Spoleto Festival USA Opens with Awesome

We are huge devotees of this 17 day artistic explosion that fills the city with music, drama, dance, art and a whole lot of FUN. While we will be leaving before it really begins, we do have opportunities to catch glimpses of its splendor.

All through town, these signs indicate where an event will be held. It is amazing to discover them wherever we go. Spoleto is EVERYWHERE.
The Opening Ceremony is a huge deal with much news coverage. I included this photo because six years ago, when we were here as volunteers, that very dapper Charlestonian was our 'boss'. Karl totally remembered and had really lovely things to say about us.
Hundreds gathered in front of City Hall to be introduced to the Festival.
As it was six years ago, Sharon joined us for all the excitement.
A pre-ceremony concert, with music from Porgy and Bess, entertained while we waited for the speeches. What was super exciting is that the key board player is Charleston's new Mayor, John J. Tecklenburg. How totally cool (and talented).
All openings include a piece from one of the schedule productions. This was an excerpt from "D-Man in the Waters".
I love hats and hats are BIG here. If you are a Lady who genuinely loves hats but isn't always comfortable being the only one wearing them AND a Lady who loves to volunteer but prefers doing it with someone...AND a Lady who wants to share the joys of friendship...there is a solution...The Hat Ladies. Oh man, if I lived here I would so be a Hat Lady.
For dinner, we accepted Mayor John J. Tecklenburg (pictured) and Charleston City Council's cordial invitation to a reception celebrating the opening of Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto. Who wouldn't?
For almost two hours, we wined and dined amongst the locals. All was incredible.
Our evening's music was provided by Roger Bellow and the Drifting Troubadours.
Friends gathered and the excitement for the Festival grew.
Our memories of our year in Italy came flooding back. For those who always ask, "Where is Spoleto?" There's your answer.
For our first Piccolo Spoleto event we headed to St. John's Lutheran Church (1742) for The Charlestones Sing Everything.
From Festive Proclamations to African American Spirituals, Broadway tunes and Jazz standards, this talented quartet really entertained in a spectacular setting. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (video below) made us all want to dance.
Afterward, we came back to our house (actually our neighbor's driveway) with Deb and Nick, for reviews of the day and plan making for the weekend. Spoleto's 40th has begun in a stellar way and we got to be a part of it.

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