"Batter" up, y’all! With adjustments required due to COVID, Charleston Wine + Food will kick off its 16th annual festival with the beloved, but this time virtual, Waffle House Smackdown, March 4. Competing this year for the title of Master Blaster are past winner Chris Shepherd, chef with Georgia James and UB Preserv of Houston, and Claudette Zepeda of “Top Chef,” both making signature Waffle House dishes under the guidance of emcee Ashley Christensen, famed North Carolina chef and restaurateur. Virtual attendees will help pick the winner along with local chef Mike Lata (FIG, The Ordinary).
Additional free virtual festival events will be offered throughout March, including a cocktail class with Frank Arevalo of The Obstinate Daughter, a cooking class with Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and a baking class with Rashaunda Grant of The Carolina Cookery. There also will be a panel discussion with World Central Kitchen and Heritage Network Radio at the end of the month.
WHEN: 8 p.m. March 4; Register in advance for Zoom link
PRICE: $20 general; $15 Visa cardholders
Additional free (admission) food and family nugget: Goose Creek is getting a head start on its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with its annual BBQ & Brews Festival, 3-7 p.m. March 6 at the Green Barn at Carnes Crossroads. In addition to an evening of live Irish music, expect barbecue food vendors, beer trailers, kids’ activities and holiday-themed crafts. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and your mask. 843-569-4242, cityofgoosecreek.com/event/bbq-brews-0
Ahoy, maties! Scavengers wanted for Folly fun
Channel your inner Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Barbarossa ("red-beard") brother or Graybeard and head to Folly Beach for the Coffin Island Loot Route scavenger hunt, continuing through March 10. You can register a team of up to four folks and kids under 12 can get their “Goonies” on too, as they can be added to a team free of charge. Your captain will receive a treasure map with all the clues, which can be solved at local businesses and landmarks across the Edge of America. Correct answers get you “pirate booty” points — more points mean you’re eligible for more prizes, which range from dining gift cards and kayak rentals to handmade jewelry and a spa visit.
Here’s an example of a clue: "I am the famous house where Gershwin spent some time. Take a pic of me and think of 'Summertime.'"
Teams will upload a photo of their answers to an assigned Google photo album or via Facebook Messenger, so someone in your crew will need to be relatively tech-savvy. Also, dressing up as a pirate during your treasure hunt is encouraged.
PRICE: $5 per team member (age 12 and older; no fee for additional team members 11 and younger)
MORE INFO: visitfolly.com/Loot-Route
Lifting up the ladies for International Women's Day
International Women’s Day, March 8, celebrated since 1911, is for recognizing women’s achievements, raising awareness about women’s equality, lobbying for accelerated gender equality and fundraising for female-focused charities.
Here’s what you can do locally to uplift the cause:
Exquisite Enterprises will host its Exquisite Women Empowerment Day weekend, March 5-7, a free virtual celebration for women of all backgrounds to engage in empowering dialogue and activities, featuring female-owned small-business vendors, a female leaders speakers roundtable and a virtual happy hour. This year’s themes are female entrepreneurship, setting and achieving goals, and women’s health. For more information, call 843-945-3562 or visit bit.ly/3bcuDhG, exquisiteenterprisesinc.com
The Polish American Society will celebrate Dzien Kobiet with A Day in the Park, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 7 at the Picnic Center Porch at James Island County Park (871 Riverland Drive), featuring a noontime lunch, flower-making workshop and book swap. $30 ticket (and $2 park entry fee); polishcharleston.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
You also can drop some dough at some women-owned businesses around town:
Get some grub at Hannibal’s Kitchen, Taco Boy, EVO Pizzeria, Bertha’s Kitchen or Baguette Magic; grab a cup o’ joe at Coastal Coffee Roasters or some sassy spirits from High Wire Distilling Co.; reward the kiddos with a little something from Wonder Works; reward yourself with some “smellies” as I call them from Charleston Candle Co. or some threads from Red Rose Vintage, Runaround Sue Vintage or Threads Todisco. For more info on female-owned establishments, visit lowcountrylocalfirst.org
Additional nugget: Niecy Blues is selling/reissuing cassette tapes from her 2020 EP, “Cry” at citruscityrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cry