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Officials have tallied the votes, judges have made their decision, and the powers-that-be have unveiled the 2020 Cooper River Bridge Run poster.

It’s a good choice.

Hopefully you got in on the public voting, as I covered in this blog, and had a hand in the selection.  There was a solid group to choose from this year.

Race officials announced the winner yesterday, and it happens to have a pretty cool backstory to boot.

 

Here’s the official scoop on the Bridge Run poster by organizers:

 

Joe Wilhite is a graphic designer and currently employed at Nelson Printing, located in Charleston, SC. He was born in Sarasota, Florida and moved to the Lowcountry after serving in the United States Marines. Joe was medically discharged in 2005. In 2015, the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Department gave him the opportunity to go back to school. He attended and graduated from the Art Institute of Charleston in 2018, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design. Joe currently lives in Goose Creek with his two-year-old Rottweiler, “Babygirl”. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree online. When he completes his graduate studies, Joe aspires to be a part time teacher motivating others to follow their dreams. This will allow him to stay current in the field while also passing along knowledge, skills and passion to others.

Joe’s artwork has become well-known in the Lowcountry for being chosen as the winning artist for the James Island Connector Run design in 2017. He then went on to design the “Solar Eclipse” for Darkness to Light in 2017, “Lip Sync for Lungs” for the American Lung Association in 2018, and the designs for “Isle of Palms Marina Festival” and the 2019 “James Island Connector Run”.

For more of Joe’s work visit Designsbyjoe.myportfolio.com

 

Here is the artist Joe Wilhite’s explanation of his poster design:

 

To build my composition, I began with a collage of photos that I edited using only the lines of the bridge as guides. I then digitally hand painted the canvas using watercolor brushes. The rising sun just over the horizon was intended to represent the luminous morning of the race. The sky filled with cotton candy-like clouds brighten the canvas with shades of yellow and orange. The bright white which highlights the bridge, almost appears to come off the canvas. As your eyes move forward, the bridge begins to fade off into the distance. You notice the Cooper River surrounding the Ravenel Bridge with unblended tones of blue, lavender, orange and yellow. The sharp fluidity skips off the brush mimicking the lapping surface of the river.  I executed each dab and stroke with a specific purpose and in a distinct way.

This will be the 43rd running of the race.  Watch the story from Live 5 News.

 

Sign up ASAP for the Bridge Run

 

Now’s a good time to sign up for the Bridge Run, scheduled for April 4, 2020.  The longer you wait, the higher the entrance fee.

From August 1st through September 30th, registration costs $45.  The fee will continue to rise in $5 increments as follows:

Read more from ABC News 4…. or, you can go straight to the Bridge Run’s official website and register there.

It’s also not too early to book a luxury house on Isle of Palms for the Bridge Run.  After all, it’s one of the busiest weekends of the year.  Be sure to call EP as soon as you can to snag the perfect one.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

Photo credit: WCSC

 

New Charleston to Florida flights added, and they're nonstop

Charleston International Airport continues to be in the news, as new nonstop Charleston to Florida flights have been announced.

CHS, as our lovely airport is known, has experienced tremendous growth in the last several years.  It underwent a massive renovation and expansion, to the tune of around $200 million.  If you flew here before the reno, the charges are notable.

There’s a snazzy light-filled central atrium.  More user-friendly flow from check-in through arrival.  More gates and baggage carousels.  Better dining and shopping options.  Redesigned security area.  Lowcountry-themed art throughout the facility.  Added parking.  Basically, it’s better in just about every way.

The improved facility has rapidly attracted more and better carriers and flights.  JetBlue and Southwest have added a slew of flights, many nonstop and at great fares.  And in a major coup, this spring British Airways began offering nonstop service from Charleston to London Heathrow.

 

Book Charleston to Florida flights now at great fares

 

Allegiant has been offering affordable flights to several different key cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.

Beginning on November 14th, Allegiant will be adding nonstop Charleston to Florida flights   –  specifically, to Punta Gorda / Fort Myers.

One way fares will be as low as $49.

