For many people in Charleston, living on the water is a very literal thing. Once the spring rolls around, their whole lives revolve around getting out on the waves to sail, fish or kayak. Many of them are easily identified by the “Salt Life” bumper stickers on their cars, sunglasses hung around their necks and waterproof shoes. And while they may not all be professional racers or commercial fisherman, boats and the lifestyle that goes along with them have always been a special part of the Lowcountry’s culture. This weekend, Charleston plays host to two of the largest boat-oriented events of the year.
First up is Sperry Charleston Race Week, a regatta with nearly 2,500 sailors from all over the globe. But races aren’t the only highlight of the four-day sporting event. Shore-side beach parties, including a mix of cocktails, dinners and live music will be held each night once all the boats are back at the docks.
When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 5-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, 20 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant
More info: www.charlestonraceweek.com
The Charleston In-Water Boat Show, one of the largest showcases of sea-faring vessels in the state, will also take place this weekend in downtown Charleston. Boats from 17-55 feet will be on display in the water at the Bristol Marina, and additional boat displays and vendors will be in Brittlebank Park.
When: Noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Where: Bristol Marina and Brittlebank Park, Lockwood Blvd.
Price: $10 adults, $5 seniors and military, free for children age 15 and younger, $15 for two-day pass
According to an attendance study in 2010, the majority of people who typically go to Spoleto events are tourists older than 50 years old, whose annual income is more than $100,000. Perhaps there was some sort of miscommunication along the way, and younger locals got the impression that maybe the 17-day arts festival coming up next month isn’t for them. In an effort to correct that perception, Spoleto SCENE, an organization of festival patrons younger than 40, was launched to draw in more attendees in their 20s and 30s by incorporating social events and special offers throughout the performances and art shows. The next event is the Spoleto preview party “The Shakedown” on Thursday, featuring a sneak peek video of the 2015 season, a performance by DJ Natty Heavy, hors d’oeuvres by local restaurants and more. Members and nonmembers are invited to see what the Spoleto SCENE has in store this year.
When: 7-10 p.m. Thursday
Where: Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.
Price: $35 for nonmembers, free with $125 membership
More Info: 579-3100, www.spoletousa.org
Strawberry fields forever
In a place growing as rapidly as the Lowcountry, the community has to be sure to hold onto its roots, particularly those attached to strawberries. At least, that’s the way Boone Hall Plantation sees it. Two decades ago, plantation owner Willie McRae planted three acres of strawberries on the fields as a way to get the community more involved with the plantation. He wanted people from all over the area to be able to pick produce right from the fields, and that’s what they do every spring once strawberry season rolls around. To celebrate the not-so-new tradition, Boone Hall will host its 19th annual Strawberry Festival this weekend, which features carnival rides, live music, contests and festival foods. New this year will be a petting zoo presented by Rockin’ A Ranch and K-9’s in Flight, a team of highly trained dogs who entertain crowds with their impressive frisbee-catching skills.
When: Various times Thursday-Sunday
Where: Boone Hall Plantation, 2330 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant
Price: $5-$7; children age 2 and younger get in free with a paying adult
Bob Dylan isn’t the only powerhouse rocking the North Charleston Coliseum this week. Cinema and comedy star Kevin Hart will bring his energetic What Now? Tour to the venue Wednesday. If you can’t make it to the show, you can always make a date with Hart at his latest movie, “Get Hard,” in theaters now.
When: Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive
Price: $74.50-$150, plus fees
More info: www.northcharleston coliseumpac.com
Back to the island
Music to reggae fans’ ears: The James Island County Park’s Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series is launching early this year. The concerts are typically held in the summer, but a show by Black Lion will be held this weekend to kick off the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival. The next Caribbean-themed concert won’t be held until June, so if the warm weather has you craving the sounds or tastes of Jamaica, grab your lawn chairs and head to the park.
When: Gates open at 7:30 p.m., music starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday
Where: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive
Price: $10; free for kids ages 12 and younger and Gold Pass holders
More info: 843-795-4386 or visit CharlestonCounty Parks.com
Writers at the Threshold
Many writers will tell you, there is no such thing as being born a gifted writer. Instead, good writing is born from a lot of trial and error, and generous mentoring from those who have suffered the battle wounds already. So for aspiring playwrights, Threshold Repertory Theatre is an invaluable resource. This weekend, the theater run by resident playwrights Thomas and Judy Heath, will host “An Evening of Words and Actors” to raise funds for its Young Playwrights Program. The production will showcase “Something Blue,” a play written by one of the program’s pupils, Hannah Kelly, a junior at the Charleston School of the Arts. The performance also will debut “Hostage Bride,” the latest dark comedy written by the Heaths.
When: 8 p.m. April 17 and 18
Where: Threshold Theatre, 841/2 Society St.
More info: www.thresholdrep.org
Loggerhead’s turns five
One of Folly Beach’s laid-back bars is celebrating its five-year anniversary this weekend. As a top music venue on the island, Loggerhead’s Beach Grill is, of course, marking the occasion with a day of live music from Josh Roberts and The Hinges, The Travelin’ Kine and the Folly born-and-bred trio Dangermuffin. Once night falls, members of each band will get together for a collaborative set starting at 10 p.m.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: 123 W. Ashley Ave., Folly Beach
More info: www.Logger headsBG.com