Friday, July 5, 2013

Charleston Festivals and Events

I see Charleston as having a strong sense of community. There have been so many events I’ve attended that I’m starting to lose track. I figure I need to do a recap at about this point – midway through the summer – before I get any more under my belt.

Leonoro's & Live on the LeveeUntitledLeonoro's & Live on the Levee

Leonoro's & Live on the LeveeUntitledLive on the Levee
Free music on Fridays, what more can you ask for? I’ve had  a Dippy-Do from The Shape Shop. Tasty.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blues Fest
Blues FestCharlie West Blues Fest
This was a lot like Live on the Levee with many of the same vendors, but additional blues music. I had two West Virginia hotdogs from Mardi Gras Casino.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VandaliaVandaliaVandalia

VandaliaVandaliaVandalia Gathering
VandaliaThe Vandalia Gathering is devoted to old-time music and bluegrass. We saw a fiddling competition! It also brought lots of vendors to the Capitol grounds, and my poison was a meatball sub from the South Charleston Lions Club. One of the better subs I’ve had in my life. Mm. Oh, and a lemonade from the Southridge-Pacesetter Lions Club was pretty tasty, too.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Appalachian Power ParkAppalachian Power ParkWV Power Games
These are awesome! Thursday night has $1 drafts, so, yes. Also, the pulled pork nachos, with cheese, are something I crave. A small helmet full of cookie dough dippin’ dots. Heaven.


Appalachian Power ParkAppalachian Power Park

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Symphony SundaySymphony SundaySymphony Sunday
Symphony SundaySymphony SundaySymphony Sunday
Symphony SundaySymphony SundayWhat a cool idea this is. The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra has a concert on the University of Charleston’s lawn. All kinds of vendors – and other small businesses (I got a book for 50 cents!) – attend. I got a smoked fish taco with mango salsa over saffron rice from Vandalia Grille. I was also to get a Symphony Sunday Signature Lemonade – complete with half a lemon. Oh, AND Ellen’s Symphony Sundaes which was symphony chocolate ice cream (think a Symphony candy bar) with hot caramel, almonds and whipped cream. Holy crap.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Carnival & Pride FestCarnival
Surprisingly smaller than what I expected, but I still got a decent orange slushie out of it.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taste of CharlestonTaste of CharlestonTaste of Charleston
Taste of Charleston 
Sesquicentennial
It’s not every day West Virginia turns 150, so Charleston made a pretty big deal about it. It actually overlapped with a couple other things, but amazing fireworks three nights in a row and a 3D lightshow made for an awesome experience. Lots of vendors – I got some hotdogs. Oh, and there was free cake. For everyone!



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Taste of CharlestonTaste of CharlestonFestivALL
This 10-day event is awesome. There are all kinds of events focusing on the arts, and there are a few the center around food: the OldFashioned Ice Cream Social, the Chili Cook-off and Taste-of-All. I didn’t check out the ice cream social because I was tuckered out from the other events. The Chili Cook-off had kind of disbanded by the time I made it there, but it seemed like a cool event. Just need to make sure I get there earlier next time. But Taste-of-All was awesome! Right up my alley. You buy tickets and different samples from restaurants cost different amounts of tickets. I got:
Taste of CharlestonTaste of CharlestonTaste of Charleston

-chocolate ice cream cone from Huskey’s Dairy Bar
-Jambalaya w/Creole Sauce from A Taste of N’Awlins
-Meatloaf AND spicy sweet macaroni salad from 5 Corners Café
-Deep fried mac ‘n cheese wedges from Mayberry’s Restaurant
Taste of CharlestonTaste of CharlestonTaste of Charleston


Great way to get to taste something small from each of the restaurants. I know a couple that I learned about and can’t wait to go back.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blues Brews & BBQ/ Wine & All That JazzBlues Brews & BBQ/ Wine & All That JazzBlues Brews and BBQ
Blues Brews & BBQ/ Wine & All That JazzThis event is part of FestivALL, but it’s a pricier one. I actually got a deal where I paid for this and Wine and All That Jazz for $30, but usually tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. At Blues Brews & BBQ, that $20 doesn’t really get you much beyond access to the music, which is OK, I guess. I did snag a killer BBQ sandwich with slaw from Ridgeview BBQ.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blues Brews & BBQ/ Wine & All That JazzWine and All that Jazz
My last FestivALL event definitely went out with a bang. For your ticket price (again, $18 in advance or $20 at the gate – unless you can stumble upon a deal like I did), you get a stemless plastic wine glass and all of the samples! You could literally go here and just round the tents and get samples all evening. I tried most of the wineries and got a bottle from Forks of Cheat – my fav. I got a philly cheesesteak here that I could’ve gone without, but it was just generic greasy fair food – not a local restaurant.

I’m sure I’ll have more coming up.