Get set for a bunch of big activities rolling quickly down the pike, including the 42nd running of the beloved Cooper River Bridge Run.
It seems like this coming weekend is just about the most chockablock full of the year, especially considering it’s not even an official holiday.
The trick will be deciding how to manage your time so you can experience as much of the fun as possible.
Thankfully, the weather this weekend looks to be mild and pleasant. Temps for Saturday should be in the low 60’s, eventually reaching the mid-70’s with cloudy skies. That’s pretty comfortable conditions for running/walking. More about the Bridge Run in a minute.
Right now we’re in the midst of the primary week of the Volvo Car Open, formerly known as the Family Circle Cup, going on now through Sunday at the Tennis Center on Daniel Island. It’s one of the biggest women’s only tournaments in the world, and the best players are here duking it out. This is the 47th year of the tournament and it’s 19th here in the Lowcountry. The tourney started in 1973 in Hilton Head.
The tournament has a new owner, who is making things even more fun and family-friendly than ever.
Special events go on each day this week, then this weekend will be the semis and the finals.
Fun’s in Full Bloom at Flowertown
Starting Friday morning at 9:00 and running through Sunday is the 47th annual Flowertown Festival, taking place in historic downtown Summerville. The flowers look to be gorgeous, with azaleas, dogwoods and wisteria in bloom.
Organizers center the festivities around Azalea Park and Main Street. There you’ll find all sorts of arts and craft vendors (over 200 jury-selected artists), food vendors, rides and fun at the Kids Fest and Children’s Jubilee. This year offers Food Truck Friday and a special Farmer’s Market on Saturday and Sunday.
The Southeast Tourism Society has ranked the Flowertown Festival as one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast. Check out the official website for more info.
The Biggie, the Cooper River Bridge Run
This Saturday morning, of course, is the Cooper River Bridge Run. Tens of thousands race or walk across the Cooper River from Mount Pleasant into downtown Charleston. Even if you’re not in the race, it’s fun to cheer them on, watch the crazy costumes and world-class Kenyans flying by.
As they’ve done in recent years, organizers will line the course with 20 great original bands entertaining and encouraging the runners all the way to Marion Square, site of the post-race party. Believe it or not, 2,500 bands applied for the coveted spots along the route. It’s all pulled together by local nonprofit This is Noteworthy. Read more about what you’ll hear along the way – the Bridge Run playlist, if you will – and the fascinating process behind it.
The Cooper River Bridge Run has a tremendous economic impact on the area. So says a recent study led by Dr. Harry Davakos of The Citadel. In a recent year, the Cooper River Bridge Run had a direct impact of $19.2 million. That includes lodging, restaurants and stores. Total impact is $29.6 million.
As I covered in this blog, it’s been named as the top tourism event in the state.
CRBR events kick off before the weekend, with the Bridge Run Expo running Thursday (noon – 8:00 p.m.) and Friday (8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.) at the North Charleston Convention Center. Friday will be the Kids Run/Wonderfest at Hampton Park as well as the Taste of the Bridge Run. Get all the details on the official Bridge Run website.
Cajun Sunday Funday
Mardi Gras is over, but it’s still time to laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!
This Sunday is the 28th annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival. The party happens from noon till 6 p.m. at James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive. There will be plenty of authentic Cajun/Creole food, a crawfish eating contest, crafts market and kids carnival. And there’s some of that superfun toe-tappin’ Zydeco music, performed by Randy McAllister and the Scrappiest Band in the Motherland, the Pine Leaf Boys, and Gerard Delafose & the Zydeco Gators. Read more about it here.
So if you’re here this weekend, have a great time, and good luck with that time management thing. And as always, remember to call us when you’re in the mood to stay in the very best Isle of Palms luxury rentals.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
The top tourism event in the state of South Carolina is right in our backyard.
As I blogged about recently, our SC vacation rentals are part of a huge $22.6 billion industry in the state. The powers-that-be announced the news at a recent statewide tourism conference in Columbia.
The numbers show tourism is big business, indeed. By staying in here, you and a large group of your friends and family can experience one of the best destinations anywhere – Charleston. Our vacation homes are oceanfront or close to it, so you can also have the experience of a proper beach vacation while you’re at it.
Also coming out of that same conference: the top tourism event/initiative in the entire state of South Carolina is also located right here.
