Dock diving dogs, other exhibits highlight Southeastern Wildlife Expo

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The largest wildlife and nature expo in the country is in full swing in downtown Charleston.

The 29th annual Southeastern Wildlife Expo kicks off in downtown Charleston on Friday and there is a lot to see.

"This year with the beautiful weather forecast this weekend, we are hoping for a big crowd at least 35,000 maybe even more," said director SEWE marketing director Ashley Slane.

"We have visitors come from all over the country some come stay for the whole week so we estimate that about 60 percent of our visitors are from out of town and 40 percent are locals," Slane said

With eight venues and 400 exhibitors, visitors will find fine pieces of art, conservation exhibits, cooking demos and fly fishing demonstrations. This year's event has something for everyone, even children.

"There's a rock climbing wall, spider jump, exotic petting zoo, so there's a lot of things kids can do. It's educational and fun at the same time," Slane said.

Another main attraction is at Brittle Bank Park with the dock dogs.

"The dock dogs really steal the show down there," Slane said. "There's a 25,000 gallon tank of water and the dogs jump, it's basically the long jump, the high jump and the speed retreat for dogs. Those competitions go on throughout the weekend and the finals will be Sunday afternoon."

The wildlife expo started in 1983 with only 100 exhibitors and attracted nearly 5,000 people. Twenty-nine years later it can be called the largest of its kind and a three-day event filled with nothing but fun.

"We want everybody to come out and have a great time with us," Slane said.

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