My Charleston Weekend: Sept. 12-18

A sneak peak at the 2014 Charleston Firefighter Calendar benefitting the Charleston Animal Society. A debut party will be held Thursday night at Woolfe Street Playhouse.

In May, Charleston area firefighters duked it out on stage for a spot in the 2014 Charleston Firefighter Calendar to benefit the Charleston Animal Society. Now, it’s time to see the guys who were chosen by a group of judges and the crowd to model for the resulting calendar. The Firefighter Calendar Debut Party will kick off with a VIP reception, and then things will really start to heat up. Comedian Travis Howze will serve as emcee during the unveiling of the calendar, which will include a runway show, a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot, a chance to get photos with the models and get calendars signed and more. Some of the models will be auctioned off, so get your bidding arm ready. This is a 21-and-over event. All proceeds from the party and calendar sales will go to Toby’s Fund, the Charleston Animal Society’s medical fund, which treats injured, abused and abandoned animals.

When: Thursday, doors open at 6 p.m. for VIPs with general admission starting at 7 p.m., the runway show will start at 8 p.m.

Where: Woolfe Street Playhouse, 34 Woolfe St.

Price: $30-$85

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Steely Dan founding members Walter Becker and Donald Fagen announced earlier this year that they would be taking the jazz-rock band back on the road this summer and fall. Making more than four dozen stops along the way, the Mood Swings: 8 Miles To Pancake Day Tour is now making its way to the Lowcountry. Fans can expect to hear Fagen and Becker, backed by the eight-piece Bipolar Allstars band and three singers dubbed The Borderline Brats, perform selections from their extensive four-decade catalog, including “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” “Hey Nineteen” and “Deacon Blues.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees have said that a few surprises may be in store, so be prepared.

When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $74-$124

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With dozens of booths set up by pet-related businesses, families and their furry friends will be able to find just about everything they need, from biscuits to day care, training to veterinarians. A number of demonstrations and events will take place throughout the day, including Horsin’ Around with H.O.P.E. Acres Horse Rescue, a vaccination clinic, training and obedience tips, an Ask the Pet Docs segment and more. As for fun, the event will include pet and owner musical chairs, a shedding contest, a Pets Have Talent contest, a costume contest and more. A number of food trucks will be set up on-site, including Hello My Name Is BBQ, Low Country Creole, Little Star of the Caribbean, The Barbeque Joint and Kona Ice. Several local rescue groups will be in attendance with adoptable animals. A portion of the proceeds will benefit all participating rescue and shelter groups.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Exchange Park Fairgrounds, 9850 U.S. Highway 78, Ladson

Price: $2 (cash only), children ages 12 and under get in for free

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Conflict MMA Promotions’ Charleston Fight Night at the Point series has outgrown its venue, so the event has partnered with the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to bring fans Carolina Cage Fights 13. Fighters that will take to the cage include Stryker Huffman, Chad Booth, Joe Council, Mike Hazzard, Buddy Barre and Kenny “The Karate Kid” Pham, among others. The title fight of the night will feature Joe “The Hitman” Elmore facing off against Charleston MMA’s own Jeremy “the Lil Beast” Severn.

When: Saturday, doors open at 6 p.m. with the fights starting at 7 p.m.

Where: Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $25-$65

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The event website puts it best: “11 bands. 1 stage. One shared mission.” Raising funds for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) research, this all-day concert is about celebrating music and spirit. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. The life expectancy after diagnosis averages between two and five years; there is no cure. This third annual event will feature performances by Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish, The Legendary Drink Small, Ben Fagan & the Holy City Hooligans, Way Down in Dixie, Keith Kenny, the Adande African Drum and Dance Company, The Hibachi Heroes, Rev. Dr. Johnny Mac & The Booty Ranch, Buddhist Prodigies, Plow Ground and event organizer Graham Whorley. In addition, there will be regional and local vendors, corn hole tournaments, local food and spirits, and more.

When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday

Where: Brick House Kitchen, 1575 Folly Road, James Island

Price: $25

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While women tend to focus more on others, the Sister Summit offers them the chance to turn the spotlight on themselves. Offering tips on everything from finances to beauty, entrepreneurship to personal development, career to parenting, and health and wellness, the event focuses primarily on black women but is open to all. In addition to seminars and vendors, attendees will have the chance to take belly dancing and line dancing classes, try Zumba and an African dance called Bokwa, check out a hair and fashion show, then spend some time at the Pamper Parlor getting complimentary massages and dry manicures and pedicures.

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Montague Terrace, Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $12, $25 for VIP

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A group of volunteers is offering you the chance to celebrate the ukulele in a beautiful garden setting during its fourth annual Blackwater Ukulele Festival. The free event will feature a ukulele workshop taught by local legend Donald “Noodle McDoodle” Whitley, a hula exhibition and workshop, concerts by the Charleston Hot Shots and the V-Tones, boat ride jams and a ukulele open mic. Those who have a ukulele are invited to bring their instrument and join in while others are invited to purchase a ukulele and join in, too. Local vendors offering crafts, food and instruments will be set up on-site. Those who attend will have full access to the garden grounds.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner

Price: Free with general admission ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 and over, $5 for kids ages 6-12, kids 5 and under get in free)

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Combining the laid back feel of Awendaw Green’s Barn Jams with the legendary feel of Nashville, Tenn.’s Grand Ole Opry shows, the fourth Grass in the Hall show will feature performances by the South Carolina Broadcasters, Angel Snow and Mandolin Orange. The South Carolina Broadcasters is a trio that performs “heart stompin’ love songs to rowdy gospel numbers,” while Angel Snow performs self-penned songs that are a reflection of her life. Mandolin Orange utilizes acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and a hand-me-down fiddle to combine bluegrass, rock and country.

When: Friday, doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

Price: $15 in advance, $18 at the door

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