
What: Lowcountry Cajun Festival
When and Where: Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at James Island County Park.
Cost: $10 for adult, free for ages 12 and under. Free admission with Gold Pass.
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