They tapped the Cooper River Bridge Run as big winner of the conference, taking home the Governor’s Cup for the top tourism event of the year. You can read more from the Post & Courier.
CRBR: the state’s top tourist event
The Cooper River Bridge Run has been a favorite for decades. It draws people from across the planet to run across one of Charleston’s great rivers. It has become the third-largest 10K in the United States.
It’s seen a lot of growth in its lifespan. The first year saw 7,400 finishers. 2006 saw a whopping 33,700 folks finishing the run/walk.
This year marks the 42nd running of the race, which will take place Saturday, April 6th. It’s traditionally one of the most popular weekends for tourists in the Charleston and Isle of Palms area. One of our homes makes a great home base for race weekend, with gourmet kitchens in which to carb up, stretches of beach to warm up on, and expansive decks and pools to relax after the race.
If you are interested in a that weekend, do call us at EP as soon as possible. That weekend has several other events going on as well. Summerville’s three-day Flowertown Festival will draw a lot of folks.
Most folks come “from off” to this gigantic top tourism event
The Cooper River Bridge Run is popular with locals. But get this: 60% of participants come from out of town for the event. The CRBR and all its ancillary events have an annual economic impact of around $30 million.
You still have time to register online, although you have missed the early registration discounts. The official CRBR website has all the details.
This year, there are medals for all finishers. There’s also a nifty Active Experience app which allows you to track race participants, among several other nifty features.
So get those running shoes and muscles ready for the top tourism event in South Carolina.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
This week is Thanksgiving, which in these parts means its fine time for a turkey day run. More about that in a minute.
If you’re in Charleston for the holiday, there are plenty of options for your dining pleasure, as I covered in a couple of those more recent blogs. Our vacation homes have terrific gourmet kitchens and spacious dining rooms where family and friends can cook, eat and gather together.
Alas, we tend to eat a lot on this particular holiday. According to USA Today, the average American consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. Another way to look at it – that’s the same as downing 15 Dairy Queen small hot fudge sundaes in one day.
That being said, it makes perfect sense that Thanksgiving Day is now the number one day in America for running and/or walking events. You can find a “turkey trot” or turkey day run all over the country, and their numbers increase each year.
It’s a great way to kick off the day right and preempt some of that holiday food guilt waiting you later in the day. USA Today covered the turkey trot/turkey day run phenomenon here.
The second most popular holiday for running? Fourth of July. The third is New Year’s Eve/Day.
Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble
Not only is one of our vacation rentals the perfect setting for a holiday meal, it’s also the perfect launching pad for a morning run or fun walk. Most are oceanfront, so you can just step outside and do that on the beach.
But there’s something festive and fun about venturing downtown for a group effort.
This leads me to a beloved local event that draws thousands of folks to the historic city, many in costume. And it’s happening this Thursday, November 22nd – also known as Thanksgiving.
It’s the Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5K. For clarification, the Gobble Wobble is for those who’d prefer a walk to a run.
The race is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, with a history that dates back about a century. It’s been run in various venues and formats, including relay and high school track team competitions. At one point it even ran from Charleston to Summerville. Now it is a true 3.1 mile/5K run and walk, and this is officially the 41st one in a row.
The TDR/GB attracts over 7,500 registrants from all over North America. It’s second in size only to the Cooper River Bridge Run in these parts. At last check, it was the 28th largest 5K in the United States. It also happens to be a U. S. Track & Field certified event.
The course itself is ideal for seeing the sights since it travels down and back up the historic spine of the peninsula. It starts at Marion Square, travels down Meeting Street to the Battery, past White Point Gardens, down Murray Boulevard, then back up King Street to Marion Square.
Specs on the TDR/Gobble Wobble
Online registration is no longer available. Don’t fret – you can register tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 21st) in person and pick up race packets from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. You can also do so the morning of the race from 7:00 a.m. till 8:30. Registration and packet pickup are in their Expo tent near the Embassy Suites at Marion Square downtown.
The run kicks off promptly at 9:00 Thursday morning. There are also shorter length runs for the kids starting at 10:00 a.m. So it leaves plenty of time to get in some good exercise/sightseeing before you head back home for the big meal.
Before you do cross back over the bridge, check out the post-race party with free food and beverages (beer for those 21 and over), live music and the awards ceremony.
There is a bit of a tweak from years past. They are no longer allowing strollers. They are, however, allowing little ones to ride in a pull behind wagon at the back of the pack after the last corral. And here’s more from Channel 2 News.
