Officials just made the announcement today: SEWE 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The giant festival of all things wildlife was due to take place February 11th through the 14th.
SEWE 2021, or the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition as it’s officially known, is the largest event in the Lowcountry as far as the number of people who attend. It traditionally takes place in venues all across the downtown Charleston peninsula, including the Gaillard Center, Belmond Charleston Place, Marion Square, Brittlebank Park, the Charleston Marriott and many more. It’s where you can watch the awesome DockDogs catch some serious air.
Although hardly any cancellations come as a surprise these days, SEWE 2021 held out as long as they could. The Board of Directors met this week and finally made the tough decision to cancel.
Here is what festival organizers have to say:
We made earnest efforts to plan a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our loyal attendees, artists and exhibitors. However, we have concluded that we cannot ensure the health of our guests without sacrificing the spirit of SEWE. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times and we hope you know how much your support means to us as we move forward together.
We understand that many were planning to travel to Charleston to celebrate SEWE. Hopefully some of you are still able to visit the Lowcountry this year and support our partners and local community.
John Powell, SEWE’s Executive Director, said this: “I am extremely proud of the effort demonstrated by our staff and the extended SEWE family to plan an event in these uncertain times. We knew that we faced a difficult task, but we navigated this last year by having open conversations with stakeholders and regulatory agencies. We have been humbled by the unwavering support from our local attendees, corporate partners, the City of Charleston and the State of South Carolina. I believe that the spirit to persevere, despite new and daunting challenges, is what will lead us out of these times and into a more safe and prosperous future.”
What to do about your tickets for SEWE 2021?
If you purchased tickets and would like a refund, you can obtain one here. You have 45 days from now to request a refund. If you prefer, you can also opt to donate the value of your ticket purchase instead. It will be a tax-deductible donation to SEWE 2021. You can do that at the same link. This is similar to how Spoleto handled it when they decided to cancel Spoleto Festival 2020.
Read more from Count on 2 News.
Organizers are looking forward to welcoming everyone to SEWE 2022. It will be the 40th annual incarnation of the festival. It promises to be a particularly spectacular one, probably all the more so now that they had to cancel SEWE 2021. Organizers have set the dates for February 17-20th, 2022.
Organizers are also planning for a special taste of SEWE this fall, in anticipation of next year’s festival.
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