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Furry companions and paddleboards are two things rarely seen together, but one very happy canine co-captain made its way through the Half-Moon Outfitters Golden Nugget Stand-Up Paddleboard Race on Shem Creek to laughter and applause from onlookers, setting the tone for what would be a wonderful, relaxing afternoon.

Warm, sunny weather and a substantial crowd welcomed the SUP competitors, who paddled away from the Lighthouse on the Creek dock in 5K or 10K heats. Partygoers squeezed in along the railing watch the competitors striking out toward the harbor, snapping photos or waving to friends.

Those who remained on the dock for the aptly nicknamed “Paddle ‘n Party” settled in to uphold the party portion of the afternoon, enjoying a leisurely day of live music, delicious food, and great company. Some partygoers snagged a drink at the bar and returned to the dock to watch the action on the water while others lined up for mouth-watering barbecued pork sliders and fresh coleslaw. A harbor cruise offered guests a scenic respite on the Charleston Harbor while the paddleboarders were out, but more than a few guests chose to keep an eye on their silent auction bids.

The paddleboarders returned one by one and joined the crowd - wetsuits and all - and the afternoon segued into a laid-back after-party.

The beautiful Sunday-afternoon affair benefited the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting the land, natural resources and important civic open spaces throughout Charleston County. The Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy works toward their mission by acquiring land, accepting voluntary conservation easements, and educating the public about the importance of land conservation to the quality of life in urban communities.

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