It’s the final weekend of Spoleto, and most of us are breathing a bittersweet sigh of relief. There are still plenty of shows to see if you’ve been procrastinating, but the biggest events are the two finales — the Piccolo Finale downtown all day Saturday, and the Spoleto USA Finale at Middleton Place on Sunday afternoon/evening. Figure out which one is right for you. Or just go to both.
Price. The Piccolo finale wins this category, because it’s free. The action kick off at 9 a.m. at Harmon Park with free recreational activities, then at noon, things move over to Brittlebank Park for Irish fiddling, a Hellenic dance troupe, music, and more. At 8 p.m., mosey on over to the Joe for more music and fireworks. The Spoleto finale will set you back $30 per person, $15 for kids.
Family. If you’ve got kids, the Piccolo finale is an obvious choice because of the sheer variety of activities, not to mention the price. The Spoleto finale is a good time as well, just be sure to bring some toys and games to occupy the little ones.
Picturesqueness. Nothing beats eating on the lawn of Middleton Place, then taking a stroll around the landscaped grounds and butterfly lakes before taking in a concert under the stars. That’s about as pretty and Southern as it gets. But Brittlebank Park, which is right on the Ashley River on Lockwood Drive, comes in at a close second.
Music. Piccolo’s got the variety, with everything ranging from reggae to bluegrass to African drumming. And Spoleto’s switching things up this year — rather than their traditional orchestra concert, they’re hosting the Carolina Chocolate Drops.more music and fireworks.
Food. At Middleton, you’ll have to bring your own food — but that’s part of the fun of it. Every year, attendees bring elaborate picnic spreads in the hopes of winning the prestigious Golden Fork Award. At the Piccolo finale, you can buy yummy fried food from all over the world.
Drink. Alcohol isn’t much of a focus at the Piccolo finale. At the Spoleto finale, however, people have been known to pop a few champagne corks.
When it comes down to it, there’s a reason these finales are on different days: So you can go to both of them. Put on your lightest clothes, pack some bug spray, and get ready to sweat, Spoleto style.