CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition will kick off its 40th year this weekend in the Lowcountry.

The annual event, known as SEWE, began in February 1983 with about 100 artists and exhibitors and 5,000 attendees. It has since grown into one of Charleston’s most anticipated festivals, which serves as a kickoff to the tourism season.

Organizers say SEWE now welcomes an approximated 500 artists, exhibitors, and wildlife experts. It also sees more than 40,000 attendees, generating an estimated $50 million in economic impact each year.

While promoting wildlife art and nature conservation, SEWE aims to protect the natural environment. The goal of the annual festival is to make “positive contributions, through entertainment, to the genre of wildlife art, conservation, education and the local, regional and state economies,” according to the organization.

Handcrafted goods by artisans, craftsmen, and tastemakers from around the country are put on display during the annual event, along with wildlife and nature paintings, carvings and sculpture.

Top events include the live demonstrations and sporting village. Here, you’ll see the favorite DockDogs, sheep herding and retriever demonstrations, fly fishing demos and a US Coast Guard search and rescue demo. at Brittlebank Park.

Wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin will lead live animal shows at the Gaillard Center along with Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and other special animal experts. You’ll also find those local, regional and national artisans and craftsmen at the venue.

If you’re bringing the whole family the most child-friendly SEWE venues will be at Brittlebank Park where kid activities and games can be found in the “Kids Zone.” You’ll also find camel rides, an exotic petting zoo, educational programs and more.

Birds of Prey flight demonstrations and other children’s activities will take place in Marion Square. You’ll also find an array of chef demos at this venue.


  • 3-DAY General Admission Ticket – $70
  • FRIDAY General Admission Ticket – $35
  • SATURDAY General Admission Ticket – $35
  • SUNDAY General Admission Ticket – $28
    *Children 10 and under are admitted free of charge for all general admission venues and demonstrations.

VIP and special events kick off the annual expo on Thursday, and most events are open to the public Friday through Sunday.

Leashed and well-behaved dogs are allowed at all outdoor venues during SEWE. All dogs should be registered prior to SEWE weekend. To learn more about the event or to purchase tickets, please click here.