Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prime Time Weekend

One of the best weekends of the year is set to blastoff in the Lowcountry. There are three major events happening in and around Charleston this weekend and it is hard to identify which of the three is the headline event. WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Trio of Events Landing On the Same Weekend in the Lowcountry

Forty Thousand, that is right, forty thousand runners and walkers will be stacked up for over a mile at the starting line of the Cooper River Bridge Run on Saturday Morning in Mount Pleasant. For first time participants like my wife and our friends who have entered as a team called The WV Transplants, it is hard to imagine and comprehend just what an experience participating in the Bridge Run will turn out to be. For starters, they have no clue how many people are going to be lined up with them when the starting gun goes off, it is impossible to comprehend being inside the race gates with forty thousand other people. I have experienced alot of excitement throughout my life, but I can tell you last year when I took part in the Cooper River Bridge Run, I was blown away by the experience. To arrive at the Gailard Auditorium at 5:30am to board a bus to take me to the starting area only to see thousands of other racers and literally dozens of buses lined up waiting to take race participants to the other side of the Cooper River left me spellbound, really, at 530 in the morning. Even though the race starting time was over 2 hours away, the logistics of getting 40,000 people to the starting area is mind boggling.
It was an experience that I will never forget and one that I am disappointed to not be participating in this year, but I am excited for my wife and our friends. I know the exhillaration they will experience as they complete the 10K in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators who line the 6.6 mile course.

Meanwhile, in Summerville, the town known around the world as "The Flowertown In The Pines", the annual Flowertown Festival will be taking place. The festival is one of the largest and most noted festivals in the Southeastern United States and is held every year to benefit the Summerville YMCA. Now being a former Director General of West Virginia's oldest and grandest of festivals, The Mountain State Forest Festival, I feel that I am somewhat qualified to judge festivals. I can honestly say, I have never experienced a density of humanity participating in a festival quite like the Flowertown Festival attracts. It is hard to believe that on Saturday afternoon there will be 200,000 people lining South Main Street in Summerville, shopping and browsing at hundreds of artisans, craftsmen, and other vendors booth's.

If 10K races and huge arts and craft festivals isn't your cup of tea, maybe you will be interested in heading over to Daniel Island for the opening weekend of The Family Circle Cup Womens Professional Tennis Tournament. Top seeded female tennis stars will invade Charleston for one of the hottest pro tournaments of the year, and what better venue than the Family Circle Cup Stadium on Daniel Island.

In addition to the "big three" events this weekend, another well attended activity occurs on Sunday. The Lowcountry Cajun Festival at James Island County Park. A big slice of Louisianna invades the Lowcountry, with great cajun food and zydeco music. I have never attended the cajun festival but I know it receives rave reviews.

So, if you can't find anything to interest you this weekend, you might want to check for a pulse. What is even better is that the weather forecast for the weekend is calling for sunny and cloud free skies with temperatures in the mid seventies. Get out and enjoy the weekend, but save a little bit of energy because next weekend jets will fill the skies over Charleston as Joint Base Charleston hosts their thrilling air show. More on that later on next week.

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