CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The 41st Southeastern Wildlife Exposition kicks off in the Lowcountry this weekend.
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 brings in around 500 exhibitors, artists, and wildlife experts and 40,000 attendees each year, generating an estimated $50 million in economic impact.
According to the organization, SEWE aims to promote wildlife and nature conservation and “make positive contributions, through entertainment, to the genre of wildlife art, conservation, education and the local, regional and state economies.”
SEWE events will take place at five venues across the downtown Charleston area:
- Brittlebank Park – 185 Lockwood Drive
- Charleston Marriott – 170 Lockwood Drive
- The Charleston Place – 205 Meeting Street
- Gaillard Center – 95 Calhoun Street
- Marion Square – 329 Meeting Street
More information on each venue including parking and shuttle options can be found here.
Top events like the Dock Dog competition, fly fishing demonstrations, sheep herding demonstrations, and birds of prey flight demonstrations are all returning for the 41st year.
Handcrafted goods by artisans and craftsman from around the country are put on display during the annual event, along with wildlife and nature paintings, carvings and sculpture.
Forrest Galante, wildlife biologist and host of ‘Sharkweek’ on the Discovery Channel, will deliver live presentations at the Gaillard Center throughout the weekend.
Among the new exhibitions this year is the Sporting Showroom at the Charleston Mariott. It will include sporting and adventure guides, outdoor outfitters, taxidermy, sporting gear, and clothing. A Millers All Day food truck will also be on site serving up a special SEWE-inspired menu.
Planning to bring the whole family? In the “Kids Zone” at Brittlebank Park, attendees will find pony and camel rides, an extoic petting zoo, inflatables, educational programs, and other activities. A small kids section will be available at Marion Square, too.
A full schedule of events can be found here.
- 3-Day General Admission Ticket – $85
- FRIDAY General Admission Ticket – $40
- SATURDAY General Admission Ticket – $40
- SUNDAY General Admission Ticket – $35
- Children ten and under are admitted free of charge for all general admission venues and demonstrations.
General admission tickets can be purchased at any of the five venues during SEWE weekend.
More information on VIP and special event tickets can be found here.
Are dogs allowed?
Leashed and well-behaved dogs are allowed at all outdoor venues during SEWE.
However, dogs are not allowed on shuttles or at special events.