Sometimes, you just need a fairy godmother to make your dreams come true. Wings & Whimsies has such a creature, and her name is Babbling Brooke. The magical Brooke flits about town with fairy friend Zephyr, bringing along all the games, decorations, and costumes necessary to create a fantasy-themed birthday party for young children. In the span of mere hours, Babbling Brooke and Zephyr transform backyards and local parks into fantastical worlds complete with knights and dragons, kings and castles, or auditors and tax evaders.
When they're not injecting a little magic into kids' lives with birthday parties, they're doing it with storytelling and music at library and school events. The two fairies have no trouble captivating their young audiences; after all, they are both members of storytelling guilds such as the National Storytelling Network.
Alfred Ray enthusiasm for Charleston's history is infectious. This passion carried him through the rough-going early days of his tour-guiding career, which started in 1980, he says, “with a pitchfork atop a pile of hose dung in a carriage barn on State Street.” Today, the Charleston native—whose forefathers arrived in the city in 1792—shares his deep knowledge during three themed tours through Charleston's walled landscape: the Old Walled City Walk, the Home and Garden Walk, and the Slavery and Freedom Walk.
Tours casually wind down the city's cobblestone streets, past precolonial and postcolonial buildings that display a confluence of architectural styles, from Georgian to Greek Revival. As tourists snap pictures of wrought-iron gates, classical columns, and carbonite-encased cotton gins, Ray shares stories about the people and events—such as the approximately 40% of slaves who entered the United States through Charleston—that transformed a 1670 pioneer settlement into a cultural hub of the South by the mid-1800s.
Art may be a subjective experience, but with more than 100 regional and national awards, Steven Jordan?s talent is indisputable. A master of watercolor, mixed media, and oils, Jordan?s creativity knows few bounds, and his paintings have appeared in nationally published art books, as well as on TV and film. Steven has even painted his own van to look like a giant bumblebee. Customers can also commission work from Steven at an additional cost. The South Carolina native now frequently judges art competitions, gives lectures to organizations and strangers in the grocery line, and teaches classes and workshops.
Culture & Heritage Museums safeguard the Carolina Piedmont's historical treasures and educate residents and visitors about the region's unique past. Instituted in the 1950's, York County's group of affiliated museums and attractions forms a multi-campus network encompassing a wealth of educational opportunities across various disciplines.
Each year, museumgoers view antique documents and photographs at the Historical Center located inside the McCelvey Center. They can get to know more than 1,500 natural specimens at the hands-on Naturalist Center inside the Museum of York County, and march through Historic Brattonsville's 775-acre Revolutionary War site. Locals can volunteer at the museums in fascinating roles, such as specimen preparers, who beautify avian exhibits by helping with taxidermy and surgical beak-lifts.
A local cultural stalwart for more than 60 years, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra now proudly boasts world-class wand-wielder Edvard Tchivzhel as its conductor and music director. During the Grand Finale concert, Tchivzhel will lead skilled musicians through the melodic maze of Dvorak's Symphony no. 9 and Mussorgsky's engaging Pictures at an Exhibition, which synthesizes the aural and the visual better than a loud tropical shirt. Audience members in the upper balcony seats may check out free MP3 players proffering a wealth of concert information to additionally enliven listening.
Celebration Town helps kids to burn energy and exercise imaginations as they leap and bound across a sprawling landscape of bouncy castles and inflatable slides during open-jump sessions. Parents relax while kids engage with other fixtures including skee-ball cabinets, climbing stations, educational computer stations, and illiterate karaoke machines. Youngsters can also explore the limits of their mental and physical strength during structured after-school programs and summer camps.