Economic Impact of 2014 Spring Festival of Houses & Gardens and Antiques Show exceeds $6.6 million

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Historic Charleston Foundation announces 2015 dates for spring events.

The Festival of Houses and Gardens as well as the Charleston Antiques Show are traditions for locals who support the events as homeowners, volunteers and sponsors.

Historic Charleston Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission to preserve and protect the integrity of Charleston's architectural, historical and cultural heritage, announced that its 2014 spring Festival of Houses and Gardens and Charleston Antiques Show recorded a boost to the local economy with an impact of over $6.6 million. According to the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis, this impact study represents a 3.85% increase over 2013. The Foundation also announced dates for these annual events in 2015; the 12th annual Charleston Antiques Show will kick off the Festival on March 20-22, with the Preview Party on March 19, while the 68th annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens will take place March 19-April 19.

“The Festival of Houses and Gardens as well as the Charleston Antiques Show are traditions for locals who support the events as homeowners, volunteers and sponsors,” said Kitty Robinson, president and CEO of Historic Charleston Foundation.

“The funds raised from these important programs support the Foundation’s significant preservation work as well as provide a medium for educating both residents and visitors about the benefits derived from historic preservation.”

Other economic statistics include:

  • The majority of operating expenses for the Festival of Houses and Gardens and the Charleston Antiques Show is spent locally, generates 73 area jobs, and creates nearly 700 volunteer opportunities.
  • More than 15,000 attendees, both local and visitors, enjoyed the Antiques Show and Festival’s month-long series of events.
  • The Charleston Antiques Show guest spends 23% more than the average spring Charleston visitor.
  • The mean age of attendees was 63 years in 2014, with visitors spending $904 per person, up from $871 in 2013.
  • The Glorious Gardens tours and the Morning History Walks were the most popular Festival events.
  • In 2014, 40.1% of guests had previously attended the Festival of Houses and Gardens, and 28.8% plan to attend again in 2015.

Charleston, renowned for its history, architecture and antiques, is the perfect backdrop for the annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens, during which attendees have the rare opportunity to tour approximately 150 historic private houses, gardens and other properties with historic merit. The annual Charleston Antiques Show features period furnishings, vintage jewelry, fine art and silver—all from the late 17th to the early 20th centuries.

Visit or call 843-722-3405 to join our mailing list to learn more. Tickets for both events will go on sale Nov. 1, 2014.

The 12th annual Charleston Antiques Show, Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street, will offer daily admission as well as

  • 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, and more.
  • Preview Party: This glamorous evening offers an exclusive preview of the Show, set amid magnificent booths and the exciting atmosphere of Memminger Auditorium.
  • The Antiques Show Luncheon Lecture with guest speaker Betsy Pochoda, editor of The Magazine Antiques, will take place at noon on Feb. 20.

The 68th annual spring Festival of Houses and Gardens will offer guests 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 the opportunity to go inside approximately eight historic properties in Charleston’s earliest neighborhoods.
  • Morning History Walks: Expert guides lead two-hour walking tours of neighborhoods in Charleston’s Historic District, providing background for the Festival’s daily house and garden tours.
  • Food for Thought Luncheons: Participants will enjoy a casual lunch, and educational talk, and a brief guided walk or experience that relates to the day’s topic.
  • Musical Concerts, Wine and Spirit Tastings, Harbor Cruises and more

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.

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.    

College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis
The Office of Tourism Analysis operates as a unit of the College of Charleston's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and is counseled and advised by industry and community leaders charged with proposing the office's research priorities. For more information, contact Raymond Rhodes, MBA.         

Media Contact: Fanio King
Historic Charleston Foundation

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Fanio King
Historic Charleston Foundation
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