CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The 41st annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) was a success in 2023, according to Charleston tourism and SEWE officials, calling it a “banner year” when it comes to results.

“Based on what we have seen, tourism season in Charleston has officially kicked off,” said Arielle Alpino, who manages SEWE’s public relations.

The arts and culture event is still calculating its attendance numbers but has met its goals for ticket and art sales.

Along with the College of Charleston, an economic impact study is being done and will be released in the coming months.

“The last economic impact numbers were in 2019 and SEWE is updating this year. We’ll have some real numbers in the next couple of months,” said Doug Warner, the Executive Vice President of Explore Charleston. “I would expect we’ll see an increase in the 2019 numbers because of who I saw on the street this weekend.”

New programs and conservation partners gave exposition guests more to do this year. For Warner, the meaning of SEWE is all about making sure people know as much about the Lowcountry as possible.

“You can’t live in or visit this community and not be struck by the interaction between our daily lives and wildlife and the ecosystem,” said Warner. “You see it all around you. SEWE started as just an arts opportunity and it’s grown to be so much more.”

The event is set to return on February 16-18, 2024.