My Charleston Weekend: May 3-9

New Edition Are you ready for a blast from the past? This 30th reunion show brings together the original members of the Jackson 5-inspired band and promises to deliver some old hits, such as “Candy Girl” and “Can You Stand the Rain.” Performing at the North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, at 7 tonight, tickets run $46-$66. Check out www.northcharleston

Straight No Chaser These a cappella superstars, who you’ve no doubt seen on YouTube, will be performing their “fun-loving and self-deprecating” show at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive. This is a show that can be enjoyed by everyone. Tickets range from $29.50-$42.50. Go to for more.

Shrimp Festival and Blessing of the Fleet

If you didn’t devour enough shrimp last weekend, head to the Robert E. Ashley boat landing at the end of Pinckney Street in McClellanville from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday to take part in the 36th annual event. Claiming to be one of the longest-running events in the Charleston area, this fest will feature live music, more than 40 vendors, a kid’s play area, food for the nonshrimp eaters, and beer and other beverages will be available for purchase. This event is free, but a $1 donation is suggested; all proceeds benefit Archibald Rutledge Academy and Cape Romain Environmental Education Charter School. Go to lowcountryshrimp festival.comfor more info.

Dragon Boat Festival Whether you’re paddling or cheering from the sidelines of the Ashley River at Brittlebank Park off Lockwood Drive, this is an event that’s not to be missed. If you don’t know what dragon boats are, they’re the “world’s largest flat water racing canoes.” Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. A break will be held at 1 p.m. that includes a performance by the Chinese Association of Great Charleston and awards for top fundraising, best team spirit, best team T-shirt and best team tent decor. An awards ceremony will be at 4:15 p.m. Check out www.charlestondragonboatfestival.orgfor registration and pricing details.

Brunch on the Bank From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, head out to Brittlebank Park, off Lockwood Drive, for a brunch that is uniquely “Charleston.” Enjoy the bloody mary and mimosa bars, food truck offerings, live music from six bands, beer pong, cornhole, mechanical bulls, inflatable slides and more. Tickets are $5, food and drinks must be purchased separately. This event benefits a Community Outreach Initiative through the documentary film “Awaken the Dragon,” which shows how cancer survivors use dragon boating as a path to wellness. Get brunch updates at Learn more about “Awaken the Dragon” at

Waterfront Olympics Being revived from the ’70s and ’80s, this family-friendly event will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Palmetto Islands County Park, 444 Needlerush Parkway, Mount Pleasant. This fun, friendly competition will include events for the kids from noon-1 p.m. This free event benefits the Charleston Port & Seafarers’ Society. Learn more at

Kentucky Derby Benefit Break out your best oversized and over-the-top Derby hat and head out to J Bar Farm, 5810 Church Flats Road, Meggett, from 3-7 p.m. Saturday. Enjoy live music, food, cocktails and bidding on silent auction items while watching The Derby on the big screen. At the event, find out about Livestock and Equine Awareness and Rescue Network (LEARN) horse rescue and rehabilitation work and meet some of rescue horses. Tickets are $65 per person, $95 per couple. Email or call 991-4879 for more information.

Night at the Races This Kentucky Derby party put on by the Junior League of Charleston will be 4-8 p.m. Saturday at the Citadel’s Johnson Hagood Stadium. There will be live Derby coverage, music by the Gin House Boys, Firefly Sweet Tea bourbon mint juleps, American Spirit Whiskey brown mules, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 for an individual, $125 for a couple. Proceeds benefit the Junior League of Charleston’s efforts against hunger and homelessness in the Charleston community. Find out more at

Party Break out your finest Derby Day attire for Charleston Stage’s second annual event Saturday at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, 20 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant. Watch the “most exciting two minutes in sports” while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Featuring a silent auction and games, “Best Hat” contest for the ladies and a “Best Dressed” contest for the men, festivities begin at 4 p.m. Go to or call 577-7183 for details.

Taste of Home Cooking School

HGTV’s Terry Haas will be serving up some fun at this live cooking show-style event. Held Tuesday at Charleston Southern University’s Lightsey Chapel, 9100 University Blvd., North Charleston, the event will feature a Lowcountry merchant exhibit before the show. Win prizes, watch live demos, eat great food and more. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the live cooking show begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $11-$50. For more info, go to or call 873-9424. For more on Haas, go to

Upper Peninsula House Tours On Saturday and Sunday, the Preservation Society of Charleston will host neighborhood architecture tours in Wilson’s Farm (Saturday) and Hampton Park Terrace (Sunday). The walking tours will be self-paced from 2-5 p.m. and include the interiors of at least eight architecturally significant early 20th-century houses. Tickets are $30 for members, $35 for general admission; weekend passes are $50 for members, $60 for general admission. Proceeds support the Society’s Seven to Save. Go to or call 722-4630.

Gourmet & Grapes This fourth annual culinary extravaganza will be Friday- Sunday at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Vitners from the U.S., France and Argentina are teaming up for this event benefitting the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. There are numerous events, and prices vary, so go to www.gourmetandgrapes.comfor details.

Eco Bridal Gala From 6 to 9 tonight, head out to Magnolia Plantation, 3550 Ashley River Road, for this event that highlights local businesses that are mindful of using organic and sustainable materials for weddings and other occasions. Featuring a bridal guide book and film, this event will include live music, a collaborative fashion instillation, a live candle wax pouring, a hand dyeing paper demonstration, chair massages, hair stylings, food, drinks and more. Tickets are $40. Find out more at

Spring Polo Invitational Polo professionals from the U.S. and abroad will face off with area amateurs in two matches for charity. Held at Hyde Park Farm and Polo Club, 6763 Davis Road, Ravenel, ponies and partygoers will gather for live music, food and beverages Sunday. Gates open at 11 a.m. and matches will take place at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $15, kids 10 and under get in free. A portion of the proceeds benefit Rein and Shine, an equine therapy facility. Check out or call 571-3431 for more info.