Spring Festival Includes Tours of Private Houses and Gardens, Wine Tastings, Lectures, Concerts, Oyster Roasts and More

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Historic Charleston Foundation’s Spring Festival Includes Tours of Private Houses and Gardens, Wine Tastings, Lectures, Concerts, Oyster Roasts and More; 67th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens Opens with 11th Annual Charleston Antiques Show

The 67th annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens offers visitors an entire month of tours, special events, luncheon lectures, tastings and concerts.

Historic Charleston Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve and protect the integrity of Charleston's architectural, historical, and cultural heritage, will welcome nearly 15,000 visitors from all over the world during the 67th annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens, March 20—April 19, 2014. Charleston, renowned for its history, architecture and antiques, is the perfect backdrop for this year’s spring Festival where visitors have the rare opportunity to tour nearly 150 historic private houses and gardens. Kicking off the Festival is the 11th annual Charleston Antiques Show, March 21-23, 2014, which will feature period furnishings, vintage jewelry, fine art and silver—all from the late 17th to the early 20th centuries. Tickets are now on sale online or by calling, 843.722.3405.

Collectors and enthusiasts can learn more about exquisite furniture, porcelains, architectural garden elements and more at the Charleston Antiques Show, Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street. In addition to daily admission, the Charleston Antiques Show offers educational and entertaining special events, including:

  • Collectors Circle: This weekend package offers exclusive access to all Charleston has to offer with parties in grand, private historic houses; early admission to the opening night Preview Party, Sunday brunch, entrée to the elegant Collectors Circle lounge, and unlimited daily admission to the Show throughout the weekend. Join the Collectors Circle for chances to win a pair of first class tickets to anywhere United Airlines travels in the world.
  • Preview Party: This glamorous evening offers an exclusive preview of the Show, set amid magnificent booths and the exciting atmosphere of Memminger Auditorium, before it is open to the public. Enjoy entertainment, delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, all highlighting why Charleston is known for its fine cuisine, culture and history. Tickets for the Preview Party include a chance to win a pair of first class tickets to anywhere United Airlines travels in the world. 7 p.m. on March 20.
  • Luncheon Lecture with guest speaker Margot Shaw: Join speaker Margot Shaw, editor of flower magazine and author of Not So Prim Rose, for a journey through the use of floral motifs in the decorative arts over centuries. During the lecture, “Outside/In, A Visual History of Flowers in the Decorative Arts,” Shaw will link the world of flowers and gardens with the study and appreciation of antiques and the decorative arts. Noon on March 21. Check-in at 11 a.m.

The 67th annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens offers visitors an entire month of tours, special events, luncheon lectures, tastings and concerts to include:

  • Daily House and Garden Tours: Each afternoon or evening walking tour is self-guided and features approximately 10 historic properties in Charleston’s earliest neighborhoods. Ticket holders will venture inside private houses and gardens to see the beautiful architecture and lush blooming gardens woven throughout the fabric of Charleston. Daily, March 20-April 19.
  • Morning History Walks: Expert guides lead two-hour walking tours of public sites in and around Charleston’s Historic District, providing background for the Festival’s daily house and garden tours.
  • Gospel Brunch: Guests will enjoy a select menu at a local-favorite restaurant, Halls Chophouse, while listening to the joyful sounds of an accomplished gospel soloist. 11:30 a.m. on April 12.
  • Inspiring Gardens: During the self-paced Inspiring Gardens tours, presented in partnership with the respected Charleston Horticultural Society, many of the homeowners, landscape designers and professionals responsible for these elegant gardens will be present to share their knowledge and experiences with guests. 2-5 p.m. on both April 14 and April 19.
  • Charleston Craft Beer Tasting & the History of Lowcountry Brewing: Join local writer and beer bard, Timmons Pettigrew, author of Charleston Beer, A High Gravity History of Lowcountry Brewing, and Christopher Winn from Palmetto Brewery, to sample Palmetto craft beer and discover the mouthwatering history of Charleston beer, sip by sip. 5:30 p.m. on April 4.
  • 10 Ways to Love Chocolate: Ginny McCormack, cooking instructor, speaker, food columnist, author of Sunday in the South, and an expert on the art of Southern hospitality and new Southern cuisine, will present the history of chocolate, types of chocolate, and proper storage and melting techniques, then invite guests to sample decadently sweet treats. 11:30 a.m. on March 26.

The Charleston Antiques Show and the Festival of Houses and Gardens are both organized by Historic Charleston Foundation; proceeds support its mission to preserve Charleston’s architecture, history, and culture.

The Festival of Houses and Gardens is made possible with the help of more than 600 dedicated volunteers. To learn more about volunteer roles, benefits, and training, visit http://www.historiccharleston.org/volunteer or call 843-723-8292.

Private, customized connoisseur tours are also available for small groups, for more information, visit http://www.historiccharleston.org/SpecialTours.
A complete calendar of events, ticket prices and locations can be found at http://www.historiccharleston.org or by calling the Festival Ticket Office at, 843-722-3405 (hours: weekdays 10-am- 2p.m. through March 17, starting March 18 through April 19 the Ticket Office will be open daily).

About Historic Charleston Foundation
Established in 1947, Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the historical, architectural and material culture that make up Charleston's rich and irreplaceable heritage. The Foundation is known for its preservation and advocacy programs including protective covenants and easements; education and outreach; and it is the first organization in the country to establish a revolving fund to acquire and preserve important buildings, a model now replicated in historic communities across the nation. Preservation coupled with education and outreach is at the heart of the HCF mission. This mission is supported through the generosity of preservation-minded donors, the annual Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens, the Charleston Antiques Show, a licensed products program, and retail shops. In addition, HCF fulfills its educational mission through the interpretation of its collections and two museum sites: the Nathaniel Russell House, c. 1808, and the Aiken-Rhett House, c. 1820.

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