CALENDAR, April 10+: Charleston Outdoor Fest returns April 21-23

Staff reports  |   The Charleston Outdoor Fest returns April 21 to April 23 at James Island Park to continue a 27-year tradition of showcasing paddlesports and outdoor recreation.

Featuring one of the country’s premier events for canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding , the three-day festival also includes a multitude of recreation activities like mountain biking, slack lining, archery, climbing, and disc golf.

The festival’s East Coast Paddlesports Symposium kicks off April 21, at James Island County Park with programs, events and classes on varied topics such as birding by boat, kayak rolling, fishing and photography held throughout the weekend.

Renowned kayaker, adventurer and master storyteller Nigel Dennis will offer keynote remarks at 8 p.m. Saturday at the park’s Edisto Hall. He will share 35 years of stories about wild sea kayaking experiences, close shaves, major expeditions, kayak design and the history of modern sea kayaking. The keynote session is free with park admission.

On April 22 and 23, the festival’s family-friendly Try It Zone will be open for participants to try out select outdoor sports at James Island County Park. Participants can try their hand at archery, a bike obstacle course, a mountain bike short track, the Challenge Zone (activities and brain teasers), disc golf, climbing, the slackline course, and a cardboard canoe race (Sunday). Plus, Try It pass holders can demo kayaks, SUPs, and canoes on site. The Try It Zone is open Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. A Try It Zone pass is $10 per person; children 12 and under are $8 with an accompanying adult.

In other area events:

Books for Beer:  5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., April 11, Bay Street Biergarten, East Bay St., Charleston.  The Charleston Friends of the Library and the biergarten will give you a free beer with the donation of a gently-used book in this clever, fun event.  (Children who donate will get a free root beer).  One beverage per person.  The organization also will send books and have some silent auction items.  More.

(NEW) Free legal clinic:  6:30 p.m., April 17, Daniel Island Branch Library, 2301 Daniel Island Drive, Daniel Island.  A free seminar on consumer law issues, including loans and credit cards, will be presented by Michael J. Cone as part of the S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.  The format typically consists of an overview followed by a question and answer session. A schedule of other upcoming seminars throughout the state is available online at

Berg speech on Wilson.  5:30 p.m., April 19, Charleston Museum, Meeting St., Charleston.  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Scott Berg, author of best-selling biographies of Charles Lindbergh, Max Perkins and Woodrow Wilson, will speak on “Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Century Later”. There will be a reception and book-signing at the event, with light refreshments served. Berg’s books can be purchased at Buxton Books, 2A Cumberland Street, Charleston. They will also be available for purchase at the event.  Tickets are $35 with reduced prices for students and faculty.  Click here for reservations and more.

Wine Down Wednesdays.  The afternoon wine social continues April 19 and May 3 at the not-open Old Town Creek County Park off Old Towne Road in West Ashley.  Included are music and wine for $15 for county residents; a food truck will be on hand.  More info here.

Lawrence exhibit:  Through April 30, Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St., Charleston.  The museum will offer a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence featuring prints made from 1663 to 2000.  His prints explore African-American culture and experiences and highlight themes of history, labor and life.  More:  NOTE:  See our 2010 story on Lawrence.

Slightly Askew: Through May 7, City Gallery, 24 Prioleau St., Charleston.  The City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs will feature the works of artists Rebecca Davenport and Cabelle Heyward that offers perspectives on reality that are slightly askew from consensus views.  More info.

Early morning bird walks at Caw Caw:  8:30 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday, Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel.  You can learn about habitats and birds, butterflies and other organisms in this two-hour session.  Registration not required, but participants are to be 15 and up.  $10 per person or free to Gold Pass holders.  More:

If you have an event to list on our calendar, please send it to for consideration.  The calendar is updated weekly on Mondays.

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