Every February, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition comes to Charleston, and spokeswoman Ashley Slain says it’s not just 100 paintings of the same duck, like some may think.
So much more than that. We love the outdoor sporting aspect, and we have so many great vendors and exhibitors that come. They have high-end trips and guides and equipment, and just so many neat things to show off.
Slain says the Expo brings in an influx of out-of-state tourists, benefiting the state’s economy.
We estimate that 60 percent or so are from out-of-town, 40 percent are local, so that is a huge hit. Some of our folks have been here since Sunday or Monday, they stay the whole week. The majority of them do stay and pay lodging. They’re eating in the restaurants, they are shopping in the stores–that benefits everyone.
This year is the 29th year of the Southeastern Wildlife Expo, which locals call SEWE, Slain says the Expo entertains at least 35,000 people from out-of-town, as well as the locals. One impressive show, Slain says, is “Living With Wolves,” which performers took a while to prepare for.
They spent six years living with a pack of wolves out in the Idaho wilderness, and they really studied the habits of these wolves and their whole hierarchy within the pack. It is an amazing presentation. They’ll be doing that twice at the Gilliard again this weekend.
The Gilliard Auditorium is one of Charleston’s premiere spots for entertainment, shows and presentations.
Governor Nikki Haley made a stop in Charleston Thursday for the Expo and took questions from the media.