You can kick start your Cinco de Mayo celebrations or take in art, nature, history, boating, or music in some of the various festivals this weekend.
7TH ANNUAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
Dragon boats will be racing up down the Ashley River Saturday for the 7th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. Paddlers, some in costume, will follow the beat of the drum as the race. You can see all the races from Brittlebank Park, where each team will have tents set up. The festival helps to raise money for cancer survivor programs through Dragon Boat Charleston. The festival is free for spectators. The first race starts at 8:30 am and the awards will be handed out at 4:00 pm. Go to charlestondragonboatfestival.com for more information.
NORTH CHARLESTON ARTS FESTIVAL
Hundreds of art exhibits and crafts will be on display at the Charleston Area Convention Center this weekend for the North Charleston Arts Festival. It features dance, theater, music, film, and visual and literary arts. The festival is free and so is parking. You can stop by the festival starting at 10 am Saturday and Sunday. Click here for more information.
FOLLY TURTLES HOMECOMING
You're invited out to Folly Beach to celebrate the start of the 2014 sea turtle nesting season this Saturday. The free event will help to educate kids about the sea turtles and their nesting process. The event is from 9:30-11:30 am on the beach at 4th Street East. Find out more at follyturtles.com.
Even though Cinco de Mayo isn't until Monday, the celebration gets started early at the Visitor's Center Bus Shed in downtown Charleston. The 9th Annual Charleston Cinco de Mayo Festival is Saturday night from 7-11 pm. You can enjoy live salsa music and and dancing, plus Mexican food and drinks. Tickets are $15 at the door, or $10 in advance purchased at CharlestonCinco.com.
SWEET GRASS MUSIC FESTIVAL
The Sweet Grass Music Festival is back for a second year at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. Nearly a dozen bluegrass groups will be entertaining at the outdoor venue this weekend. Bring your lawn chairs, but leave your pets and coolers at home. Friday's schedule includes music from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Saturday, performers take the stage from 11 am to 10 pm. Tickets are $25 on Friday and $35 for Saturday. A portion of the proceeds from the festival go to support the non-profit Carolina Studios in Charleston. Find out more about this year's artists, a schedule, and tickets at sweetgrassmusicfestival.com.
OAKBROOK ASHLEY RIVERFEST
You can celebrate history, conservation, and community at the inaugural Oakbrook Ashley Riverfest Saturday at the Colonial Dorchester State Park and Jessen Boat Landing. The festival coincides with a Revolutionary War Re-enactment at the park. It includes exhibits, displays, and information from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Transportation between the park and the boat landing will be provided. Learn more at riverfest2014.oakbrookcivicassociation.com.