The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition’s 33rd successful year in the heart of the city officially came to a close last weekend.
What originally began as a small, exclusive event composed of 5,000 attendees has grown exponentially to over 40,000 loyal supporters in recent years. It is safe to say that the exposition has become so popular and involved that it has been woven into the very fabric of Charleston.
This year, the SEWE did not disappoint. Despite chilly conditions, attendees gathered in Marion Square, Brittlebank Park, Charleston Place Hotel and numerous other locations throughout the weekend to celebrate the richness of wildlife and outdoor sporting. In Marion Square, the always awe-inspiring flight demonstrations using trained birds of prey caught the attention of many. In addition, award winning local chefs like the Charleston Grill’s Michelle Weaver put on lively demonstrations in the center of Marion Square surrounded by live music and friendly vendors.
In the Charleston Place Hotel, SEWE’s featured artist Grant Hacking and others participated in the Quick-Draw/Speed-Sculpt event to the background melodies of a quartet. Hacking, whose realistic bobcat painting was the face of this year’s exposition, was the event’s focal art attraction.
On the edge of the peninsula at Brittlebank Park was another hub of excitement. Dog lovers flocked to the riverfront location to enjoy retriever and dock-jumping demonstrations throughout the weekend. DockDogs – one of the world’s premier canine aquatics competitions – featured a variety of local four-legged athletes who enthusiastically competed for the winning title on Sunday.
As vendors packed up their tents and the exposition came to a calm close Sunday evening, Charleston students, residents and visitors alike headed home with smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts for another great SEWE next spring.