Here is what Drew Wells, Allegiant’s VP of Planning and Revenue, had to say about the move: “We’re excited to offer Charlestonians a new nonstop option for travel to Punta Gorda.  We know local travelers will love our convenient, affordable service to get away to beautiful southwest Florida this winter, while Punta Gorda-area travelers can enjoy beautiful, historic Charleston.”

Similarly, CHS CEO and Executive Director Paul Campbell felt the need to chime in on the news:  “Connecting our passengers to the Florida Gulf Coast and other south Florida destinations is a win-win for both Charleston International Airport and Allegiant.  The addition of Punta Gorda to our expanding network of nonstop markets will help to ensure another year of record passengers traveling to and from our region.”

Read more on the story from Live 5 News.

Also, you can find all the flights and great deals that Allegiant is offering on their official website.

So check out some great nonstop Charleston to Florida flights, for a quick trip between the two.  And call EP for the best in luxury beach house rentals SC near the Holy City.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

Free Movie Tonight in Memorial Waterfront Park: The Greatest Showman

Mount Pleasant has sponsored a great summer series, where you can watch a free movie outdoors on Friday evenings.

The location is Waterfront Memorial Park.  This is a terrific venue that’s become popular for a myriad of events, and a great place to check out on ordinary days as well.  Located in the shadow of the Ravenel Bridge, it boasts a long pier that stretches out into Charleston Harbor.  It’s a perfect place for fishing, strolling, boat- and people-watching.

The park also has a café, great playground for children, Sweetgrass pavilion, and large grassy areas perfect for concerts and events.

Some of the popular events held there include Shaggin’ on the Cooper, Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival, WEZL’s Music in the Park, the Sweetgrass Festival, and a slew of others.

Town officials recently announced plans to expand the park, adding extensively to the dock area, providing spots for people to launch and dock boats and more.  Read all about it in this blog.

 

What is the last free movie of the summer season?

 

Well, the 2019 season of this popular free movie series is rapidly coming to a close. Thankfully, they’ve picked a good one as a grand finale, taking place tonight  –  Friday, August 23rd.

Get set for The Greatest Showman, starring the amazing Hugh Jackman.

Here’s more on the movie from Netflix:  “Behind ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ was one of history’s greatest showmen, P.T. Barnum. This musical biopic centers on Barnum’s creation of the three-ring circus and his infatuation with Swedish songbird Jenny Lind.”

Click here to watch the movie trailer.

Some specs on the event:

 

Mount Pleasant residents and visitors bring blankets and chairs, sit back to enjoy an incredible sunset while listening to local musicians in the East Cooper Baptist Church Orchestra, and then watch The Greatest Showman with the beautiful Ravenel Bridge and Charleston Harbor for a backdrop.

Movies begin at sunset (approx. 8:30 p.m.) Free admission & parking!  Music and food sales begin at 6:00 p.m. weekly. Food trucks will be onsite for dinner and snacking.

Of course a movie night would not be complete without concessions!  Various vendors will be onsite to fulfill your summer cravings and keep you cool!

Special thanks to Y102.5 and Starling Chevrolet for presenting this summer’s event series!

Please check the Parents Guide on IMDb if you are unsure of the movie’s suitability for your children.

 

Check out the Facebook event page here.  By the way, Mount Pleasant Waterfront Memorial Park is located at 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Boulevard.

So check out the last free movie of the summer.  And be sure to call EP to get some great off-season rates on Isle of Palms vacation rentals for this fall.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

IOP Farmers' Market now at the Rec

The Isle of Palms Rec Center will soon become the new home of the IOP Farmers’ Market.

Farmers’ markets are a big deal in the world in general, and in the Lowcountry in particular.  There are many to choose from, as I’ve blogged about before.  There’s a great one Tuesdays on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant.

Then of course there’s the biggie downtown.  The Charleston Farmers’ Market in Marion Square has been named one of the top ten in the United States.

Well, the islands have also joined the movement.  Sullivan’s Island has a farmers’ market that takes place in early summer.  The Isle of Palms started one a couple years ago, dovetailing with Sullivan’s by happening in the late summer/early fall.

 

What’s New This Year with the IOP Farmers’ Market?

