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Beyond the Bridge Run: A user's guide to Charleston's busiest weekend

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Thousands of visitors flock to the Flowertown Festival in Summerville each year. Grace Beahm Alford/ Staff

The big race may be the biggest thing going on in town this weekend, but that doesn't rule out these other festivals and happenings. From Summerville to James Island to Daniel Island to Mount Pleasant, here are the other big goings-on that you can enjoy during your stay in the Holy City. 

Flowertown Festival

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Daiphin Bober, from Ladson, shops for metal flowers at last year's Flowertown Festival. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

A sure sign that springtime is here, the 47th annual Flowertown Festival is presented by the Summerville YMCA. Among the pink azaleas, purple wisteria and white dogwoods, the three-day arts and crafts festival features more than 200 jury-selected artists and their work, children’s rides and activities at the Children’s Jubilee/Kids Fest, food from restaurants and vendors at The Taste, Food Truck Friday and a farmers market on Saturday and Sunday. It's set on the grounds of Azalea Park in the heart of Summerville.

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Emily Milliken, 7, of Summerville, was one of several youngsters having a high-flying time at the annual Flowertown Festival. This year's festival starts Friday, April 5.

An opening night celebration is set for 6-9 p.m. Friday and features live music from The Music City Band, food trucks, beer and wine. Admission is free, and adult wristbands will be sold for $1. 

Should you take sunscreen and bug spray? It’s April in the Lowcountry, so that would be a “yes.” Should you take an allergy pill? It’s April in the Lowcountry, so that would be another “yes.” And since the event covers a lot of ground, over several blocks, appropriate walking shoes are suggested. 

WHEN: April 5-7

WHERE: Azalea Park area, W. 5th S. St. and along Main Street to Richardson Avenue and to W. 6th Street and Joyce Lane, Summerville

PRICE: Free parking and admission

MORE INFO: 843-871-9622,

Lowcountry Cajun Festival

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The Lowcountry Cajun Festival is bringing a Louisiana vibe to James Island County Park. Lance Wills/Special to The Post and Courier

“Bringing Louisiana to the Lowcountry” is the aim of Sunday’s 28th annual Cajun Festival at James Island County Park. The focus is Creole food and music, bound to tickle those taste buds and get those feet in motion. Local and regional restaurants, caterers and food trucks will have all of the jambalaya, alligator, etouffee, andouille sausage and crawfish you can handle, and of course, a crawfish-eating contest is on the agenda. If those slippery little creatures aren’t your thing, there's Southern BBQ, hot dogs, snow cones and funnel cakes.

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The Lowcountry Cajun Festival will take place on April 7 at the James Island County Park. Lance Wills/Special to The Post and Courier

Live Zydeco and Cajun music performers are Randy McAllister and the Scrappiest Band in the Motherland, Pine Leaf Boys and Gerard Delafose & the Zydeco Gators. Additional activities include a crafts market and some mechanical joy-rides, inflatables and carnival games for the kiddos. Note: Pets are not allowed at the event and the dog park will be closed.

WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Sunday, April 7

WHERE: James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive

PRICE: $15 per person; free for ages 12 years and younger and Gold Pass members

MORE INFO: 843-795-4386,

Volvo Car Open

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Danielle Collins, who reached the semifinals of the Australian Open in January, is playing in the 2019 Volvo Car Open. File/Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Over 90,000 people will be attending the Volvo Car Open tennis tournament on Daniel Island, where the court is the central attraction and the stands are full of daily onlookers. But don't worry; the people don't come all at once, but throughout the week. The tournament, now in its 19th year on the island, is an orderly operation. Traffic backups and lines are to be expected but probably won't make you rant. Refreshments and food are sold onsite (no outside food or beverages allowed). See some of the best in the world compete on the green clay, where more than 100 women athletes will play in the largest women's-only tennis tournament in North America. 

WHEN: March 30-April 7

WHERE: Volvo Car Stadium, 161 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island

PRICE: single sessions range from $10-$82

MORE INFO: 800-677-2293,

Honey & Bee Expo

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The view from a pair of glasses that emulate the vision of a bee. David Quick/Staff 

Get buzzed. Sunday will be the perfect day to literally "mind your own beeswax" as the 8th annual Charleston Honey & Bee Expo returns to Cinebarre in Mount Pleasant, with an afternoon full of education, fun and food. Local beekeepers and exhibitors will be on hand to teach about the importance of bees and beekeeping and how you can take part in helping save one of the Earth's biggest pollinators. There will be live honey bees enclosed in glass, local honey tastings, honey cotton candy (!!!) and food trucks with menu items using local honey. Kid-friendly games and live music by the V-Tones of Charleston also are on tap.

WHEN: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 7

WHERE: Cinebarre, 963 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mount Pleasant

PRICE: Free admission


If all of that is not enough, check out our calendars in this section for more events. 

Get a weekly list of tips on pop-ups, last minute tickets and little-known experiences hand-selected by our newsroom in your inbox each Thursday.

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

Kalyn Oyer is a Charleston native who covers arts & entertainment and food & bev for The Post and Courier. She's a music festival & concert photographer and used to write about music for the Charleston City Paper, among other publications.

Senior news clerk and staff writer

Senior news clerk and staff writer Liz Foster joined The Post and Courier team in 2012 and, among other things, compiles events and writes the My Charleston Weekend column for Charleston Scene.