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What to do when stormy weather reports threaten a street festival? Move the amusement from the avenue to the auditorium. And that’s exactly what the Charleston Parks Conservancy did to ensure the second annual Party for the Parks was free of wind, rain, and bugs.  Accessorized with greenery, park benches, twinkly lights, and even a courtyard in the corner, the Gaillard Auditorium was a more than satisfactory substitute for the street.

Auction tickets in hand, guests entered the soiree to find tables displaying dozens of items on which to bid—including a golden retriever puppy (who was making appearances in the arms of his human throughout the evening), vacations, jewelry, and other fabulous finds.

Brazilian beats from Malandro Soul enhanced the atmosphere as event-goers formed lines at the open bar and perused the restaurant booths offering excellent hand-held eats, such as shrimp corn-dogs from Amen Street, deep-fried French fries from La Fourchette, and miniature burgers from Caroline’s Market & Catering. Dessert was taken care of by Sugar Bakeshop, Charleston Cookie Company, and Cupcake, whose tiny cupcakes with perfect dollops of sprinkled frosting were a big hit for everyone with a sweet tooth.

Guests took breaks from mingling and bidding to crowd the outskirts of the dance floor as hip-hop dancers and performers impressed with their energetic synchronization, balance, and agility—could you flip over your partner while wearing roller-skates?

The live auction started the final hour of the fete, and ended with a very appropriate item: purchase 100 bulbs for $100 to plant in the 120 parks around the area. All the proceeds from the auctions and ticket purchases benefit the Charleston Parks Conservancy and their mission to increase quality, awareness, and preservation of Charleston’s greenspaces.

Written by Natalie Miller

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