 

The IOP Farmers’ Market is about to crank up again for the new season, and they’ve made an important change.  It used to take place in the large grassy field at the IOP County Park near the beach.  While there was ample space and parking, it was a super sunny (read: hot) place, and not the best to encourage ambling through at a leisurely pace.  I understand it was also pretty tough on the vendors.

Word to the wise: the best farmers markets take place in an area with some shade, e.g. under the shelter of trees.

Well, the IOP powers-that-be have listened to suggestions and feedback, and they’re making a beneficial tweak this year.  For the first time, the IOP Farmers’ Market will be held at the Rec Center.

It will take place every Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., from September 4th through October 30th, 2019, near the baseball fields at 27th Avenue.  There is plenty of free parking nearby.

The IOP Rec Center is a little treasure, conveniently located in the middle of the island, off 28th Avenue.  It has a plethora of activities all year round.  It’s cool to note these activities are not just for residents but for visitors as well.

What else is going on at the Rec?

 

The IOP Recreation Department offers programs and classes of all kinds  –  for youth, adults, and seniors.  They recently announced their fall programming, and registration is open.  Here’s some of what’s available:

Youth:

Adult:

Senior:

So check out the Rec, for a class or an island farmers’ market just down the street from your luxury house on Isle of Palms.  And when you’re ready to book that house, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Charleston Summer Wine Festival this Saturday

You’ll have your choice of festive libation this Saturday, and first up is the Charleston Summer Wine Festival.

The Wine Festival is in its very first year, so it’ll be fun to check out and gauge its likelihood of becoming an annual event.

It’s put on by the fine folks at Charleston Wine Festivals, so it has a good shot.

Some specs on the Charleston Summer Wine Festival

 

Get the whole scoop on the Wine Festival’s FB event page.

 

Batter (/sipper) up!  It’s the Ballpark Festival of Beers

 

If beer’s more your thing, you are definitely in luck.

This Saturday is also the 17th annual Ballpark Festival of Beers.  It’s a giant wingding of all things beer, at a super-fun venue  –  The Joe.

It’s happening from 7:00-10:00 p.m. and is a 21-and over only event, so leave the kids and teens at home at your luxury house on Isle of Palms.

The Joe is Charleston’s beloved baseball park, and this has proven to be a wildly popular event.  A $40 ticket/wristband allows you to sample 18 from among approximately 100 beers.  There will be stouts, pilsners, lagers, you name it, from this country and abroad.  You can also purchase $15 designated driver wristbands.  It’s sponsored by Kickin’ Chicken (where you can buy tickets) as well as iHeart Media.

The first 2,500 people through the gates will receive a commemorative tasting glass.

Here are some of the breweries that will be pouring their best:

 

Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Cidery
Angry Orchard
Blue Point Brewing
Catawba Brewing Company
Commonhouse Aleworks
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Elysian Brewing
Fam’s Brewing Co.
Goose Island
Heavy Seas Alehouse Arlington
Kings Calling
New Belgium Brewing
Palmetto Brewing
Rusty Bull Brewing Co.
Southern Barrel Brewing Company Tavern
Southern Tier Brewing Company
Samuel Adams
Stone Brewing
Sycamore Brewing
Truly Hard Seltzer
Twisted Tea
Wicked Weed Brewing

There will be live music by The Blue Plantation Band and Baby Fat Band, as well as some good food truck options.

VIP tickets sell for $70 and allow early admission at 6:00 p.m.

Here’s a link with more info.  You can also check out their FB event page.  The Joe is located at 360 Fishburne Street on the downtown peninsula.

So sample your favorite adult beverage to your heart’s content this Saturday.  And when you are looking for the perfect luxury house on Isle of Palms, be sure to give EP a call.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

Transat 2020 will finish in Charleston

There is yet another exciting announcement about a 2020 event in Charleston, and this one involves the famed Transat race.

As I covered in that last blog, the dates of Spoleto 2020 have been set.  It’ll host a new world premiere opera with a very special historical connection to Charleston.  Read all about it here.

It’s no secret that 2020 will be an extraordinary year for Charleston.  Why?  Because 2020 will mark the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Charleston was officially begun in 1670  –  which means that the Holy City is more than a century older than the United States of America.

She’s looking pretty good for three and a half centuries, I must say!

