Southeastern Wildlife Exposition draws more than 40,000 people

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition known as SEWE is here giving people a chance to celebrate wildlife and nature through art exhibits and animals.

The expo draws in people from all around the world.

You can expect some traffic in and around downtown Charleston this weekend where those events are taking place.

Charleston Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau officials say last year about 43,000 people bought tickets for SEWE events here in Charleston.

This year is expected to surpass that and more than half of those people are from out of town.

Visitor's Bureau officials say ticket sales from their office increased by 12 percent compared to last year.

Alan & Sonya Hammons are visiting from Mountain City, Tennessee.

"For me I enjoy it because it's something that's geared not only toward wildlife lovers, but conservationists and hunters," Alan said. "There's a lot of artistic stuff here it's amazing."

SEWE is an internationally recognized event drawing people in worldwide.

It's the largest of its kind in the United States.

Justin and Rachel Wolfe live in North Charleston and are attending some of the events.

"The way we like to see it is that we see a lot of classy southerners that come into Charleston," Justin said. "It's great to see everyone countrywide."

They see the local impact of the expo including more traffic.

"Wait times are longer and getting an Uber is a lot more difficult, but other than that it's great to see all the people out," Justin said.

SEWE officials say the expo generates about $50 million each year.

Local hotels and business feel the impact too.

Operating partner with Kickin' Chicken, Jamie Heron says they add more staff for the weekend rush.

"It's great every year," Heron said."We get a lot of influx of new customers. A lot of people we see every year come back for SEWE. Football season ends and there's not too much going on, so to have these extra sales in February is great for us."

SEWE is a three-day event that goes through the weekend.

"This is a trip we look forward to all year, it's just mom and dad away, we just love it," Sonya said.

For more information on SEWE and tickets visit

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