Charities that benefit from all that running, wobbling and gobbling
As is the case with just about every turkey day run, proceeds go to charity. Last year’s benefited these great local charities:
- BE Athletics
- Daughters of St. Paul
- Boy Scout Troop 79
- Magdalene House
- Alzheimer Association
- Charleston Catholic School
- Hospice of Charleston Foundation
- MUSC Children’s Hospital
- Coastal Carolina BSA
- Lowcountry Food Bank
- Our Lady of Mercy Outreach
- Vincent de Paul Society
- Neighborhood House
- One Eighty Place
- His Way Ministry
- Cliff’s Cause
- Charleston EMS
- Project Hope
- Windward Farms
- Special Olympics
- BE Options Program
- The Palmetto Project / Homeless to Hope Concert
They’ve set this year’s goal to raise $10,000 more, so come on out and support these great causes while having some holiday fun. Here’s the official site with all the details: http://turkeydayrun.com/
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger
Technically this weekend is the beginning of fall, but there’s a very summer-like festival going on this weekend, and it celebrates all things sea & sand. And the weather looks to be just right for such a beach-themed event.
It’s the 2018 incarnation of one of Folly’s biggest fests – the Sea & Sand Festival. It’s traditionally been held in the spring. They’ve switched things up this time to celebrate the end of the summer season/peak time. This time around, it’s going on tonight through Sunday, September 21-23rd.
They describe it as being the most family-friendly of all the Folly events, perfect for all ages. It’s been entertaining families for quite some time now. 28 years, to be exact. As usual, it looks to be a lot of Folly fun.
It kicks off tonight with the Miss Sea & Sand Fest Pageant, open to females 4 years and up and males 7 years and under. Judging is based on evening wear, hobbies, awards, volunteer activities and love for Folly Beach. It takes place at Folly River Park starting at 7:00 p.m. Here are the categories:
- Tiny Miss (ages 4-5),
- Little Miss (6-9),
- Junior Teen (10-13),
- Teen (14-17),
- Junior Miss (18-20),
- Miss (21-25),
- Miss (26+, single),
- Misses (any age, married) and a
- Little Mister category for males 7 and under,
- Additional awards – Donnie E. Wilkinson Spirit Award and Overall Miss Photogenic Award.
Saturday is the main event, the big Street Festival on Center Street from 10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. Get set for approximately 70 food, art and craft vendors, silent auction, live music, plenty of food, bungee trampoline, jump castles, face painting, carnival games, etc. There are several special sections for the kids, including inflatables, arts & crafts and Sea & Sand Side Show Kids Area.
There will be live music all day, on two different stages. Performers include headliner Occasional Milkshake (with Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, Hank Futch from the Blue Dogs, and Cravin’ Melon’s Gary Greene). Other acts are Wylder Funk Band, Ros Bonghi (reggae), and The Secrets (funk). It all sounds very danceable.
Sea & Sand Sunday Funday
Sunday has a couple fun events. First is the Volleyball Competition kicking off at 9 a.m. Then at 1:00 it’s the Sandcastle Competition. They take place on the beach in front of The Tides, where they’ll also have live music during and after the competition.
It’s always for a good cause, benefiting Folly Beach Parks and Rec. If you are in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, it’s worth the drive to check it out. Experience firsthand how the Folly vibe is a bit different from the one on the IOP. On the way there, you can also stop along the way in downtown Charleston.
2019 Bridge Run has officially been postered
Time to mark your calendars for one of the biggest weekends of the year. The 2019 Cooper River Bridge Run will be taking place Saturday, April 6th.
Word to the wise: if you are planning to run or walk the CRBR, better make plans early. It’s one of the busiest times of the year.
This will be the 42nd running of the race, which is the third largest 10K in the United States.
The official Bridge Run poster has been chosen. It’s a colorful and cheerful image with Impressionistic roots, by artist and local D. Scott Stevenson. He has quite an impressive resume, having done design work for L.L. Bean, REI, Major League Baseball, UCLA and Princeton. He has been involved in exhibits at the Smithsonian, Air & Space Museum, Metropolitan Opera, and the National Zoo & Aquarium. Here’s more on the unveiling.
Here’s the official website, where you can get all the details and register for the race.
So check out Sea & Sand, and it’s not too early to get set for the 2019 Bridge Run. Call us soon if you’d like to book a place at the beach.
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger