Party For The Parks
by Dustin Waters
Photographs by Caroline Martin
In what has become a highpoint of the season, the Charleston Parks Conservancy welcomed in the fall by closing down Ashley Avenue and celebrating the fourth annual Party For The Parks. Representatives from some of Charleston's best restaurants, bars, and bakeries lined Colonial Lake as hungry partygoers came out in droves to meet them. Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar fried up crispy jumbo calamari, while Jim and Nick's Bar-B-Q literally went whole hog, serving a hearty pork plate with their signature cheese biscuits. The Rarebit and 44 North Vodka showcased some refreshing cocktails to liven things up, while Cupcake and Sugar Bakeshop handled everyone's dessert needs. Those who purchased VIP tickets were treated to a private seating section featuring desserts from Cacao's Artisan Chocolates, an open bar, and specialty hors d'oeuvres such as Southern ham biscuits and Carolina crab cakes from Magnolias, Cypress, and Blossom.
The band High Tide welcomed over 800 partygoers to the evening, promising great entertainment and the chance to help keep Charleston beautiful. Throughout the night, guests were treated to surprise performances from a variety of entertainers including dazzling fire twirlers and break dancers Kyle Johnson and Mark Cabrera. Both live and silent auctions were held, featuring items such as dinner for four at Charleston's seafood hotspot The Ordinary, as well as two tickets to an upcoming concert by the Steve Miller Band.
The main goal of this year's Party for the Parks was to help fund the Colonial Lake renovation project, a $5 million private/public partnership between the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the city of Charleston, and Historic Charleston Foundation. The city has already pledged $4 million to the renovation effort that plans to provide the park with lush gardens and a revamped promenade, as well as an updated drainage and filtration system for the lake. Construction is planned to begin May of next year, with an estimated completion date during the summer of 2015. This year's event reached its goal, raising a grand total of $85,000.