CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It's the kick-off to tourist season in Charleston and you can expect a lot of traffic to go along with that. The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE), concerts, and Valentine's Day weekend are drawing in thousands of people to the area.
Locals on Friday night say they saw crowds forming around 7 p.m., but normally you would see that at 10 p.m.
"Usually a typical Friday night, you're seeing a lot of college kids like out and now you're seeing all kinds of crowds with like older people and you're seeing people with the SEWE Badge," says College of Charleston junior, Herman Hassan.
Many CofC students notice the difference and that's because SEWE is bringing in nearly 40,000 people to Charleston for the weekend and most are from out of state.
"We're walking out and we're seeing people come from all over the place," says Hassan.
On top of that, Valentines day weekend is just getting started.
"I thought I would take this opportunity to bring my new bride with me, we've been married for a year so this is my anniversary, so we're enjoying Charleston for the weekend," says visitor Joseph Sarkis-Zobian.
There was also a couple from Atlanta, Georgia, that just got engaged Friday afternoon during a private carriage ride.
"She thought we were coming here for the Valentine's Day weekend, but I was like the Friday before Valentine's Day, which is Sunday, let's go ahead and get engaged and enjoy the whole weekend in Charleston," says Chris Wedemyer.
His now fiance', Nicole Adams, says it was "totally unexpected I think when he turned to face me at the fountain, my whole body went numb."
One thing you can expect is traffic. If you're traveling downtown for the weekend, plan ahead and make lunch or dinner reservations if you can. Be mindful you might just have to wait.