 

Charleston: the Finish City for Transat 2020

 

In a special coup, the powers-that-be announced that Charleston is where Transat 2020 will conclude its historic race.

What exactly is the Transat?

Well, its tagline is: The North Atlantic Alone.

It’s the oldest solo ocean sailing race in the world.  The name is short for The Transatlantic.  Sailors will start in Brittany (Brest), France, on May 10th, 2020, in their quest to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

This 3,500 mile race will finish in Charleston in honor of our fair city’s 350th birthday.

The Transat began in 1960.  In those early days, it would take sailors 40 days to complete the journey.  Believe it or not, today’s top sailors using some of the best boats on earth can complete the race in just eight days.

It’s expected that around 40 of the world’s elite sailors will take part in Transat 2020.

Peter Shahid, Jr., chairman of the City of Charleston’s 350th Celebration Steering Committee, had this to say about Transat 2020:

“As we commemorate the 350th anniversary of the founding of our city, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Charleston’s rich maritime history than to serve as the finish city of the historic The Transat race.  We look forward to hosting this world-class event here next year.”

Here’s the story from Live 5 News.

You can also read all about it at the official race website.

So get ready to celebrate Charleston’s 350th birthday. It’s not too early to book a beach house Charleston.  Just call EP and we’ll put you in the perfect one.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

Spoleto 2020 announces a major world premiere

This year’s Spoleto Festival USA is in the rear view mirror, but organizers have already made an exciting announcement for Spoleto 2020.

Speaking of which, the dates for Spoleto 2020 are set.  It’s always the last week of May and the first week of June, but the particular dates vary from year to year.  For 2020, the world-class celebration of performing arts will take place from May 22 through June 7.

It will be the 44th year of the festival.

As I’ve said many times before, a Charleston beach house makes a perfect home base for a Spoleto experience.  It’s not too early to call us at EP to book yours for those dates around Spoleto 2020.

The full schedule of events won’t be announced until January.  However, they have announced a special offering.  In fact, you can read all about it in the New York Times.

 

A very special world premiere for Spoleto 2020

 

It’s the world premiere of an original opera, commissioned especially for Spoleto 2020.

The composer will be Rhiannon Giddens.  You may know her as a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  She’s won a Grammy, a MacArthur Genius Grant, and has deep roots in both opera and folk music.

The opera is as yet untitled, but will be based on the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said.  He was born and educated in West Africa, then captured and sold into slavery.  He was shipped to Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston, SC, in 1807.

Gadsden’s Wharf is the site of the soon-to-be constructed International African-American Museum, or IAAM.

Who was Said?

 

Omar Ibn Said eventually escaped, was recaptured, put in jail, and later was sold to the brother of the governor of the state of North Carolina.

He wrote his autobiography in 1837.  It’s the only slave memoir in existence that was written in Arabic.  The Library of Congress recently put it online for public access.

Giddens will write the opera’s music and libretto along with co-composer Michael Abels.  He wrote the score for Jordan Peele’s powerful film, “Get Out.”

The world premiere will be on May 22, 2020, in the Sottile Theater in downtown Charleston.

Giddens had this to say:  “My work as a whole is about excavating and shining a light on pieces of history that not only need to be seen and heard, but that can also add to the conversation about what’s going on now.  This is a story that hasn’t been represented in the operatic world — or in any world.”

Here’s a link to the New York Times article.  Also, here is more about who Said was, from the organizers of Spoleto 2020.

So get set for Spoleto 2020, and make your plans now to come to Charleston next May/June.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

The #1 beach litter item on the IOP is...

I talk a lot about #1 rankings, but this is not a very nice one: the #1 beach litter item.

As I’ve blogged about before, beach litter is an issue we take very seriously on the Isle of Palms, as well we should.  Locals, visitors, animal and marine life alike all want and deserve a clean beach and ocean.

Even though garbage and recycling cans are located at all access paths on the IOP, there still remains a massive problem of beach litter and pollution.

Some concerned local citizens, led by such nice folks as Katrina Limbach, have organized regular beach cleanups on Monday evenings.  IOP Cleanup Crew sweeps happen each week during the peak summer season, and once a month in the offseason.

