EVENT — A foodie fantasia
Distinctively Charleston Food & Wine Festival
Riding in on the tails of SEWE comes a festival that recognizes a different aspect of Charleston: the cuisine. The Distinctively Charleston Food & Wine Festival takes place over a long weekend, and will please foodies with events in various locations around the city. The festival kicks off on Thursday evening with a Lowcountry feast in Marion Square. Guests can munch on quail, oysters, and other Southern fare while jamming to music from the Blue Dogs. Marion Square will remain the heart of the festival, and will be home to the Charleston Cooks! Culinary Village, which will host seminars, demonstrations, authors' book signings and more. More than 75 vendors will be on site to answer questions, and, of course, provide food and wine. Celebrity chefs will be taking over the kitchens of local restaurants for the Southern Wine and Spirits Restaurant Dine Around, where ticket holders can enjoy a four-course prix fixe meal with wine pairings. Participating restaurants include Slightly North of Broad, Fig, Tristan, and Peninsula Grill. The biggest ticket is the festival's finale ($250), a black-tie gala under the stars at Patriots Point. Guests can enjoy fine food from celebrity chefs while sipping on wine and top-shelf liquors in the night air. The evening will also include a live auction to benefit the Charleston Culinary Institute. Tickets are available for individual days, as well as four-day packages. Even if you're a Charleston native, the Food & Wine Fest is a great opportunity to discover (or rediscover) the local cuisine we're so well known for.
Fri. March 3 and Sat. March 4
Centre Stage at The Plex
2390 W. Aviation Ave.
If you're into singing cowboys rather than gay ones, musician/comedian Tim Wilson should be right up your alley (so to speak, of course). This Georgia native's songs take a humorous look at everything from relationships to NASCAR. He's appeared on Grace Under Fire, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and is a regular favorite on syndicated national radio programs like John Boy and Billy and The Bob and Tom Show. Wilson takes his music seriously, but invites listeners to laugh at the lyrics. Some of his more famous songs include "That Wadn't a Marlboro," "Garth Brooks Ruined My Life," and "Jeff Gordon is Gay." Wilson pays homage to his musical heroes on his latest album, Super Bad Sounds of the '70s, his sixth release on Capitol Records. Yee-haw!
EVENT — Set your inner Sasha Cohen free
CHAMP Heaven and Hell Roller Disco
Thurs. March 2
Stardust Skate Center
2035 Spaulding Drive
747-2273 ext. 218
For the second year in a row, the Charleston Area Mpowerment Project (CHAMP), an HIV prevention program that works with Lowcountry AIDS Services, is hosting a roller disco party at the Stardust Skate Center in North Chuck. Last year's event was hugely successful, with over 140 revelers taking a few spins around the rink or just hanging out on the sidelines. Skaters are invited to dress up for the Heaven and Hell theme, but costumes aren't required. Expect classic skating games, door prizes, and tons of music. All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to CHAMP, and your $10 includes skate rental. The group focuses on community building and outreach for men 18-30 and is peer-led and peer-organized. Tickets can be purchased at Deja Vu, Dudley's, Pantheon, and Patrick's, and will also be available at the door. You must be 17 or older to attend; if you're of age, strap on your halos and horns and get your skate on!
DANCE EVENT — Stay classy, Charleston
Charleston Ballet Theatre presents Gala Night atThe Oscars
Fri. March 3
Charleston Ballet Theatre
477 King St.
Just in time for the Academy Awards, the Charleston Ballet Theatre has put together a black-tie gala night to rival some Hollywood soirées. This opulent evening begins at the Charleston Ballet Theatre Black Box theatre for cocktails and a ballet performance. Then, an elegant dinner will be served at the William-Aiken House. Afterward, enjoy a delicious dessert at the American Theatre while The Have Nots perform their special brand of improv comedy. The CBT has many more surprises planned, so polish your diamonds and prepare for a swanky evening of dining and dance.
LITERARY EVENT — Oh, my iambic feet!
Sat. March 4
Charleston County Public Library
68 Calhoun St.
Bring yourself and your inside voice to this poetry reading that celebrates the publication of A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry, a book that includes 145 poems by 46 S.C. poets. To be considered South Carolinians, the poets must have lived or worked in the state since 2001. The poems represent the poets' best work and several included have appeared in books or anthologies. Other poems have been published in national journals and magazines. Nineteen poets will read their work, including S.C. Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth (pictured above), Fred Bassett, Susan Meyers, and Charleston favorite and CofC professor Paul Allen. But you don't have to be a literary genius to enjoy this event — expect writing that appeals to general readers and focuses on the history, people, and places of South Carolina. Not only do these poems represent the art of poetry, but the entire state as well.
CONCERT MUSIC — The further advancement of cool
The 1st Annual Jazz Gala Fundraiser for theAvery Institute
Sun. March 5
$40/advance,$45 at the door
131 Middle St.
The Avery Institute, part of the College of Charleston, founded its Research Center as an archive and museum to collect pieces of African-American history. The building at 125 Bull St. exhibits a wide range of African-American artifacts dating from slavery to present times. On Sunday, a jazz gala will be held as a fundraiser for the Institute. Quentin Baxter, a College of Charleston professor who moonlights as a totally badass jazz drummer, will perform with a quartet; singer Rene Marie will also take the stage. Evening attire is required, and there will be a cash bar along with free hors d'oeuvres. Advance tickets are available at the Avery Research Center; come out to hear some jazz and help preserve history.