Last Week of Spoleto Brings More Festivities to Your Parks

Spoleto Festival USA and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival are important venues for Charleston’s artists, musicians, writers, craftspeople, businesses, and city organizations. For 17 days and nights, the city is transformed into a celebration of Charleston’s creativity and a mecca for internationally acclaimed performing artists. The festivals also provide many opportunities to visit some of your favorite parks. Here are some great events and exhibitions that will be happening in your area’s green spaces through the final week of the festival.

__Marion Square: Piccolo Art Exhibition and Spoleto’s Slow Dancing__
Located in the heart of downtown, __[Marion Square]( has also acted as the heart of the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. The park is hosting __[Piccolo’s outdoor art exhibition]( every day until Saturday, June 10. More than 80 local artists have set up art displays and demonstrations. Also this year, Spoleto Festival features a showing of David Michalek’s amazing video presentation “__[Slow Dancing](” Every night from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm until June 8, you can see a pastiche of 43 dancers performing five-second routines that are slowed down and stretched to almost 150 seconds. Captured on film using high-speed cameras that record 1,000 frames a second (most cameras film at 30 frames a second), Michalek’s presentation allows viewers to examine the nuances and difficulties of dancing more fully.

After stopping by Marion Square, festival goers can walk a few blocks over to __[Wragg Square]( While you’re there, check out the renovations that are still in progress. Our Park Angels have been working hard over the last several weeks to install new gardens near the entrance to the park. Wragg Square now features many new trees and new plantings of hundreds of autumn and holly ferns.

__Magnolia Park and Community Garden: Garden Jam__
Piccolo Spoleto prides itself on presenting artists from a variety of disciplines, and that of course includes music. This year’s selection of musical events is as good as ever, representing local and nationally-recognized musicians. The Conservancy is proud to co-host one of this year’s festival celebrations with Awendaw Green, a pop-up show at __[Magnolia Community Garden]( in West Ashley. The __[Community Garden Jam]( will feature the sweet bluegrass of group Dallas Baker and Friends. While the band plays, visitors will be able to explore one of the Conservancy’s celebrated community gardens. Now that June is in full swing, the sunflowers are blooming and many plots have visible produce, which may include tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, artichoke, or something completely different. Ask a gardener or a Park Angel volunteer about what they’re growing, what crops the Lowcountry supports best, where the food goes when it is donated, or anything else about Magnolia.

__Hampton Park: Piccolo Spoleto Finale__
Wrapping up this year’s festival is always a bit sad, but it allows Piccolo Spoleto to stage one last great extravaganza for people to remember. This year’s __[Festival Finale]( will be on Saturday, June 10 at 5:00 pm in __[Hampton Park]( Spend time with family and friends walking around the lagoon, ordering from one of Charleston’s food trucks, or simply taking a seat and listening to some local musicians. While you’re there, explore the recently-renovated __[McMahon Playground](–its lush new garden is in bloom. The event is free and open to the public.

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