CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Friday marks the first full day of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, an annual festival that promotes wildlife, art, and nature conservation throughout downtown Charleston.

The expo boasts a full schedule of family-friendly activities from the popular Dockdogs competitions to sheep and duck herding demos, chef demos, galleries packed full of wildlife art, and plenty of local food to enjoy.

Friday’s activities begin with an intro to archery held at Johns Island County Park, here you can “share the love of archery with your family,” according to event organizers. This event provides basic archery instruction and allows you to practice your skill.

Venture over to the Charleston Marriott (170 Lockwood Drive) to browse the Pacific Decoy Collection of Richard and Dorothy Wheeler. The pair began collecting decoys in 1960 and were founding members of the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association. That event begins at 10:00 a.m.


One of the most anticipated events of the Southeastern Wildlife Expo is the ever-popular DockDogs competitions taking place at Brittlebank Park throughout the day.

Dogs of various breeds and skill levels will compete in water jumping competitions. The first competition happens at 10:00 a.m. and runs throughout the weekend. Finals will take place Sunday afternoon.

Also happening at Brittlebank Park are the sheep and duck herding demonstrations. Shows will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Friday. Watch collies artfully muster sheep and ducks through various obstacles with only a few verbal commands.

Sit back and relax as television personality and wildlife biologist, Forrest Galante, entertains with live presentations at the Gaillard Center.

“Galante hosts Discovery Channel’s flagship Sharkweek every year, and now has multiple wildlife shows on the air, including Mysterious Creatures with Forrest Galante and Extinct or Alive,” said event organizers. There is only one show each day with Fridays happening at 10:30 a.m. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The next event is for the birds! Head to Marion Square at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Friday for birds of prey flight demos. You’ll see amazing flight demos up close by a variety of raptors including falcons, eagles, owls and hawks.

South Carolina’s most talented chefs team up with their favorite farmers for a weekend of demonstrations and tastings in Marion Square. Culinary Institute of Charleston Pastry Chef Kelly Wilson will be with A.J. Freeman of Freeman Farms for a chef demo at noon on Friday.

A fly-fishing demonstration is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. at Brittlebank Park. Here, you’ll see fly fishing casting lessons with Orvins – plus, you can try your hand at angling or improving your skills with on-site professionals.

Talent will be on display when artists paint or sculpt an original piece from start to finish in just one hour at Charleston Place. This event begins at 3:00 p.m. and a live auction will be held immediately after for attendees to bid on the painting or sculpture.

Round out your evening with bourbon and oysters at The Dewberry from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. or head over to the Charleston Visitors Center for a Ducks Unlimited Oyster Roast and Lowcountry Cookout from 6:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

These are only a few of the great events happening Friday at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition! For a full schedule of events, please click here. Those attending the festival should know that many of these events require tickets – you can purchase them here.