Latin American Festival
In the immortal words of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, “Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga; I know you can’t control yourself any longer.” But where are you going to “let the music move your feet,” you ask? At the 27th annual Latin American Festival at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston on Sunday, of course. It’s time to “get your salsa on” with a day full of the electrifying culture of our neighbors to the south.
As far as entertainment goes, prepare to “baila, baila, baila” (dance, dance, dance) to four-time Grammy nominee Plena Libre, considered “the soul of Puerto Rico in three-part harmony,” regional mexicano music from Kimberly La Guerrera and “tropical pop” from UltimaNota. The local Buen Ache Dance Group will perform traditional Afro-Latino dances and always a thrill, members of Capoeira Charleston will show off their Brazilian martial arts and acrobatics skills. If you’ve got the moves, be sure to enter yourself into the salsa dance contest scheduled for later in the afternoon.
As for the food: amarillos, empenadas, pinchos, arroz con pollo, ceviche, tacos, fajitas and mucho mas. There will be kids’ activities, art and additional vendors on site as well. Outside coolers and dogs are prohibited.
WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston
PRICE: $10 general; free for ages 12 years and younger
MORE INFO: 843-795-4386, ccprc.com/1699/Latin-American-Festival
Lowcountry Paws Pet Expo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh, nope! The annual Lowcountry Paws Pet Expo at the Charleston Area Convention Center on Saturday will focus more on the Garfield variety of cats, as opposed to the likes of Mufasa and Shere Khan. Dogs, birds, guinea pigs, lizards and fish will also be in the mix, but alas, no Baloos. The expo will feature more than 40 vendors in the areas of pet health and wellness, training, food, supplies and more. Adoptable pets will be on site and attendees will have opportunities to win gifts and prizes. There will be demonstrations from the Charleston Dog Wizard and the MUSC Pet Therapy Team, and, of course, a Halloween Pet Costume Contest. You are welcome to bring your pets, but they must be on a non-retractable leash — even cats (I’ve seen it).
WHEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
WHERE: Charleston Area Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston
PRICE: $3 adults; free for kids and pets; free parking
MORE INFO: 843-937-4831, eveningpostevents.com/lowcountry-pet-expo
Hot Air Balloon Festival
When I think of hot air balloons, the films “Wizard of Oz” and “Up” immediately come to mind, but I’ve never considered that seeing one in real life would be an option here. But now it IS an option at Saturday’s Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival at Hyde Park Polo Club in Ravenel. Attendees will have opportunities to go up for a tethered ride, and in the evening there will be balloon night glows, a “spectacular display of color and sound” as the “shapes and colors come to life” and float above the crowd with music, lights and special effects, all weather-permitting, of course. A dozen balloons are scheduled to be on site for launches.
But the festival is more than just balloons: Food, beverage and additional vendors will be set up, as well as bounce houses and other kids’ activities, and The Spazmatics will take the stage on Friday night. Saturday afternoon will feature Victory Cup polo matches and the balloons and vendors will be back Saturday night with live music from The First Class Band.
VIP and alternative polo viewing and activity options are also available. This is a pet-friendly event, but they must be leashed at all times. No outside coolers permitted.
WHEN: 4-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12; 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; polo matches: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
WHERE: Hyde Park Polo Club, 6763 Davis Road, Ravenel
PRICE: Kids pass ages 3-18 years: $5; free for ages 2 years and younger; Friday night and Saturday morning balloon festival pass: $10; Saturday all-day balloon festival and polo access pass: $22-$25; tethered ride pass: $30 per person; Saturday polo: $45-$50 individual, $80-$90 couple; Saturday polo VIP: $125-$150 individual, $225-$270 couple; additional Saturday activity and VIP options: $190-$1,500; $15-$20 parking
MORE INFO: 512-953-9428, victorycup.org/charleston
Fall Festivals and Fairs
It’s stayed relatively warm this month, but hopefully autumn will be in the air as local townships and venues host their annual fall festivals and fairs this weekend.
The Fall Fun Festival at Knightsville General Store in Summerville on Saturday and Sunday will feature hayrides, horse rides, a petting zoo and games, including Cow Patty Bingo (as opposed to Cock-a-Doodle-Poo). There also will be food and beverages, arts and crafts and a Knightsville Porch Jam.
WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Knightsville General Store & Coffee House, 1700 Central Ave., Summerville
PRICE: Free admission; $1 per activity ticket; $5 per bingo square
MORE INFO: 843-285-8116, knightsvillegeneralstore.com/events
The Goose Creek Fall Festival at the municipal center on Saturday will feature local entertainment, crafters, exhibitors, food vendors and children’s activities. Proceeds will benefit Helping Hands of Goose Creek and attendees are encouraged to donate canned goods to the organization.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
WHERE: Marguerite H. Brown Municipal Center, 519 N. Goose Creek Blvd.
PRICE: Free admission and parking
MORE INFO: 843-569-4242, facebook.com/goosecreekfallfestival
October doesn’t automatically imply pirates, but since Blackbeard’s last battle was in October (allegedly) and Anne Bonny was captured in October (allegedly), it seems fittin’ that I include this weekend’s Palmetto Pirate Festival at Old Santee Canal Park. Presented by the Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center with an emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy, this event will focus on South Carolina’s colonial and maritime history: The Charles Towne Few (pirate crew) will set up an all-day encampment, re-enactors include Blackbeard, Anne Bonny and Mary Read (and a mermaid), and there will be artillery cannon firing demonstrations, blacksmithing, colonial dancing, performances, kids’ activities, tours and more.
WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Old Santee Canal Park, 950 Stony Landing Road, Moncks Corner
PRICE: $5 per person; free for ages 6 years and younger
MORE INFO: 843-899-5101, oldsanteecanalpark.org/Events
The annual Oktoberfest at St. Matthew’s Lutheran is an extensive celebration and all “saints and sinners willkommen (welcome)” for beer from Holy City Brewery, authentic German food (spelled with lots of consonants in a row) and wine, music from the Hans Schmidt German Band and Ed Morris on accordion and kids’ activities. Don’t forget your dirndl and lederhosen for a photo opportunity with Martin Luther (German theologian and reformer) on the church steps.
WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
WHERE: St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 405 King St., downtown Charleston
PRICE: $20 adult; $10 child; beer and wine tickets sold separately
MORE INFO: 843-723-1611, oktoberfestcharleston.com
In celebration of the season, the Nexton Fall Street Fair & Food Truck Rodeo in Summerville will feature family-friendly games and activities, live music from the 8 Mile Bend Band, a biergarten and food trucks from Mac Daddy, The Waffle Connection, Greekin’ Out, Semilla and Gelati Motto.
WHEN: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
WHERE: Brighton Park Village at Nexton, 106 Greeting House Road, Summerville
PRICE: Free admission; pay-as-you-go for food trucks
MORE INFO: 843-687-0706, bit.ly/2NumcPC
This weekend’s annual Autumn on the Ashley Arts & Crafts Fair at Magnolia Plantation will feature dozens of Lowcountry artisans and crafters with a broad scope of items available for purchase and there also will be a fall plant and flower sale, from bulbs to blooms. These events are separate from general garden admission and tours.
WHEN: 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14
WHERE: Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston
PRICE: Free admission to crafts fair and plant sale
MORE INFO: 843-571-1266, magnoliaplantation.com/whatsnew.html