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Freeloaders: Whoo-whoo and block parties too

The week's best freebies, Oct. 1-7

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If you need to be reawakened to the Charleston's thriving art scene, this week's roundup is for you. You'll find crafts fairs, live music aplenty, and, not one, but two block parties. And owls. Lots of owls.

Monday. Take your mind off the just beginning workweek at two art exhibit openings. At The Meeting Place, local photographer Jennifer J. Daly is featuring her recent color photographs covering a variety of subjects under the title Orange. Make another stop in North Charleston at the City Gallery, where a collection of studio artists from Redux Contemporary Art Center will display their works. Artists include Xin Lu, Sarah Kalani, Camela Guevara, Savannah Rusher and Jennifer Ervin.

Tuesday. Catch a presentation on the making of the Charleston Jazz Initiative's album Legends and a listening party with highlights from the album. Young emerging poet and literary artist Shannon Laribo and vocalist Celeste Babb Laribo will be at this MOJA Literary Corner Special Event.

Wednesday. MOJA madness continues when the Charleston Housing Authority will throw a mid-week block party. Balance the fun and free food with complimentary health screenings and listen to local violinist Daniel D. Political junkies will find fun at Cinebarre's Presidential Debate Viewing, where you can yell at the screen with plenty of company.

Thursday. Catch a double feature performance when renowned storyteller and Native American-style flute maker Hawk Hurst will perform and sign copies of his new book.

Friday. First Friday on Broad means you can once again meander around the historic district and see what’s new in the world of art, sculpture and other fine crafts. Browse even more handmade crafts at the Island Crafters Guild Fall Arts and Crafts Show.
Also Friday, cash in on the free parking at Chucktown After 5. Fowler’s Mustache will be performing to raise funds for their bandmate Nick Collins, who was severely injured in a car accident. Keep the goodwill going at Strides for Autism, the premiere awareness and fundraising even for the South Carolina Autism Society. Donations welcome at this fun-walk, resource fair, and other family activities.

Saturday. Block party take two is going down today. This time D’Allesandro’s and Cutty’s Bar will be shutting down St. Philip St. between Bogard St. and Line St. for live music by The V-Tones, The Royal Tinfoil and Richus. Mingle in the streets and nibble on refreshments up for sale from D’alls and The Hominy Grill.

It’s oyster season again. Saturday, enjoy a free oyster roast hosted by Smoky Oak Taproom out on the patio during the USC-UGA game. Drink specials and a cornhole tournament mean this bivalve bash is sure to get wild.

We know it’s true: everyone secretly wants to write a novel. Author of Izzy and the Crystal Power, Kim McLendon will explain how to make strides in your literary endeavors at the How To Publish Your Own Book lecture and book signing. After the talk, you can pick the author’s brain during the Q&A session.

When was the last time you thanked an owl for, um, anything? If the answer is not lately, you can redeem your bad manners at Owl Appreciation Day. There will be owl pellet dissections and owl call lessons galore.. Not only is this event free, you can walk away with information sheets on Charleston’s most popular owls and Barn Owl house plans.

Sunday. Now that the owls have been appreciated, take care of all your other favorites at the St. Francis Blessing of the Animals. Rev. Dr. David A. Williams of St. Stephens Episcopal Church will conduct non-denominational blessings for your pet and shelter animals alike. If your pet has recently departed, special blessings are available for those that can only attend in spirit. Once graced, your furry friend will receive a St. Francis collar medal and a celebration certificate.

Later check out the MOJA Arts Festival Finale, when the Tropical Steel Vibes will play Caribbean and jazz music with DJ Luigi and Latin Groove. African-American and Caribbean craft and food vendors will be there too.

And finally, find even more crafts at the next installment of the Mixson Maker’s Market, where you can find food trucks, local brews and local artisans selling their goods while listening to live music.

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