Charleston area residents will have plenty to do this weekend with a GLBT Pride Parade, Sculpture in the South and the Blessing of the Fleet.

The GLBT (gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Pride Parade begins at 11 a.m. today, but participants are encouraged to start lining up at 10 a.m.

Organizers are calling it the area's first gay march for equal rights.

The march, called "It's Time to Bridge the Gap," will be followed by a rally at Riverfront Park noon-5 p.m.

Participants include representatives from three local churches, four schools, businesses, organizations and individuals.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey is the parade grand marshal.

Paul and Joan Wilczynski, members of the Unitarian Church in Charleston, are joining the Pride March because GLBT issues are "ultimately a question of social justice" and "one of the major civil rights issues of the time."

For art lovers, the weekend offers the 12th Annual Sculpture in the South Art Show & Sale in Summerville.

More than 35 world-class sculptors, including 12 new sculptors, will gather to exhibit their work and hold live sculpting demonstrations 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Activities include live entertainment, walking tours of Summerville's sculpture collection, various exhibits and boutiques, a kids area and barbecue.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Summerville Permanent Sculpture Collection.

People also can head over to Mount Pleasant on Sunday for the Blessing of the Fleet Festival.

The event was postponed a few weeks ago due to inclement weather.

It will not include the annual parade of shrimp boats because officials had a private blessing April 25 at the Geechee Dock. Instead, there will be a memorial and wreath blessing ceremony at 2 p.m. on the main stage to honor the memory of seafaring lives lost during the year.

Other activities include shag and shrimp-eating contests, a juried craft show, sweetgrass basket displays, children's activities and live music by the East Coast Party Band and DJ Jim Bowers.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or