CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The popular Southeastern Wildlife Exposition(SEWE) kicked off Thursday night with it’s annual gala bringing wildlife art and more to the Lowcountry for the unofficial start of the tourism season. Some who attended have been waiting for months, even years for the event.
“Oh I love the outdoors and I’ve had this scheduled for five years on my bucket list,” says Steve Bostock who attended the gala.
Others say the annual event is a great way to start the new year.
“We usually kick off our gala season with this, it’s one of my favorite things to do in the Charleston area,” says Shelia Natale.
Those who attended the gala like Natale and Bostock say whether it be art, nature, animals, food or even a combination of everything the three day exposition likely has something for all.
“SEWE offers something for everybody, from the events that will be at say in Marion Square, out on the water, the artistic draw is incredible,” says Natale.
“Meeting friends and family, and I’m excited about everything,” says Bostock.
And while SEWE brings something for everybody, it also brings an economic boom to local restaurants and businesses ahead of the tourism season.
“We see a great uptick,” says Chad Walker, General Manager of Hyman’s Seafood. “We start hiring for SEWE weekend usually at the beginning of January so this has been something that we’ve been preparing for for a little over a month.”
Walker, says SEWE weekend provides a good test for the staff after gearing up for the busy season.
“A lot of training,” says Walker. “It takes a good three to four weeks to get someone comfortable to work here at Hyman’s, its a big operation.”
Organizers anticipate roughly 40,000 people to attend the exposition. The urge using the SEWE shuttle or to use a ride sharing service if you plan on attending the events.