This weekend marks the beginning of Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto. So while you’re spending all your cash on tickets, here are some events that you can check out or free.
MONDAY. Pulitzer Prize winner Ian Johnson stops by at the Charleston County Public Library at 6 p.m. to sign his book A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West.
TUESDAY. The Earth Fare on Folly Road may have found the cure for allergies. Okay, maybe not, but they’re holding a workshop talking about some breakthroughs that will probably put an end to allergies via neurological stress reduction therapy. The workshop starts at 6:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY. From 5:30-8 p.m., Caviar & Bananas gets a little girly as they showcase two new businesses: 3.14 Pies and Private Eyes Undies. Visitors can sample from four scrumptious-looking pies from 3.14, look at a new line of expressive undies from Private Eyes, and sip some complimentary bubbly from C&B. If pies aren’t your dig, Redux hosts an opening reception for artist-in-residence Cory Oberndorfer from 6-10 p.m. Opening the event are the Lowcountry Highrollers with a skating parade.
THURSDAY. The Preservation Society of Charleston Book & Gift Shop brings out a new collection of gardening books, equipment, and accessories selected by the Charleston Horticultural Society. From 5-7 p.m., there will be book signings and floral demos by Tara Guerard (Tara Guerard Soiree), Heather Barrie (Gathering Floral + Event Design), and Melissa Bigner (Charleston Weddings Magazine). If you’re looking for a new pot for flowers, Cone 10 is putting on a little sale during their “See Ya Later” Soiree from 5-9 p.m. to celebrate and say goodbye to their home of 10 years before they move to their new location on Morrison Drive.
FRIDAY. Take your lunch break over to Charleston City Hall and see Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. with the Piccolo Spoleto Brass Ensemble officially open the Spoleto season at noon. It’s also Memorial Day Weekend this week and Freshfields Village is hosting a concert series on Friday-Sunday from 6-9 p.m. Men of Distinction kicks off the weekend followed by The Great Society Band on Saturday, and the Congdon & Company on Sunday. We come back to Piccolo Spoleto with a Sunset Serenade at the U.S. Custom House featuring the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra at 8 p.m.
SATURDAY. Piccolo kicks off the weekend in full swing, starting with the annual Children’s Festival on Marion Square. The theme this year is “Carnival of Animals.” There will be live entertainment for kids of all ages, face painting (who doesn’t love that?), arts and crafts, and much more. Festivities go on from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Just around the corner at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Curator Mark Sloan leads artists talks with Phyllis Galembo (2 p.m.) and Nick Cave (3 p.m.). At 4 p.m., Bethel United Methodist Church hosts one of Piccolo’s many Festival of Churches and Synagogues series. This event features the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte Chamber Singers.
SUNDAY. Piccolo and Spoleto USA finish up their first weekend with music and some cross-dressing dancers. Marion Square and Piccolo host the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable Patriotic Concert at noon, featuring the ATL’s community band. St. Philip’s Episcopal Church continues Festival of Churches and Synagogues with the national award-winning College of Charleston Concert Choir at 2 p.m. Then festival series moves on to Bethel United Methodist at 4 p.m., featuring the Madison Singers of James Madison University. Spoleto USA brings out the dude in ballet with Conversations with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at 4 p.m. in the Gaillard Auditorium.