Part of the IOP beach cleanups is a tally of what exactly people are leaving behind as beach litter.

 

The most common type of beach litter is…

 

Cigarette butts.  They might seem small and rather inconspicuous, but they pack a lot of toxic dangers to the planet.

Check out the following, from Community Pride, Inc. of Charleston County:

Cigarette butts are the number one litter item picked up during clean ups.

The core of most cigarette filters, the part that looks like white cotton, is actually a form of plastic called cellulose acetate.  By itself, cellulose acetate is very slow to degrade in our environment.

Depending on the conditions of the area the cigarette butt is discarded in, it can take 18 months to 10 years for a cigarette filter to decompose.

But that isn’t the worst of it.

Used cigarette filters are full of toxins, which can leach into the ground and waterways, damaging or killing living organisms that come into contact with them.

Toxin-filled cigarette butts work their way into our waterways primarily through storm drains that dump into streams and lakes. Studies conducted by Clean Virginia Waterways have shown that just ONE butt in approximately two gallons of water is lethal  to water fleas, a tiny crustacean found in freshwater and saltwater. And those tiny bits of tobacco left attached to cigarette filters carry more toxins than the filters do themselves.

 

Please trash your butts!

 

If you do smoke, by all means please dispose of those well-extinguished butts properly, in the garbage, like beach access trash cans.

And if at all possible, for everyone’s sake  –  most of all your own  –  please quit smoking altogether.

By the way, due to the fact that cigarette butts are the #1 type of beach litter found on the Isle of Palms, the city is considering banning smoking altogether on the beach.

Help us keep the IOP beach free from trash and beach litter of all kinds.  And when you are looking for the best in Isle of Palms luxury rentals, be sure to call EP.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

 

 

 

The world's hottest pepper hails from SC

Who would have thought that the world’s hottest pepper is grown right here in the great state of South Carolina?

I mean, it’s no secret that the Palmetto State is hot.  Charleston et. al. are constantly landing on the hottest/best lists…  of cities to visit, places to eat, you name it.

In yet another accolade, Southern Living named Charleston the South’s Best City.  For the third year in a row.

Read the whole story here, as written by someone coming to the Holy City for the very first time.

As nice as that sounds, the best (hottest) city in the South  –   it’s hard to get that excited after another national publication has named you the best place on earth to visit.

Anyway, back to hotness.  Yes, it’s true that the temps in the Lowcountry can get a little balmy in the summer months.  Actually, that seems to be the case all up and down the Eastern Seaboard at the moment, and in wide swaths of the country.  The other day, I was shocked to see that northwest of Boston was 94 degrees, while here on the Isle of Palms it was just 87 degrees.  Plus we have the ocean breeze.

But that’s still not the hotness I’m talking about.

It’s pepper hotness, as measured by the Scoville scale.

You’d think that the hottest pepper in the world would be grown somewhere like Mexico.  Or Central America.  Or maybe Asia  –  Thailand, say.

The hometown of the world’s hottest pepper is…

 

But lo and behold, the world’s hottest pepper is actually grown in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  This, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

They say the world’s hottest chili pepper is the Carolina Reaper Pepper.  It’s the scorching hybrid child of a Ghost Pepper and a Habanero of the highest order.  And this pepper didn’t come to play.  The overall average of its testing batch clocked in at a whopping 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).  The highest individual pepper was a whole lot hotter than that, but they were having to be scientific about it.

Well, to get in on the pain  –  er, I mean, fun  –  Taco Bell is putting the world’s hottest pepper on its menu.  For a limited time, you can try it for yourself.

Taco Bell is serving up the Steak Reaper Ranch Fries Supreme, as well as the burrito with said pepper sauce, in certain locales.  We’ll see how folks handle it.  Fortunately they’ve blended the world’s hottest pepper with a ranch dressing to take off a bit of the searing edge.

They originally tested the fries in Cincinnati last year.  It went well enough to roll it out and thereby scorch a wider swath of earth.

Read all about it here, from Live 5 News.

Or get it straight from Taco Bell.

So check out the world’s hottest pepper.  And for the hottest Charleston beach house, be sure to contact Exclusive Properties.

All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger

photo credit: Mel Miles