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Archive for south carolina

The Arts Captivate Charleston

By Linda Tancs

Internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival, Spoleto Festival is the American counterpart to Spoleto, Italy’s Festival of Two Worlds.  Set in Charleston, South Carolina, the event was founded in the United States in 1977 by Spoleto’s organizers in Italy, among them Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti.  Taking place tomorrow through 7 June, the annual celebration of the performing arts fills the array of venues in one of the South’s most charming cities with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater and dance as well as chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music.

A Monumental Architect

By Linda Tancs

Robert Mills is one of the earliest architects born and trained in the United States.  One of his most prominent designs is the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  Adhering to classical design, he focused mostly on public buildings like monuments, prisons, colleges and hospitals.  A notable exception is the Classical Revival residence for merchant Ainsley Hall and his wife Sarah in Columbia, South Carolina.  One of only five National Historic Landmarks in the city, the Robert Mills House is a well-kept testament to the architectural prowess of one of the nation’s best designers.  Now a museum, the house boasts decorative arts of the early 19th century in styles including American Federal, English Regency, and French Empire.

Beachy Keen in the Lowcountry

By Linda Tancs

Just two islands north of swanky Hilton Head, South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park is the antidote to overdevelopment.  In fact, it’s one of the few remaining undeveloped Sea Islands in the Lowcountry.  And with miles of hiking trails and one of the longest public beaches in the region, it’s easy to understand why it’s one of the state’s most visited properties.  Rising above the tall palms and natural ferns is the namesake lighthouse, the only one in the state open to the public, offering irresistible views of the Atlantic Ocean, the park and the surrounding marshes.

On the Road to Yorktown

By Linda Tancs

On this date in 1781 the Patriots won a decisive victory over the Redcoats in Gaffney, South Carolina at the Battle of Cowpens.  Formally a pasture before becoming a battlefield, Cowpens National Battlefield is the site where a military maneuver known as a double envelopment took place, the only such tactic to take place during the Revolution.  The result at Cowpens started General Lord Cornwallis on the road to Yorktown that eventually led to the British surrender there.

Celebrate the Sweet Potato in South Carolina

By Linda Tancs

In the southeastern U.S., the sweet potato is, as the saying goes, as American as motherhood and apple pie.  Its illustrious heritage here began around 1543 when Spanish explorers found sweet potatoes growing in what became Louisiana.  In Colonial days sweet potatoes were an item of trade and were shipped from large Carolina plantations to northern cities.  Later, during the Civil War, the sweet potato became one of many substitutes for coffee by being dried, parched, ground and brewed.  Is it any wonder, then, that such a storied and useful vegetable would be celebrated each year in Darlington, South Carolina.  On 8 October on the Public Square in Darlington is the annual Sweet Potato Festival, where over 17,000 tater-lovin’ folks will gather for crafts, music, live entertainment, a car show and plenty of food, including–of course–sweet potato pie.  Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe?  Share it in the comments section.

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Open House in Charleston

By Linda Tancs

Calhoun Mansion is an 1876 manor house of  italianate design and the largest residence in Charleston, South Carolina.  It boasts Tiffany lighting, a 75 foot domed ceiling, 35 rooms and 23 fireplaces.  For a fee you can tour this house, which happens to be a private residence.  The gardens are free to tour, however, and they are spectacular.  During Historic Charleston Foundation’s 64th Annual Spring Festival of Houses & Gardens today through 16 April, you can tour stately homes like Calhoun.  Tours and events vary daily.

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The PGA of Mini Golf

By Linda Tancs

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a family-friendly destination.  After all, the nearby Children’s Museum of South Carolina has interactive exhibits and programs such as a science lab and a kiddie ATM.  And what could be more family friendly than miniature golf.  Myrtle Beach is known in many circles as the mini golf capital of the world.  So it probably would come as no surprise that the area hosts a Masters National Pro Mini Golf Championship at Hawaiian Rumble, a course sporting a 40- foot lava rock volcano that erupts every 20 minutes or so for a few seconds.  The event, held this year between 14 and 17 October, is the official national championship for top professional mini golfers in America.  It is approximately five and a half miles from Myrtle Beach International Airport and similar distances from Broadway at the Beach and Barefoot Landing.   Look for the Hawaiian Rumble sign at the intersection of Highway 17 and 33rd Avenue South.

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