Palmetto Pirates Festival

Lindsay Beard as Anne Bonny

Lindsay Beard as Anne Bonny

Ahoy, me hearties! Calling all seadogs and scallywags, lads and lassies for the annual Palmetto Pirates Festival at Old Santee Canal Park on Friday and Saturday, in partnership with the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center.

Organizers have changed things up a bit this year, featuring a special Friday night event. Fire Circus: Pyro Pirates (exactly what it sounds like it should be) will perform, The Hot Shots will provide the music and the Charles Towne Few (pirate crew) will have all the pirate stories.

Eric Lavender owner of Charleston Pirate Tours

Eric Lavender, owner of Charleston Pirate Tours

Saturday will be an adventurous day, with stories from a pirate historian, sea shanty sing-a-longs, visits with Blackbeard and his mermaids, a pirate encampment with the Charles Towne Few, and additional activities for young and old(er). The Fire Circus: Pyro Pirates also will perform on Saturday, and arts and crafts vendors will be on site. AND ... there will be cannon firing from the Charlestown Battalion of Artillery cannon crew — you can’t have a pirate festival without cannonballs!

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 11; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 12

WHERE: Old Santee Canal Park, 900 Stony Landing Road, Moncks Corner

PRICE: $10 two-day admission; $7 one-day admission; free for ages 6 and younger

MORE INFO: 843-899-5200,

Free Verse Poetry Festival

Poetry and Pancakes

Poetry and Pancakes is one of many events at the Free Verse Poetry Festival.

Roses are red, violets are blue, I have something really cool for you to do. But seriously, there will be much more intelligent and moving words than those at the Free Verse Poetry Festival, which begins on Sunday. The festival is the brainchild of Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first poet laureate, whose mission is for the community’s youth to use their imaginations to create inspiring words and “see that the written word has value.”

Marcus Amaker reading poetry

Marcus Amaker, Charleston’s first poet laureate and creator of the Free Verse Poetry Festival

Jericho Brown poet

Poet Jericho Brown

Andrea Gibson poet

Poet Andrea Gibson

This will not be a week full of Shakespeare and Shelley, or Wordsworth and Keats. There will be a lot of genre-bending and special elements, such as Poetry + Jazz (Amaker, Quentin Baxter, Derek Barry and The Cocktail Bandits), Poetic Hip-Hop and Poetry & Pancakes (yes, that will be a thing). The festival will welcome acclaimed heavy-hitters Jericho Brown and Andrea Gibson, and local company Dance Matters will present “Coming to Monuments,” a performance of contemporary pieces inspired by recent controversies over Confederate monuments, blending history and education with original music from Amaker. There will be poetry slams and open mic nights, including an evening with the special-needs adults from HEART, who will share entries from their debut “pocket poetry” magazine.

This festival is funded in part by SC Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment of the Arts.

WHEN: Oct. 13-20

WHERE: Various locations, all but one in downtown Charleston

PRICE: All events are free admission, except for Andrea Brown ($10)


Latin American Festival

Latin American Festival - singing man Puerto Rico

Sunday's Latin American Festival is a celebration of the culture, arts, music and food of Latin America and the Caribbean.

When I was young, I came across a record on how to speak Spanish and decided I would use it to teach myself. The only thing that I retained? “El gato es gordo,” which means “The cat is fat.” Luckily, I had much better teachers during my years of formal education and came away with a bigger vocabulary. I will admit, though, that I still try to say that Spanish phrase as often as possible, even at the annual Latin American Festival, which returns to Wannamaker County Park on Sunday.

Latin American Festival - skeletor (copy)

Sunday's Latin American Festival is a celebration of the culture, arts, music and food of Latin America and the Caribbean.

This 28th celebration of Latin and Caribbean cultures has got it all covered with authentic food, arts and crafts vendors and children’s activities. You can go from empanadas to arroz con pollo, and then from tacos to chicharrones. ¡Que delicioso!

The entertainment that’s in store is sure to have everyone singing “Bailamos” like Enrique Iglesias all over the park, featuring merengue, reggaeton, bachata and salsa from Furia Tropikal, Orquesta Mayor and El Rey Tulile. In the afternoon, DJ Luigi of Latin Groove Charleston will bring the beats for a salsa dance contest. Speaking of dancing, the Buen Ache Dance Company will open up the festival with Afro-Latino folkloric stories and dances of Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries. In addition, members of Capoeira Charleston will show off their Brazilian martial arts and acrobatics skills. ¡Ay caramba!

WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Oct. 13

WHERE: Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston

PRICE: $10 general; $5 student; free for ages 5 and younger

MORE INFO: 843-795-4386,

‘Music of the Movies’

Rocky - Music of the Movies

Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky"

Sometimes I wish there was a soundtrack to my life — literally, background music as I go throughout the day. Not that I would necessarily break into a song-and-dance routine; it would be more for inspiration and consolation. The theme from “Rocky” when I climb the (four) steps into The Post and Courier building. The theme from “2001: A Space Odyssey” when I throw open the doors into the  fluorescent-lit newsroom. The theme from “Gone With the Wind” when I leave the newsroom at the end of the day, having read 174 press releases and answered 236 phone calls. “Ride of the Valkyries” from “Apocalypse Now” as I crawl along Highway 17 in traffic to get home.

Apocalypse Now poster - Music of the Movies

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s Pops series will kick off on Saturday with “Music of the Movies” at the Gaillard Center, featuring selections from the aforementioned film scores, as well as “Saving Private Ryan,” “Titanic” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and many others. While I don’t know that there will be popcorn, I am confident that it will be a magnificent and nostalgic evening of entertainment, conducted by the masterful Yuriy Bekker.

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12

WHERE: Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St., downtown Charleston

PRICE: $27-$123

MORE INFO: 843-242-3099,

Whiskey & Wine

Whiskey After Dark 

Whiskey and glass

Whiskey After Dark will be at The Cedar Room on Wednesday.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “Whiskey is liquid sunshine,” and for those that don’t disagree, Whiskey After Dark at The Cedar Room on Wednesday is where you will want to be. The Local Palate magazine will present its sixth annual event, featuring MORE THAN 100 samples of whiskey (including bourbon and scotch) and craft beer from top brand ambassadors. Some of the South’s best pitmasters will offer barbecue, an “all-inclusive oak and smoke celebration.” Live music will be provided by The Green Levels, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Charleston Animal Society. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 16; The Cedar Room at the Cigar Factory, 701 East Bay St., Suite 701, downtown Charleston; $65-$85; 843-727-4646,

Charleston Fall Wine Festival 

Wine glasses

The Charleston Wine Festival will be at the Charleston Harbor Cruise Terminal on Saturday.

I can relate to comedian W.C. Fields who said, “I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” If you too can relate, you will want to get to the inaugural Charleston Fall Wine Festival at the Charleston Harbor Cruise Terminal on Saturday, presented by Charleston Wine Festivals. There will be more than 50 wines (and mimosas!), a small selection of local craft beer and entertainment from musician Mike Hahn and DJ Moo Moo. Adult beverages are included in the admission price, and food will be available for purchase. 1-5 p.m. Oct. 12; Charleston Harbor Cruise Terminal, 196 Concord St., downtown Charleston; $50-$60;

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Reach Liz Foster at 843-937-5581. Follow her on Twitter @TheDizzyLizzieB

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.