CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The 40th annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition returns to Charleston on Thursday after being canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic.

On Wednesday, crews were setting up tents and other equipment in Marion Square and Brittlebank Park. Artists also filed into the Charleston Place Hotel to set up their displays in the ballroom.

David Turner has been participating in SEWE for over 30 years. He travelled from Virginia, bringing nearly 60 limited edition bronze wildlife sculptures.

“It’s taken at least a month to get a lot of these pieces ready and some were just finished yesterday,” said Turner.

This year, SEWE is drawing in more than 500 wildlife experts, artists and exhibitors and is even offering some new additions like a kid zone.

“There’s a little bit of what people come to expect, and a little bit of new sprinkled in. We have Jeff Corwin coming back at the Gaillard Center, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, the Center for Birds of Prey down at Marion Square. They’ll all have new animals,” said SEWE Executive Director John Powell.

Organizers said tickets can be purchased at the events, as well as visitor centers across the Lowcountry.

As for parking, they suggest using the city’s parking garages as well as busses and rideshare apps.

For more on SEWE and events throughout the weekend, click here.