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Take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the exciting events on King Street this holiday season.  Wow…starting this Saturday, Dec. 1 at 8:00AM, the Holiday Farmers Market at Marion Square will be bursting with fresh greenery, flowers and local food products and artisan crafts to make your gift-giving easier than ever.  Go ahead and use the free parking pass available from the city at

From 4:30-6:30PM, Marion Square will light up and enchant every one of all ages with its 26th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.  Of course, the ultimate “meet and greet” event occurs when Santa himself will be on King Street for children (and foxes) of all ages.

Special this year is King Street’s Saturday evening shopping event from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.  No vehicle traffic will be allowed on King between Calhoun and Queen Streets.  Shops will open to the street for dining, dancing with the elves, and shopping with your family and friends.

Enjoy all the festivities and then stop in at The Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar for a delicious dinner overlooking the enchanting park.    Don’t forget to visit my own glorious tree in the lobby.  I helped with all the decorating for our guests’ delight.  There’s a secret fox ornament there…see if you can find it.

On Sunday, Dec. 2 from 2:00 to 4:00PM, enjoy the Tri-County’s Fire Chiefs Association’s Holiday Parade.  Bands, floats, marchers and performers will parade down King Street in their holiday finery.  Come, join in, catch candy and leave with thoughts of returning to magical historic Charleston next year.

Happy Holidays!!

I’m grateful to be named after a true American hero, Brig. General Francis Marion.  Did you know he was a farmer prior to dedicating his shrewd leadership abilities to the Patriot’s cause?  I decided to see what life might have been like for him and the early settlers of South Carolina by visiting Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark.  Known for its beautiful landscaped gardens, you must also see the plantation stableyards and the still remaining Middleton Place House Museum, built in 1755 as gentlemen’s guest quarters.  The house is the only surviving portion of the three-building residential complex that once stood overlooking the Ashley River.

I visited during Plantation Days and mingled with candle makers, blacksmiths, rice and cotton processors, cooking and coopering demonstrators, and learned all about lowcountry plantation life at harvest time.  I really loved seeing all the domestic animals that worked and lived among the craftspeople of the time.

This Thanksgiving, while I’m enjoying my abundant feast at the Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar, I’ll think about the hardships and sacrifices of the colonists and early Americans and remember to give thanks for this great country of ours.  Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends!

One of my favorite items to have at a wedding is a candy display! Mainly because I have a major sweet tooth. It’s a great way to add a pop of color to your reception or use as a fun favor for your guest.

 Here are some great ways to help you decide how to get started.

*Choose candy that color coordinates with your wedding. If your colors are orange and pink, use different shades of each color to make your table pop. Use different size containers to display your candy in such as glass jars with ribbon, wooden boxes, or vases. Have fun with it!

*Choose candies that were your childhood favorites or that the two of you love to eat. This is a good way to showcase your personalities.

*Choose candy that is locally made in your town. Charleston has some great local treats such as benne wafers, pralines, and locally made chocolates from Sweeteeth. See what your town has available.

*Mix in different sweets such as kettle corn, a variety of cookies, or mini donuts. You can really let your imagination run wild.

Don’t miss downtown’s Waterfront Park, with its unbeatable views and 1000 ft. walkway & pier along Charleston Harbor.

The Pineapple Fountain heralds a welcome to all lowcountry visitors, but the splash fountain is loved by all children, who enjoy playing in it on hot summer days.   Sit on one of several family-sized swings on the pavilion and watch ships come and go.  I enjoy a picnic lunch (peanut butter & jelly, of course) in one of the beautifully designed shady garden areas, whenever my busy schedule allows.

 Do you know why pineapples are a symbol of hospitality?  Legend has it that over 150 years ago when sailors returned home to Charleston, from the West Indies, they would often bring tropical fruit. Pineapples were then hung over the door to signal that the man of the house was home and the family could accept visitors.  So…welcome y’all and enjoy!